The Excalibur

Gun Control — Con

Jaxon Justiss, Staff Writer

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“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. The 2nd Amendment of The United States Constitution. Just twenty-seven words and two lines of writing has divided the nation. We, of course, cannot put sole responsibility upon the amendment. But it has been the considerable issue of the past year and one that has polarized the United States in a way that has been experienced few times throughout history. This began, in part, due to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last Valentine’s Day. Since then, and even previously, the phrase “Gun Control” has been used to describe the bolstering of gun laws and the prohibition of firearms alike.

The prominent argument against the use of firearms is that increased gun laws would prevent firearm related deaths, though many are arguing for a complete ban on assault weapons. And while it is true that between the years 1999 and 2013, 66.6% of all homicides involved a firearm, another study by John R. Lott, Jr., PhD, found that “States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes… The effect on ‘shall-issue’ [concealed gun] laws on these crimes [where two or more people were killed] has been dramatic. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent and injuries by 82 percent.”.

Additionally, the history of gun control is a history of oppression. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Adam Winkler (author of “Gun Fight”) gave background to the idea of gun control, stating that “The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns…if blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.” Furthermore, when members of the Black Panther party brought their firearms to the predominantly white public offices about a century later, a ban on open carry was enacted upon the state of California, which was an open target on the civil rights of black American citizens. Writer Charles M. Blow of the New York Times stated that “…gun homicides disproportionately affect poor minorities. (Gun suicides disproportionately affect white people.) Indeed, the only time that national figures seem to get fully engaged is in the wake of mass shootings that involve white people, either as shooters or victims.” (Charles Blow cites Winkler in his column as well). I firmly believe that the right to bear arms, while at the time not created for everyone, is and has always been an equal right for all full and legal citizens of the United States. In short, gun rights are equal rights for all.

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