The Top 3 Arguments for Gun Control

Why America Needs More Gun Control

gun control rally
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In 2014, a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot her gun instructor to death during a lesson in how to fire an Uzi in Arizona (Edelman 2014). Which begs the question: Why would anyone ever allow a child of that age to have an Uzi in her hands, for any reason? You could also ask why anyone, of any age, needs to learn how to fire an assault weapon like an Uzi in the first place.

The National Rifle Association would respond to these questions by claiming that the United States Constitution does not place any restrictions on gun ownership in America. So if you want to fire an Uzi, then, by all means, have at it.

But this is a dangerous and illogical interpretation of the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms." As Seth Millstein of Bustle pointed out, "If you think the Second Amendment prohibits any and all restrictions on gun possession in the U.S. no matter what the circumstances, then you must believe that convicted murderers have the right to carry machine guns in prison. Right?" (Millstein 2014).

So how would a liberal respond to incidents like this one, an incident that will haunt not only the family of the slain victim but also of the shooter, that little nine-year-old who will have to live with that image in her mind for the rest of her life?

Use these top three arguments the next time you are asked to defend the need for gun control.

01
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Gun Ownership Leads to Homicides

gun control rally
Protesters with One Million Moms for Gun Control, a gun control group formed in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, rally in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Gun-rights advocates and other extremists sometimes behave as if every attempt to create sane and logical regulations on guns is a fruitless, fascist assault on their freedom, but a quick look at the facts shows a chilling relationship between homicides and gun ownership that shouldn't be so carelessly ignored. The more people that own guns in a region, the more firearm deaths that area will see.

According to a study on this very topic published in the American Journal of Public Health, "For each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%," (Siegel 2013). This study, which looked at data from three decades for every U.S. state, strongly suggests that the more people that own guns, the more lives will be taken by guns.

02
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Fewer Guns Means Fewer Gun Crimes

In the same vein, research shows that gun control restricting household firearm ownership could save lives. Gun control is therefore not only logical, it's necessary.

It's common for gun advocates to claim that the solution to gun violence is to be more heavily armed so that you can defend yourself and others against someone brandishing a weapon. This view is echoed by the popular saying, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun."

But again, this argument contains no logic. Other countries that have implemented stricter gun ownership regulations than the U.S. have lower homicide rates, and this is no coincidence. Looking at the example that Japan, with its strict firearm control laws and its almost nonexistent national homicide rate, sets, it's clear that fewer guns, not more guns, is the obvious answer ("Japan—Gun Facts, Figures and the Law").

03
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You Do NOT Have the Right to Own Any Gun You Want

The Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010), a case often cited by gun-rights advocates, that private citizens may own weapons for self-defense but are subject to restrictions on those weapons. Therefore, it's not your right to build and own a nuclear or assault weapon, nor is toting a pistol in your pocket an unfettered natural right. Your right to bear arms is maintained by federal law, but it's not as loose as you might think.

Minors can't buy alcohol and we can't purchase cold medicine right off the shelf because our society aims to protect citizens from drug abuse and trafficking. In the same way, we need to regulate guns even further in order to protect Americans from gun violence. It's inaccurate to claim that unrestricted gun access and ownership is or ever was a constitutional right.

Why We Need Gun Control

The three points in this article are rooted in logic, fairness, and togetherness in society. These pillars are the essence of democracy, and our democracy is based on the idea that we have a social contract to ensure the well-being of all citizens—not just those that want to own guns. Gun control advocates are concerned with the safety of society, while gun rights advocates are too often only concerned with themselves. Gun rights advocates need to understand that doing what's right isn't always going to feel comfortable.

The American people should not have to live in fear every time they enter a public place, send their children to school, or sleep in their own beds at night, and this is ultimately the reason we need gun control. The time has come to let logic win and to bring common sense and compassion to the dialogue on guns.

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