Archive for June 18, 2013
Very few societal issues have been as polarizing in American culture as that of gun control. Each side of the debate seems to be working from a different set of gun control pros and cons. There have seeming always been “gun proponents” who guard their right to bear arms very closely, and there have conversely been those who advocate for more strict state and federal regulations on specific concerns like “assault rifles” and high capacity magazines.
With the debate at a fever pitch in the United States, an actual assessment of gun control pros and cons often seems completely impossible. The tendency is to resort to rhetoric rather than to adhere to the actual gun control statistics when attempting to objectively compare gun control pros and cons. To that point, according to the reputable, Pulitzer Prize winning site Politifact.com it is inherently true that compared to other European nations of similar economic development, gun homicide rates are significantly higher here in the United States. And yet this fact is often obscured during the course of a gun control debate.
These European nations, as well as Japan, boast lower murder rates to coincide with much stricter gun laws. Here in the United States, in addition to “gun show” loopholes and lax regulations in certain states that allow for citizens to use high capacity magazines like the ones used in recent tragedies in Arizona, Colorado, and Massachusetts, private individuals who sell their guns are not required to issue background checks on those purchasing the guns. Gun control advocates cite these examples of practical measures that could be taken to limit gun homicides.
Those against increased regulation often see such laws as a fundamental infringement of their Second Amendment rights. The focus on the “cons” side of the debate surrounding the pros and cons of gun control. The concern is that giving state and federal government more power in this area may lead to the unwarranted search of homes and seizure of weapons deemed “illegal.” The implication is that such abuse of governmental authority would effectively take away citizens right to defend themselves against tyrannical government actions, in this case the actions of the citizens own government,
There are seemingly no easy answers to the issue of gun control, and this very brief overview of gun control pros and cons is meant chiefly to start a respectful and meaningful dialogue among concerned citizens regardless of political ideology. The comment section below is the place for a civil and rational conversation about this issue of gun control pros and cons.