Students of Waldwick High School
Hello, and welcome students of Waldwick High School. Today we are going to talk about the highly controversial topic of gun violence and gun control, two things that affect everyone, whether they experienced it first-hand or heard about it on the news. Now with gun violence being a serious issue, have you ever thought about the amount of gun violence that occurs around the world or maybe how gun control is handled? After having read many research papers and articles discussing the topic at hand, I have gained a better understanding and perspective on it. Again and again and again, we have heard about gun violence and gun control from the news whenever a horrible event involving guns occurs. There are different forms of gun violence. Suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings all are categorized as gun violence, but some are more awful than others. Now on to gun control. Gun control is any law or regulation on how guns are sold, modified, transferred, or used by any civilians. By the end of this speech, you will have a better understanding of both gun control and gun violence. Firearms should not be banned from civilians because relatively few people are killed due to firearms, they can protect you, the second amendment allows you to own them, and bans do not significantly reduce gun violence.
Of course, some may think that all firearms should be banned due to the amount of deaths caused by firearms. In the New York Times article, “Nearly 40,000 People Died From Guns in U.S. Last Year, Highest in 50 Years”, we learn that, “There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before” (Mervosh par. 2). This increase of deaths is a major negative of firearms being owned by civilians. Also, less deaths would be from firearms if they were banned. The conclusion is then that firearms should be banned because of how many deaths there are because of them.
However, this number seems small in comparison to other causes of death in the United States. We can see from the same New York Times article that, “About 70,000 people died from drug overdoses last year — almost double the number that died from guns…” (Mervosh par. 10).
Compared to a statistic on the amount of deaths caused by drug overdoses, we can clearly see that gun deaths are relatively low. While the number of deaths by guns seems high, when stacked against other causes of death, it feels minimal when considered. Even if guns were banned, there are many horrible deaths that would still occur in other ways. With many different ways that deaths have occurred, gun violence does not lead to as many deaths as one might believe.
We have seen how the deaths due to firearms are not as high as other causes of death, but there are other reasons firearms should not be banned. Firearms allow civilians to have the ability to defend themselves in case they need to. In the article, “Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?”, it reads on page two that, “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.” Firearms are able to help people have protection against threats. In addition, allowing citizens to have firearms to defend themselves is shown to decrease shooting crimes. If allowing citizens to carry firearms is helping to stop shootings, then why should firearms be banned from civilians? Allowing citizens to own firearms and possibly have concealed carry permits can positively help the country as it can decrease shootings like Sandy Hook.
To continue on with this reason, let us take a look at a part in the book, Bless Me, Ultima, with this idea in it. Near the end of Bless Me, Ultima, Tenorio, “With his evil eye blazing down the rifle’s barrel...aimed at my forehead and I heard the shot ring out...my uncle Pedro...stood on the running board of the truck. He held the smoking pistol still aimed at Tenorio…” (Anaya 259).
If not for Pedro being able to use a gun to defend Antonio, Antonio would have gotten killed. This shows that guns can be used for protection if a situation called for it, further proving that they should not be banned from civilians. This part of the book allows us to see that guns can protect people from harm. With this reason examined, let us consider another reason as to why guns should not be banned.
What about one of the biggest reasons to this debate? Civilians are allowed to have firearms due to the Second Amendment. Page twenty-nine of the article, “Be Informed: Gun Control”, brings up excerpts from the D.C v. Heller case about the Second Amendment and how, “The Amendment could be rephrased, ‘Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.’” The Second Amendment, which was created to better our nation, is an important right that we citizens have. This amendment was created for a reason in case anything ever happened to our nation, so it should be kept in case something bad should ever happen. This means firearms should not be prohibited from civilians due to the amendment protecting this right. The Second Amendment is a right as old as our country and important to our security.
Furthermore, the Second Amendment was specifically created for the civilians. “Do America’s cities have the right to ban handguns?”, is a short article that on page one explains policies and laws surrounding guns are how, “In March, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a 30-year old law that forbids almost all DC residents from owning handguns...The DC court‘s decision reflects an emerging scholarly consensus that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.” As the amendment has been around forever, it should not be altered, destroyed, or replaced, as it explains our right. The Second Amendment also maintains its importance and prominence in our country as millions of people own firearms for protection. We have seen just how important the Second Amendment is to why firearms should not be banned, but there is another reason for why they should not ban them.
What is the other reason as to why firearms should not be banned from civilians? Well, the final reason is gun violence would not be reduced by a lot if bans were put in place. On page one of the article, “Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?”, it explains that on November 26, 2013, “A...study found that, between 1980 and 2009, “‘assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level´ and ‘states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders.’” As heard now, bans on guns carry with them no effect on gun violence, which makes the bans pointless. The bans also could cause higher rates of gun violence as citizens could no longer obtain that sort of weapon, but others could illegally obtain the same weapon if they wanted to. This shows how bans on firearms for civilians would not solve this problem and would instead cause the problem to escalate further. Gun violence can not be changed by just banning guns and it can even increase the amount of gun violence that there is.
Overall, firearms, even with their bad reputation due to mass shootings, should still be allowed for civilians because relatively few deaths are caused by firearms, they offer protection, are protected by the Second Amendment, and gun violence is not affected by bans. First off, the death rate due to firearms is not huge and firearms can protect people. Also, the Second Amendment allows you to have them and is a prominent right within our country. Lastly, bans would not slow down the amount of gun violence that occurs. You should now have a better understanding about gun violence and why firearms should not be banned. Banning guns would be a violation of the Second Amendment and would take out a chunk of the United States economy as the gun industry contributes about $51.3 billion to it. Instead, we should try to get the same strict regulations and standards for gun control across the entire country to make sure that firearms don’t get into the wrong hands.