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          Gun control in the United States has
been a common subject of discussion and debate ever since the Ratification of
the Constitution in 1787. Gun control is a very general term that covers any
restriction on what kinds, if any firearms can be sold or bought, who can
possess or sell them at any time, where or how they can be carried, and many
other regulations. (Pérez-Peña). The debate regarding gun control is mostly about
whether or not citizens should be allowed to own and possess firearms, whether
it is unloaded, locked away, or concealed. Although the specific topic may
vary, they both usually agree on preventing the mentally ill from purchasing
firearms, background checks, and banning gun purchases from people who are on
watch lists, or no-fly lists (Fandos). Federalism has played an extremely large
part of this debate. This is because gun control is an issue that is involving
both state and federal governments, which are two separate governments. In
addition, another problem is figuring out who gets to control gun laws in each
state- the state or federal governments. Because of these reasons, federalism
has played a large role in the ongoing debate on gun control.

         
One side of the debate on gun control is the argument that gun control
should be stricter. When people supporting stricter gun control debate this,
they first turn to the statistics regarding firearms and the issues that
revolve around it (Pérez-Peña).  One
significant number is that in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, the United States had over 33,000 deaths, which were
70% of total murders, over half of total suicides, and many more undocumented
deaths. Also, the United States has the fourth-highest percentage of gun
homicides per 100,000 people, with a staggering amount of 3.82 deaths. When
compared to other developed countries with stricter gun control laws, it is
significantly higher (Japan: 0.29 deaths,

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France:
1.20 deaths, UK: 0.96 deaths, and Germany: 0.70 deaths) (Gopnik). Therefore,
gun control advocates argue that if the United States have stricter gun control
laws, the gun homicide rate would obviously drop. While gun rights advocates
argue that looser gun control laws will create a safer society, gun control
advocates say that it is actually the complete opposite. Their reasoning is
that if more people carry firearms, there will be a higher chance of what would
have been a normal argument turn into a violent crime involving guns. Lastly,
to contradict an argument by gun rights advocates, which is that “a gun
restriction or ban would not have any effect on gun violence in America.”. Gun
control supporters state that this is an invalid argument. This is because as
documented in many ways throughout history, changes were often first thought of
as being too insignificant. Over time, they proved otherwise, and caused great
changes. (Gopnik). Therefore, the same concept is with guns. If you first
start, the outcome might not seem very obvious at first, but it will be in
time.

          However, while some argue that there
should be stricter gun control, many people disagree. Their arguments mainly
consist of the Constitution, and ideas about self-defense. For example, as a
journalist states, “We’re a pretty new nation…we’re still at the stage of
‘rebellious teenager’, and we don’t like it when the government tells us what
to do. People don’t trust government to do what’s right. They are very
attracted to the idea of a nation of individuals…” (Goldberg). As he states,
gun rights advocates are hold very strongly on their belief on their Second
Amendment rights, which gives citizens the right to bear arms, and do not
hesitate to mention it when debating their case for supporting gun rights. In
addition, there is an argument that citizens owning firearms actually make
society better. This is because they believe that a person with a gun can stop
a potential shooter before the situation gets out of control. (Pérez-

 

Peña).
Lastly, they believe that if a potential shooter knows that the citizen has a
high chance of being armed, they will have a less chance of targeting them.

          With gun control as a very prominent
topic in the United States today, it is crucial to determine the governmental
concepts that play a role in this debate. The most obvious and important
concept is federalism, which is defined as “The distribution of power in an
organization, between a central authority and the constituent.” In the United
States, the central authority is the federal government, and the constituents are
the states and their governments. Because of this, federalism is very important
to consider when evaluating the debate. One reason is that gun control is connected
to federalism is because gun control is connected to both the 2nd
amendment and the 10th amendment. The 2nd amendment gives
citizens the right to bear arms, and the 10th amendment gives the
main concept of federalism. It says that all the rights that are not given by
the US Constitution nor prohibited to the states belong to the states.
(Constitution). This is very important because while the 2nd
amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms, it was made in the 1700s,
where firearms were more necessary because of the living conditions. However,
living in a fully developed country in 2018 means that it is not as necessary
to always possess a firearm, some argue. Also, gun control relates to
federalism because as of right now, the states have individual laws regarding
possessing firearms. Because of this, federalism is incorporated because the
states are making the laws in their areas, not the federal government. These are
two ways federalism is related to gun control.

          In conclusion, the debate on gun
control is a very important topic that has two opposite sides, each with
varying reasons for their opinions. Gun control advocates explain the
statistics of guns and how they have affected people’s lives. For example, the
rate of gun homicide in the US is significantly higher than in other fully
developed countries. Gun rights advocates state that their rights, particularly
the 2nd amendment, enables them to possess firearms. Federalism also
plays a significant role in the debate on gun control, because of reasons such
as whether states should have a right to decide who can possess guns, and how
the 10th amendment describes which rights the states have, and which
are restricted to the federal government. Gun rights advocates who claim that
the 2nd amendment gives them the complete right to bear arms are
terribly mistaken. Society in the 1700s was radically different, with customs
that are not used today. For example, the writers of the Constitution may have
had guns to prevent slave rebellions, because slavery was very popular. Because
of this, the 2nd amendment should be repealed because it is
completely unnecessary for US citizens to bear arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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