For and Against: FOR controlling guns in America

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The semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle Adam Lanza used during the Sandy Hook shooting was a version of the same guns American troops used during the Vietnam War.  The gun can kill up to six people per second.

Think about it: an everyday teenager had easy access to a high-kill military weapon.

It’s because of this outrageously easy access to such guns that their ownership must be limited. In response to this, President Obama recently proposed legislation that would reinstate a ban on assault weapons. However, gun advocates won’t stand for this, adamantly justifying their selfish ‘need’ for guns with unsubstantial reasons.

Most gun advocates justify assault weapon ownership with their automatic mantra of “exercising their Second Amendment rights.” However, doing something simply because you can is not a reason, and just goes to show you don’t need high capacity guns in the first place.

More sensibly, gun activists claim they use guns for defense, and I admit, I can see how they’d be useful. Protective handguns may be one thing, but assault rifles are completely unnecessary.

These monstrous weapons have one purpose: to slaughter masses of people at a time, and are thus reserved for the military. Who do we, everyday citizens, expect to be attacked by?

Gun activists believe that one day, we may have to protect ourselves from the government, because when countries like Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia were disarmed, the people were unable to retaliate against government abuse. However, at the time, Germany and Russia were under oppressive dictatorships. America, conversely, is a democracy, with three branches of government limiting everything the president does. If assault weapons were banned in the U.S., Americans would not meet the same fate.

And as for recreational purposes, there are far less lethal weapons one can use.

Perhaps an improved mental health system would decrease the number of mass shootings. But look at it this way: although she had a mentally ill son, if Nancy Lanza wasn’t allowed to own that Bushmaster in the first place, Adam Lanza would not have obtained it.

Simply making it harder to obtain a gun through background checks won’t entirely help because you’ll never be able to sort out those who’ll go on shooting sprees from those who won’t.

James Holmes was a normal college student with no more than a speeding ticket on his criminal record, and psychologists are still baffled as to why he did what he did. While it may have looked suspicious that he was stocking up on guns, there are plenty of people, such as Nancy Lanza herself, who own multiple guns for defense and recreation. Thus, background checks won’t always be accurate. If Holmes and Lanza were limited to handguns, however, the shootings would have been less fatal.

Some gun activists even hope to increase gun ownership by arming teachers. This is absurd, and only makes guns more accessible to mass murderers. Besides, how would you feel walking into math class knowing your teacher had a gun in their back pocket? As seen on the news, teachers can be just as disturbed as students. Why wouldn’t they channel this through a gun as well?

In addition to banning assault weapons, the government should make it harder for people to obtain any other kind of gun, specifically those of high caliber. A more thorough background check should be instituted for gun buyers and there should be a limit on the number of guns a person can own: what was Nancy Lanza doing with over four guns?

The fact of the matter is that, just like any other law, gun legislation will never be 100% effective. Such legislation will, however, make it harder for these guns to be obtained and thus limit the number of shootings that occur.

The lack of gun restrictions in the U.S. must be taken care of immediately.

It’s time to rid ourselves of the fantasy that it’s the person, not the gun, that kills. While unpredictable human emotions and mental tendencies aren’t always in our control, gun ownership is.