Gun Control: Safety vs. Liberty

Miracle Moore, Staff Reporter

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“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.”

We’ve all said these words at more than one point in our lifetime. 2017 has brought around many political changes to our country, as well as questions. One of the biggest questions is, of course, ‘what kind of America are we living in today?’ A huge topic could determine part of the answer- gun control.

According to 2017 polls, over 40% of Americans own a gun kept in their households. 64% of homicides in 2016 were gun related incidents, a stark comparison to the rest of the globe. England, Australia, and Canada all report less than 31% of killings due to fatal gun wounds. So the question remains, is America’s so called ‘gun culture’ making us a more dangerous country by comparison? Or is it enabling dangerous people to carry out despicable acts? Guns don’t kill people after all, people do. However, if people can’t be trusted with guns, should any of us be allowed to have them?

Let’s take a look at the facts. Buying a gun in the U.S is admittedly, not too hard for the everyday adult. Licensed dealers can sell handguns to citizens and legal immigrants over the age of twenty-one, yet a rifle or shotgun is available to those eighteen and up. This, of course, applies to licensed dealers only. The dark web has no age limit or identification requirements for someone looking to purchase a gun, and the majority of their gun purchases in 2016 were allegedly from American buyers. There are about 270 million registered guns in the U.S, and millions more unregistered as a result of this.

Many civilians argue that guns are necessary for protection in their own homes, as well as for hunting purposes. They’re also a fundamental right. The fear of home invasion is understandable! So is the need for a hobby. The problem is, how do we ensure that guns don’t fall into the hands of the wrong people?

The hard truth is that we can’t. Without putting strict bans on civilians owning guns in the United States, mass shootings, homicides, and even suicides will continue to be a possibility that can occur at any second. How easy do you think it is for someone to bring a gun to a public area- to school, even? How safe do you feel in a nation where anyone could own a gun? We are the future. What kind of country do we allow America to become if limits on gun ownership aren’t set?

The answer to that, my friends, is up to you.

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Gun Control: Safety vs. Liberty