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The Great Debate

Gun Control in the United States

Here it is in black and white. The article that everyone has been waiting to read. An article on the topic that just hasn't been discussed enough; gun control in the United States. Yes, the sarcasm here could be cut with a knife or a bullet, whichever you prefer. Everyone seems to have their own opinions but the one question that seems to be brought to light more than others really is this. Are guns responsible for killing people?Are the guns the problem here, or is the morality and sanity of the people of the United States? 

Maybe us as Americans will never really know for sure the answer to this very question but let's consider the facts. 

  Mass shootings in America are not rare. Mother Jones, a non-profit news organization that specializes in investigative, political and social justice reportings, has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades and since 1982 there have been at least 61 mass murders ranging over the states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. According to professionals at Time Magazine,15 out of the 25 worst ever mass shootings in history have taken place in the United States. The Harvard Injury Control Research Center found substantial evidence that, yes, more guns lead to more murders. And here is the biggest shocker of them all. Economist, Richard Florida, who did extensive research in the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of "social indicators" discovered that states with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun related incidents. This makes sense right? One Radnor junior certainly believes it does, indeed, make sense. "Of course stricter gun laws would reduce deaths from gun related incidences. Its just like the health crisis or the unemployment rates. The more fast food restaurants, the more fat people. The longer the difficulties in the economy continue, the more people there will be without jobs."

  In 2011, there were 12,664 murders in the United States and 8,583 directly resulted from the use of firearms. So yes. Guns do kill people. And yes, people are necessary to pull the triggers of those guns to kill other people. But why make it so easy? Why make it so easy for two young men to enter a High School in Columbine and kill 13 people? Why make it so easy for a man to enter a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado and kill 12 people? Why make it so easy for someone to enter an elementary school in Connecticut and kill 26 people, 20 of them children no older than 7, in a matter of minutes? Lots of things kill people. However, guns make it possible to kill a lot of people in a short period of time. 

  There is another side to this argument regarding the question of whether or not stricter gun laws should be instituted in the United States, or else there wouldn't be any argument. One Radnor junior said, "It is right there in our constitution. The right to bear arms. We need guns to protect ourselves and guns are also used for people to participate in different hobbies like hunting or range shooting." 

  These guns which are used for "hunting and range shooting" are no exception to guns that can be controlled. The guns used for these sorts of activities can be kept and locked up at the facilities where they are used. One young girl supports this idea that recreational activity guns should be kept at the facility where they are used by saying that "only police officers and the military should get guns. If people want to do it as a sport than they could go to shooting range and the guns would not be able to leave there." These words were spoken by Natalie Barden whose brother, Daniel, was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was in first grade. 

  Supporting the debates leaning to the side of stricter gun control laws is another Radnor junior who says "no one needs a semi-automatic weapon in their home to protect themselves that can fire 45 bullets in one minute. Anyone who believes these types of guns are necessary to "protect" themselves is insane. These are the kinds of guns people use to kill."

  No one is suggesting that guns be completely removed from American society, but like all controversial topics, there needs to be a middle ground. There need to be a compromise. Guns are not completely useless and serve the purpose, when operated correctly, to protect people. But no one in their right mind needs a semi-automatic weapon, a virtual killing machine, to be kept in their home to protect themselves.

  A rational decision needs to be made quickly because on Tuesday, just over a month after Sandy Hook, there was another school shooting at a college in Texas. Something needs to be done. Changes must be made.

So let's stop asking the obvious question of whether or not guns kill people or if people kill people because they both do. Let's start asking the question of how to make it hard for people to take the lives of others because it shouldn't be as easy as walking into a public building a pressing a botton.

And finally, let's ask this question: how many more American lives are we willing to put in the line of fire before we start taking these guns away?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Edward N Flail, Jr January 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM
The Second Amendment says nothing about the right yo bear arms being limited to hunting or other types of sport shooting. The primary reason for its existence is not to protect us from each other but to protect us from government, and any limitation on the types of weapons, ammo or magazines infringes the right. Knee jerk reactions in the name of safety, which won't work against those who are causing the problem, perps and nuts, will accomplish nothing but infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens.
Leslie Ryan January 26, 2013 at 01:54 PM
What a well written article . Thank you for your post . I agree it is time to tackle this issue.....well done!
Christopher Merken January 26, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Perhaps you could show me where in the 2nd amendment it mentions anything about protecting citizens from the government? That's a common misconception by scared pro-gun advocates. You say there shouldn't be limitations on the types of weapons you have. Of course let's just completely ignore the fact that none of that is mentioned anywhere in the 2nd amendment. But are you saying we should all have rocket launchers? Tanks? Fighter jets? Where do you draw a line. It's childish and silly to assume that the 2nd amendment protects citizens from laws about guns.
Ted Fluck January 26, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Excellent article taking a good look at the truth behind these catastrophies. I agree, easy access to weapons needs to be questioned as does who can purchase what type of weapons. For those who believe the second amendment is for the citizen to protect themselves against the federal government, they need more lessons in history. The founders never had that intention. Keep the debate going with well thought-out arguments!
Just me January 27, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Well said and well written.
Anthony Wayne January 28, 2013 at 12:39 AM
I don't know what history books you guys read but you missed civics class. The Founders could not shut up about how to keep government in check. The second amendment is not about hunting varmints, it's about hunting tyrants. Wake up already.
Kate January 28, 2013 at 01:28 AM
I believe that there is a significant difference between a gun and a weapon of mass destruction. Back in 1791 when the second amendment was ratified guns were mostly single shot weapons which had to be manually reloaded through a muzzle. I don't think that the writers of the constitution ever thought that people would be able to attain a weapon that can shoot 40 bullets in one minute without reload. If you ask me, I think our founders would be ashamed of what this country has transformed into. The founders wrote the constitution with the idea of a nation built upon "tranquility" and "general welfare" among its people. These are the words that appear in the very first passage of our constitution. It precisely reads, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." And note, this passage appears long before anything is mentioned about the right to bear arms….lets try to get this country back to the days when people actually cared about each other……let's form a more perfect UNION.
Denise Parella January 28, 2013 at 10:01 PM
A very well written article. Thank you for caring enough to write it.
Linda G January 29, 2013 at 01:23 AM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Thank you, Mr. Flail, for voicing what has been so annoying since he beginning of this debate. The 2nd Amendment is to allow citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Of course, they keep telling us they don't want to take away our right to hunt.... But apparently they do want to take away our 2nd Amendment right to protect ourselves and our family. It's a shame more people aren't educated on the constitution and its purpose, or are they purposefully trying to distract from the truth?? Pls spare me any retorts on automatic weapons unless you know of what you speak...
Linda G January 29, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Thank you, Anthony Wayne. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Although our founders did not know what weapons a tyranical government could use against us... that others seem to believe they have the right to keep from us, to keep us from protecting ourselves and our families.

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