Every year, I have to write a essay for my LA class. This year we had to write an argumentative essay about an topic we could find. Because I am in the AP Gov class this year, my teacher told me I should choose a topic related to AP. I decided to go with the topic of Gun Rights because it is a topic that I could strongly take a side and it is a recent topic of discussion in the US right now. So without further ado, here it is!
“On July 20th, 2012, a gunman opened fire in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado. The event was a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the latest in the Batman movie series. Because it was the opening night, the theater was crowded with excited fans, some in costume for the event” (Shooting in Colorado). That terrible night was another tiresome and mournful account of yet another shooting. No one asked for it. The weeks following were overflowing with fear and caution. People were scared for not only their own lives, but worried that something like this could happen to anyone they know at any moment. Shootings are too unpredictable and happen too often. There needs to be something to stop people from buying these killing machines. Military grade weapons should be banned from the market because wide-scale shootings are too easily staged with these guns, any terrorist or person looking to harm others can just waltz into a Wal-mart and buy these guns, and these weapons are unnecessary for any law-abiding citizen to own for the purpose of hunting or self-defense.
Reducing the amount of military style weapons from the market could very well reduce the amount of large shootings that can and will be staged. For example, a shooting was staged at Westwood Elementary where the perpetrator used the AR-15 gun, which is a semi-automatic rifle. This gun rated as the most sold and used gun in the United States and in many places around the world. With this gun, he killed twenty innocent children, who have barely lived their lives, and his own mother the very same day (Smith). It is said that the AR-15, which is a civilian version of the army’s widely used M4, is just like any other hunting rifle and is no more powerful than other guns for hunting. What many of them do not know is that this gun, the AR-15, can be outfitted with high-caliber bullets, silenced barrels, extended clips, and high power scopes. All of these extensions turn this so called harmless civilian hunting rifle into a military grade machine gun. The idea that since this gun is only a semi-automatic rifle it can only fire as fast as other hunting rifles is wrong. With an extended clip, which can be bought online and in some stores, allows this gun to hold up to almost thirty bullets and this gives the capability to any man on the street to kill twenty or more unsuspecting children at an elementary school.
Banning these weapons from the market will create a barricade for any detrimental people to get their hands on these guns, of which they can deal immense amounts of damage. After the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where the attacker used many powerful weapons and tear gas canisters, it was concluded that all of his weapons and hundreds of packs of ammunition were bought legally. “One of the weapons he used, a military style semi-automatic rifle, was banned under the Assault Weapons Ban which the House of Representatives refused to vote on when it expired in 2004” (Shooting in Colorado). This is a disturbing fact that some man could walk into a wal-mart and buy the guns of which he could kill many innocent, law-abiding people who do not deserve it for something that may have caused him to get angry. The even more disconcerting fact is that he could go anywhere and no one would ever see it coming. Shootings are almost impossible to predict ahead of the time as most shooters have no previous record. Some believe that if a person is dedicated enough they can and will get their hand on any weapons and yes, they can, but a ban would stop them from actually following through with their plans and buying the gun. Most people these days are all about ease of access and taking the simple way to achieve something. Getting a gun from the black market and not getting caught is much more difficult and an insane amount of work, which will scare off the mad teenagers or middle-aged adults that are just trying to get revenge or let off steam. A ban on these powerful weapons could have gotten this Aurora shooter caught before the act or it may have stopped the shooting in all entirety.
Military style assault weapons serve absolutely no purpose in the hands of lawful citizens. The only real use of these weapons are for killing other human beings and even gun enthusiasts are saying that we would be better off without them. “I have used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now I own two handguns, four shotguns, and three rifles, two with scopes… we cherish the right to own a gun. But none of us want to own an assault weapon because we have no desire to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace and see how many victims we can accumulate before we are finally shot or take our own lives” (Should Assault Weapons Be Banned?). There is a fine line between what is needed for a gun to be used for hunting or protection versus what is excessive on a gun. No one needs a automatic gun with high-caliber bullets and a silencer for defending themselves. The one and only purpose these guns serve is killing people; that is why they are the first pick for the military. Many are opposed of the ban because they feel that it is violating their 2nd amendment and the government is taking away their freedom. But think that over for a second. In what situation, would a person need a firearm like those mentioned before? Does freedom really mean having the ability to take other lives whenever and wherever? It makes so much more sense for a family to own a pistol for defense emergencies or a single-shot rifle for hunting. Military weapons serve no purpose invading the lives of citizens. The only thing they do is add a constant fear that at any moment some could very well use the thing many call freedom to take lives of the people around them.
There needs to be a ban instituted on military grade weapons for the reasons that guns are too easily obtained by any person, without these guns, shootings would be less common as the tools to go through with these plans will be harder to get, and these guns are just plain unnecessary for people to own. Action is required now. As the president of our country said, “No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society… but that can’t be an excuse for inaction” (Obama). The only way to fix this problem is to take action and stop these dangerous weapons from infesting our lives. A ban of these weapons has in many ways proved to be beneficial to our society and would protect us from ourselves. Freedom is the principle of America and in no way should that freedom be limited, but it is known that there are some responsibilities that we as a people cannot handle. And recently, it has become very apparent that we cannot be trusted to used these weapons for anything but evil.
“Shooting in Colorado.” NewsCurrents Read to Know. 30 Jul. 2012: n.p. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.
“Should Assault Weapons Be Banned?” New York Times Upfront (Vol. 142, No. 1) 2009 sep 07: 29 DB – SIRS Discoverer. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.
Smith, Patricia. “The Gun Debate.” New York Times Upfront. 28 Jan. 2013: 6+. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.