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In past years, the gun control issue has been debated following cases of fatal public shootings. One of the issues has been the banning of assault weapons that has led to proposals aimed at amending gun policy in America. Statistics reveal that assault weapons comprise a paltry 1.7 percent of the total number of guns in America (Carter, 2012). Reasons given for gun possession by opponents of the ban include personal safety and protection, target shooting, and hunting. Moreover, they claim that such a ban would be an infringement on the freedom of Americans. Opponents argue that assault weapons aid in improving personal and public safety (Crooker, 2003). According to experts, the role of assault weapons in the American society is indispensable. On the other hand, proponents of the ban argue that assault weapons encourage crime and misuse of weapons. Past cases of homicide include the killings at Aurora in Colorado, Fort Hood in Texas, Tucson in Arizona, and Oak Creek in Wisconsin. Assault weapons should be banned because they encourage the infringement of people’s freedom and independence, encourage crime, and perpetuates violence.
Assault weapons encourage infringement of people’s freedom and privacy due to scrutiny and surveillance by law enforcement officers (Hirsch, 2012). Opponents of assault weapon’s ban argue that it will infringe on the privacy and freedom of the people. They argue that America is a democratic country and the right of the people to carry weapons is protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution (Robinson, 2012). However, this argument carries little weight. Legalized weaponry prompts with public safety officers to monitor civilians who own assault weapons. Civilian monitoring and scrutiny is an infringement of the privacy and freedom that American citizens are supposed to enjoy. Individuals who purchase assault weapons are closely monitored to ensure that they use their weapons for the right purposes. Monitoring of civilians is critical because one of the roles of law enforcement agencies is to prevent attacks on citizens from within and outside the country (Robinson, 2012). Holders of smaller guns such as pistols and handguns are not monitored because the weapons are not as harmful as assault weapons. The damage that assault weapons can cause is much greater than the damage that less powerful guns can cause (Belevich, 2013). Therefore, banning assault weapons will allow everyone to enjoy their privacy, freedom, and independence as stipulated in the American constitution.
Assault weapons have contributed largely to the prevalence of homicide and mass killings in America (Matthews, 2014). According to government reports, approximately 7 percent of reported cases of homicide involve the use of assault weapons. In past years, several cases of homicide have been reported. For instance, in 2006, Kyle Aaron Huff killed 6 people while Tyler Peterson also killed 6 people in 2007 (Hirsch, 2012). In 2012, 12 people were killed and several injured at movie theatre in Colorado. Proponents of the ban argue that guns should be limited to target shooting, hunting, and antique collections. Many citizens have died from firearm homicides and banning assault weapons would contribute towards the reduction of such cases (Robinson, 2012). Citizens do not need assault weapons because they are highly dangerous to both owners and the public. The use of assault weapons in many cases of homicide is a good enough reason for banning them (Belevich, 2013).
Improving the safety of the public would be the major goal of executing a ban. Opponents argue that such a ban would encourage the proliferation of black market dealers. However, banning assault weapons will make it easy for law enforcement officers to track illegal weapons because they will have a small number of individuals to monitor (Richman, 2014). Civilians who possess assault weapons argue that they use them during hunting. However, many cases of mass killings have been executed using assault guns because they are highly powerful. It is impractical for civilians to argue that they should be allowed to possess the weapons for hunting and personal protection. The weapons are highly dangerous when they are in the hands of criminals. Therefore, banning them would serve to foster public security and welfare.
Assault weapons should be banned because they perpetuate crime (Norwood, 2003). Assault weapons are openly sold online and in black markets where criminals can acquire them easily without the notice of law enforcement officers. The use of assault weapons to commit crime is evident from the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that led to the demise of 26 people, twenty of whom were children (DeLuca, 2013). The gunman was able to carry out the killings because he was in possession of several semiautomatic guns. The guns belonged to the gunman’s mother. However, he was able to access them and commit the crime. Laws banning possession of assault weapons should be passed because they are highly dangerous. Many of the past mass killings involved the use of assault weapons such as AK-47 and AR-15 semiautomatic rifles (Norwood, 2003). These rapid-fire assault weapons should be in the possession of law enforcement officers only (Reynolds, 2003). It is unsafe for a civilian to own such weapons.
Banning assault weapons would reduce the occurrence of crime and avoid the occurrence of such mass killings. Mentally unstable people were responsible for several cases of mass killings. However, it is also dangerous for mentally stable civilians to own highly powerful guns. Civilians should be allowed to carry pistols, handguns, and other small guns that are not as powerful as assault weapons (Richman, 2014). The Second Amendment protects civilians against the infringement of the right to own weaponry for personal protection. However, it is impractical and dangerous for civilians to be in possession of assault weapons that are mainly used by law enforcement officers during combat. Pistols and handguns are safer compared to assault weapons (Reynolds, 2003).
The gun control debate has lingered in the American political scene for a long time. One of the core issues is whether assault weapons should be banned or not. Several cases have been presented for and against the ban. Opponents of the ban argue that it will infringe on the right of Americans to own weaponry for protection as provided by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. On the other hand, proponents argue that it will improve public safety and perpetuate individual freedom and independence. Numerous cases of recent cases of mass killings involved the use of assault weapons that were either legal or illegal. The weapons should be banned because the ban will improve public safety and save lives. In addition, it will encourage the enjoyment of individual freedom and independence due to reduced monitoring of civilians who own assault weapons. Civilians should be allowed to possess handguns and pistols that are sufficient for personal protection. Assault weapons are dangerous and should therefore be banned.
Belevich, A. (2013). Assault Weapons Should be Banned. Web.
Carter, G. L. (2012). Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law. New York: ABC-CLIO.
Crooker, C. E. (2003). Gun Control and Gun Rights. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.
DeLuca, M. (2013). Why Gun Groups Say No Way to Assault Weapons Ban. Web.
Hirsch, L. (2012). Assault Weapons Ban: It is Common Sense. Web.
Matthews, J. (2014). For Lives and Liberty: Banning Assault Weapons in America. Web.
Norwood, B. L. (2003). Gun Control. New York: Xlibris Corporation.
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Reynolds, J. (2003). A people Armed and Free: The Truth about the Second Amendment. New York: Author House.
Richman, J. (2014). Assault Weapons: What Are They, and Should They be Banned?. Web.
Robinson, E. (2012). 20 Reasons Why Assault Weapons should be Banned Now. Web.