By Vincent Huang
After the tragic incident that occured in Parkland, Florida, many people, as well as the federal government, are starting to think about tightening gun control. But what are the benefits that gun laws will bring and what costs will these laws also have?
There are many pros and cons for greater gun control. One point made by supporters is that more gun control laws would reduce gun deaths. According to a study done in 2016, “implementing federal universal background checks could reduce firearm deaths by a projected 56.9%; background checks for ammunition purchases could reduce deaths by a projected 80.7%; and gun identification requirements could reduce deaths by a projected 82.5%” (ProsCon.org). There is also the fact that guns are rarely used for self-defense; instead guns are much more commonly used for suicides and homicides. Getting rid of guns can lead to a less violent society with fewer gun deaths and an overall safer environment.
On the other hand, it is suggested that gun control laws do not deter crime. A study found that “assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level and states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders” (ProsCon.org). In many other countries where guns are banned, stabbings increased and the usage of other non-gun weapons increased. Along with this, gun control laws will not prevent criminals from obtaining guns from illegal providers. From research done on mass shooting incidents that occured in the U.S., out of the “143 guns [that] were possessed by the killers [only] about 75% [were] obtained legally” (ProsCon.org). Criminals will still be able to get their guns illegally, so severely restricting or banning guns will not have as much of an effect as people think. Along with this, if the people give the government the right to ban guns, people would not only be losing an individual right granted by the Second Amendment but also giving the government more power that could possibly lead to tyranny.
Due to these vehemently conflicting viewpoints on the benefits and costs of gun control, the government does not seem to be able to take action. Currently, many proposals for assault weapon bans and stricter background checks have been turned down, along with a proposal to arm teachers.
Let us hope that the 17 children that died in Florida did not die in vain.
“Gun Control – ProCon.Org.” Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted in the United States?, gun-control.procon.org/.
Grinberg, Emanuella, et al. “Fight for stricter gun laws in Florida makes small steps forward.” CNN, Cable News Network, 27 Feb. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/02/27/us/florida-school-shooting/index.html.