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Pros and Cons of Gun Control in the US

Published by Nanni on Saturday, June 30, 2012

Photo credit by overge

The gun control debate may be one of the most heated issues of our time. Gun control activists and pro-gun advocates are extremely passionate about their causes. This can sometimes make it difficult to approach the issue reasonably.

However, gun control is one issue that every American should consider from time to time. The people we elect into office directly affect our lives. Nowhere is that effect more pronounced than with gun control.

Here's a look at the pros and cons of gun control legislation in the United States.

Pro: Tighter control of guns would lead to less shootings. It's reasonable to assume that less guns would mean less shootings. Many pro-gun control activists point out that lawful gun owners are more likely to injure themselves or a loved one than an intruder. Guns may simply not be an effective form of self defense. By restricting their use, you cut down on gun crime.

Con: Tighter gun control might actually lead to more crime. Even if guns cause more harm than good in break-ins, that doesn't prove the pro-gun control point. The pro-gun movement claims that numerous crimes are prevented by guns before they're even started. Potential criminals are scared away from home invasions and other types of crime by the threat of a gun. Tightly controlling gun use could therefore lead to more crime.

Con: The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. The Bill of Rights is an almost sacred document to Americans. The second amendment guarantees the right to have guns. No legislation should have the power to take that away without repealing the amendment first.

Pro: The type of arms you have a right to bear should be negotiable. Most gun control activists don't dispute the right to own a gun. However, they believe that adding stipulations to gun ownership is not a restriction of a citizen's rights. Preventing gun owners from buying especially dangerous arms like assault rifles is certainly not unconstitutional. Neither is using the law to ensure that only law abiding citizens are able to attain guns.

Pro: Gun control doesn't need to affect hunters or other law-abiding citizens. Building on the last point, gun control doesn't need to affect guns used for legal purposes. New technology allows the tracking of bullets and guns. This technology should be employed to allow guns and bullets to be traced back to their owners. That way, if a crime is committed, it will be easier for law enforcement to figure out what happened. This is in no way a violation of a law abiding citizens' rights.

Con: Any restriction past a certain point affects all gun owners. The old "if you didn't commit a crime, you've got nothing to worry about" argument simply isn't true. Systems that track fingerprints and other identifying factors of a gun could be mishandled. They could possibly be a threat to the privacy of a gun owner. Even if it's unlikely that this were to happen, it's a rights violation.

Do you think that gun control should be stepped up in the US? Post your own opinion in the comments below this article.

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