Red & Black

The issue of gun control and gun rights

Gillian Burks

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Recently, a Jefferson City school bus was hit by stray bullets. Thankfully, no children were harmed in the process, but the event does bring forward a heated topic of debate. Gun control arguments have been gaining popularity in recent years. Every coin has two sides, just as there are two very different sides of debate over gun control; The extreme of one side being that guns are an unneeded part of our lives that only cause destruction, the other being that we are entitled our right to bare arms and are thereby giving up part of our freedom in giving up our guns.

A common argument made for strict gun control laws is that it lowers the rate of gun violence. In the year 2007, Missouri repealed one of its gun control laws which made consumers able to purchase a gun with no permit and no background checks, only the money was needed. According to a study held by Professor Daniel Webster, there was a spike in lethal violence, from 2008 to 2012, at least 60 more homicides a year were caused by gun violence. Some people argue that the right to bare arms is a liberty bestowed upon us by the Bill of Rights, but the Bill of Rights is an example of various rights that were changed because they no longer made sense in society. We also used to not let women vote, but then we changed that because we grew with time and realized it was an outdated thing to do.

Strong supporters of gun rights point to situations in which an armed citizen was the savior. Just last year in Kansas City, an armed robber attacked a Spalitto’s pharmacy, but was forced to flee as the pharmacist retrieved his hand gun. To deny citizens the right to guns is to deny them the right to feel protected and safe in their own lives. If we are banning guns, then we are also banning recreational activities such as hunting and firearm related sports. “Assault weapons” is a strong term for something used for recreational activities. Also, gun owners aren’t the only ones benefitting from firearm sales. In a 2011 study, there was a total of 7.7 billion dollars made in the United States on firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, and hunting equipment alone.

Both sides of the coin have their strengths and their downfalls. In any debate, such as this, there needs to be a middle ground. A place in which gun control does not reach the point of infringement on a citizen’s ability to feel safe in his own home, while not allowing the mass population to acquire lethal weapons whenever they feel like it. Guns hold their benefits and should be purchased with the correct requirements, extensive background checks, and owner’s permits should be required. Everything in moderation, finding a safe middle ground is a necessity in creating a safe society.

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The student news site of Jefferson City High School
The issue of gun control and gun rights