Should the U.S. implement stricter gun control laws? | The Tylt

Should the U.S. implement stricter gun control laws?

Gun owners believe the Constitution protects their right to own guns, maintaining that private citizens have an obligation to mitigate crime. However, the high-profile shootings of both Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr.and Jemel Roberson, who were shot and killed by police while trying to assist during active shooter situations, seem to defy that logic. Activists say both incidents prove that lax gun laws only serve certain groups of individuals and don't equally apply to people of color. What do you think?

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Should the U.S. implement stricter gun control laws?
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Constitutional originalists maintain the unrestricted right to own and bear arms was enshrined by the nation’s founders, making it a bedrock principle of the country itself. They claim that the framers’ concerns about the government becoming too powerful and infringing on the rights of the people are still pertinent. Per the Guardian

The amendment reads: “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.”
In 2008, the supreme court decided the District of Columbia v Heller, 5-4 , overturning a handgun ban in the city. The conservative justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion in narrow but unprecedented terms: for the first time in the country’s history, the supreme court explicitly affirmed an individual’s right to keep a weapon at home for self-defense.
...“The courts generally strike a balance between the need for lawmakers to protect public safety and this notion of second amendment rights,” said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The Heller decision, she said, was “entirely consistent” with gun laws like background checks.
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Gun control advocates argue, however, that the framers could never have imagined the types of guns that are currently available or the sheer amount of devastation one person can cause with them. While there is no way for us to know what the founders would think of our modern day guns, we can look to other countries to see how well strict gun laws work. Per Business Insider

We might look to other countries to see whether tighter gun laws can be successful. That is the case in Australia, where the government passed the National Firearm Agreement (NFA), a sweeping set of gun regulations, in 1996. According to the most recent data available — from 1996 to 2015 — the annual number of gun-related homicides decreased from 516 to 211.
Before 1996, the country had seen 14 mass shootings, but one particularly horrific spree led to gun reform. In April 1996 — in the worst mass murder in Australia's history — gunman Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 24 others at a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Twelve days later, the government instituted the NFA, which includes three main provisions: tight control on semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons; a national registry of firearm owners; and a buyback program so that Australians could sell guns back to the government.
While it's difficult to say whether the NFA directly led to the drop in mass shootings and a reduction in gun-related homicides, experts say we can draw some links.
One of the more recent studies on the subject is by Elena Andreyeva and Benjamin Ukert, two public health researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Their 2017 working paper suggests the NFA decreased firearm mortality by 60%, including homicides and suicides. Another one of their peer-reviewed studies, published in 2017, came to a similar conclusion.
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Advocates argue it is in the best interest of the nation to at least attempt to facilitate stricter gun control laws. Per the Huffington Post

Luckily, we have a few large samples. One is called the United States. Another is called Earth. And both large samples establish a consistent correlation: places with more guns generally have more gun deaths than places with fewer guns. It’s not always true. But it’s usually true. And if something usually works, it seems foolish not to try it in this country, especially in light of our absurd level of gun ownership—we have 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but 42 percent of civilian owned guns.
As for the argument that gun control won’t make it more difficult for people to obtain guns, Ronald Reagan addresses that pretty well in the letter he signed supporting an assault weapons ban, stating that,
“While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.” 
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Gun owners disagree, arguing that laws will not stop criminals from obtaining and using guns. According to the Federalist

Simply, law-abiding citizens will obey the law and criminals won’t. That’s how life works. After all, that’s the definition of a criminal: someone who doesn’t obey a law. Keeping guns out of criminal’s hands because they’ve been banned will be just as successful as our ban on crystal meth.
If the crime of, and penalty for, murder doesn’t stop criminals from conducting mass shootings, neither will another law. As an example, bombs are already illegal. However, neither the penalty for murder nor the penalty against making bombs has stopped the Oklahoma city bombing, the Boston marathon bombing, or the serial bomber in Austin.
Not only will a gun ban not work, it will ensure that the only people with guns are criminals.
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Gun rights advocates argue many gun-related acts of violence could have been stopped, or at least mitigated, by the presence of a "good guy with a gun." They maintain that someone in possession of a gun could stop an active shooter much more quickly and effectively than law enforcement officers. Erich Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, made this argument in an op-ed in USA Today days after the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. 

Once again, we see the failure of gun control in preventing a horrible tragedy.
Wednesday's California bar shooting was in a gun-free zone, where good guys cannot legally carry firearms.
Gun-free zones are magnets for killers. Consider that almost 98 percent of public mass shootings in this country occur in these mandatory victim zones.
But where citizens can protect themselves, the situation is much different. Within the past month, two potential mass shootings were averted by law-abiding citizens who used their concealed firearms.
But the anti-gun left fails to mention how these two citizens saved lives in those incidents. Why is that?
We will never rid ourselves of one basic problem: Bad guys with evil intent will always acquire some kind of “weapon” to commit violence.
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Yet, several recent tragedies have shown there is a much more complicated story behind the "good guy with a gun" narrative. Per The New York Times:

Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21, was fatally shot in the middle of a panicked crowd at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala., on Nov. 22, as officers responded to reports of gunshots on Thanksgiving night. Witnesses said Mr. Bradford, who was legally carrying a handgun, was directing shoppers to safety.
...The forensic examination indicated Mr. Bradford was shot in his back, the back of his head and the back of his neck.

According to new reports, Bradford was not only a quintessential "good guy with a gun," he was actually attempting to shepherd frightened shoppers out of the line of fire. Bradford was not the only black man recently killed by police. Per the New York Times

A black security guard at a bar in the Chicago suburbs was killed by the police as he apparently tried to detain a man he believed to be involved in a shooting, the authorities said Monday.
...Witnesses told the police that a fight had broken out and someone had started shooting. After the authorities responded, a police officer shot the guard, Jemel Roberson, 26, who had a gun, Ms. Ansari said. Mr. Roberson died at the hospital.
Witnesses said that people in the crowd had yelled to arriving police officers that Mr. Roberson, who was wearing gear that read “Security,” was a guard. Ms. Ansari confirmed that Mr. Roberson worked for the bar.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’,” one witness, Adam Harris, told WGN-TV. “He was a security guard. And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the U.S. implement stricter gun control laws?
#WeNeedGunControl
A festive crown for the winner
#RightToBearArms