By: Olivia Bell-Cohen, Wessede Barrett, Ricky Plascencia, Cynthia Ivanna Garcia
Gun Control has become a controversial discussion in the past couple decades responding to school shootings and civilian homicides using firearms. A vast majority of debates address whether gun control increases public safety, or whether it reduces public safety. According to statistics there are approximately 94.3 guns per every 100 U.S. citizens, illustrating America’s infatuation with firearms.
The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution states ”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.” However, when the 2nd Amendment was adopted firearms consisted of bolt action pistols and muskets which caused minimal damage compared to today’s automatic assault rifles and handguns. Gun control originated as a means of limiting African Americans rights to bear arms. As the Black Panthers’ recognition soared a dominantly white male opposition rose in order to limit the access to firearms in the black community. The National Rifle Association (NRA), what we know as an aggressive pro firearms and gun manufacturing group once lobbied and wrote federal gun-control laws. The thought of black men armed and patrolling the streets ‘policing’ the police as a way to protest racism sent a shockwave through the white community which responded with strict gun control laws as an act of discrimination. Since then, the NRA has nearly reversed their policies and arguments and overruled their previous laws.
In the past 50 years automatic weapons have gained prominence resulting in a new wave of gun control laws enacted to place restrictions on gun ownership and possession. Nevertheless, organizations like the NRA continues to oppose these laws as a fundamental violation of 2nd Amendment rights. Although there are also groups like the Violence Policy Center working to increase gun control in the interest of public safety, the fight for stricter laws covering the sales for firearms is still an issue.
For this investigation we focused on these narratives;
- Gun Control Increases Public Safety
- Gun Control Decreases Public Safety
- How Relevant Is The 2nd Amendment Today?