Anti-gun activists want to restrict access to guns because too many people are killed by guns. They think while recreation is a fine way to use guns, firearms mean different things to different people. Someone who has been raised around guns and uses them for hunting and sporting purposes will perceive guns differently than someone who has been taught to fear and avoid guns because of the damage firearms can afflict.
The bottom line is that a disproportionate number of U.S. citizens die from gun violence, and activists see the solution as making it harder to buy a gun.
It is impossible to answer such what-ifs with certainty. What is increasingly clear is the illogic in many of the arguments advanced by opponents of sensible regulation of guns. The claim that open-carry laws provide an effective deterrent to would-be attackers and criminals was undermined not only by the events in Colorado Springs but also by the testimony of police chiefs across the country who say such laws place added burdens on law enforcement. It is simple nonsense to liken the damage that can be caused by a knife — or baseball bat or whatever other weapon the gun lobby feebly offers up as an alternative — to the lethal capacities of guns. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Many factors contribute to violence. Investigations into these incidents will provide more information about the men who went on the attack in Colorado (a 33-year-old ) and California (an 18-year-old ) and specifically whether — as has been the case in so many tragedies — mental illness played a role. What should not get lost in that examination is the difference in damage that was done with a knife. That underscores once again the need for this country to follow the lead of other countries in limiting guns and controlling who has access to them.
There's a lot of evidence that shows gun control is effective.
One paper released today, first-authored by Lois K. Lee of Harvard Medical School, examined five types of gun laws: “those that (1) curb gun trafficking, (2) strengthen background checks, (3) improve child safety, (4) ban military-style assault weapons, and (5) restrict firearms in public places and leniency in firearm carrying.” The researchers found strong evidence that laws strengthening background checks and purchase permits helped decrease gun homicide rates. Interestingly, the researchers did not find strong evidence that laws focusing on trafficking, child safety and assault weapons decreased firearm homicides. The evidence for the effects of laws regarding guns in public places was not conclusive either way. On the whole, though, they found that, “stronger gun policies were associated with decreased rates of firearm homicide, even after adjusting for demographic and sociologic factors.”
Gun owners argue the founding fathers included the Second Amendment in order to prevent possible government tyranny. Gun activists argue a well-armed population is the best way to keep a government in check. It's because of this that many gun owners are wary about restricting access to guns. If the government can prevent people from legally purchasing guns, the Second Amendment is useless.
Beyond this purpose, guns are also key to self defense and recreation.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of American Adults think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny. Only 17% disagree, while another 18% are not sure.
Not surprisingly, 72% of those with a gun in their family regard the Second Amendment as a protection against tyranny. However, even a majority (57%) of those without a gun in their home hold that view.
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe," noted Noah Webster (the dictionary guy) in 1787. He argued that the proposed Constitution didn't need an explicit bill of rights because Americans were too gunned-up to let the government get away with much. As a Federalist, Webster supported the big-government faction of the day, against those more skeptical of concentrated political power. He lost the argument over the Bill of Rights, but his reference to an armed populace as a given fact of life—echoed by James Madison in The Federalist No. 46—permeates the thinking of those many modern Americans who see the right to bear arms as a natural individual right that checks the power of government.
Universal background checks cannot stop people who are dangerous but have no disqualifying records. The Umpqua College shooter apparently was seriously mentally ill but passed Oregon’s strict universal background-check law. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Background checks also are subject to bureaucratic error. The Charleston church shooter should not have been allowed to purchase a gun because he had confessed to a drug charge, but his data were not entered correctly into the background-check database. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ President Obama wants to ban “powerful” assault weapons. So-called assault rifles sold to civilians are not the same guns our military uses in war. They do not spray bullets with a single press of the trigger like a machine gun. They fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, like every other ordinary civilian firearm. They shoot small-to-intermediate-sized bullets common to hunting rifles used to shoot rabbits or deer, but not big animals like elk or bears.