The Gun Debate

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 3.31.00 PM.png

By Jake 

How do you balance freedom with safety? There have been 225 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to Gun Violence Archive,  and people want a change. A main topic of discussion has been how to change gun laws to protect American citizens from more mass shootings, while maintaining the 2nd amendment. With strong advocates on both sides of the argument, this is a complex issue to resolve. Most of the U.S population wants assault rifles to be banned, but there are also a lot of people that think this type of  ban would not solve the country’s gun problem.

Joe Biden, in his August, 2019 New York Times article about this topic, reported that banning assault rifles does reduce gun violence. Statistics show that there have been more mass shootings since gun laws that banned assault rifles expired in 2004. Politicians, police and many other Americans want stricter gun laws back, believing that this would prevent more mass shootings. With better gun laws it would be harder for criminals to get a hold of assault weapons that are often used in these crimes. According to the New York Times, about 70 percent of American’s support a ban on assault weapons, including 54 percent of Republicans.  Even though the majority of the country supports this ban, it is very hard for the government to change the Second Amendment. For most people, witnessing these shootings makes them scared and mad at the government for not changing laws to protect them. I believe that the gun laws need to be changed, but there are also a lot of opponents who disagree. 

In changing the gun laws there are a lot of people that disagree and are affected by a change. The Second Amendment protects the right of gun ownership. It is very hard for the government to change the Second Amendment, and a lot of people disagree with it. The NRA claims that guns are used for self-defense 2.5 million times a year. People would say that banning assault rifles would deny self defense for people that need it. According to, of the “62 mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2012, 49 of the shooters used legally obtained guns.” This data suggests that gun control laws wouldn’t prevent criminals from using illegal weapons. Although there are a lot of disadvantages to changing the gun laws, there are a lot of advantages, and people would argue that some of the reasons for opposition are untrue.

A lot of better things would happen in changing the gun laws. More gun control laws would reduce gun deaths.  If we had better gun laws less people would get a hold of guns, therefore the deaths by guns would go down. Some people argue that guns are rarely used in self defense. If someone was in an argument and they pulled out a gun it would only make the situation more violent.  Opponents of the ban fear that stricter gun laws will take away citizens’ freedom to protect themselves. According to, between 2007 and 2011, in 29,618,300 violent crimes, only “0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm,” making it “the least-employed protective behavior.” Not everyone needs to have a gun to protect themselves, because they will most likely not use it. Stricter gun laws can change a lot in the U.S and in other countries.

In this country, there are people that think that changing the gun laws will not help the country, but most of the U.S.population wants assault rifles to be banned. Democratic politicians such as Joe Biden, are fighting for new gun laws, and second amendment advocates want the gun laws to stay the same. I believe that the U.S. needs to change the gun laws because I should not be worried about someone with a gun when I go outside my house.