This is going to be a fairly long post; you’ll probably know which side I’m on by the end.
People are worried (and rightly so) that their guns will be taken away. All guns. I think that’s just a ridiculous notion. The often quoted second amendment comes into play here. What does the second amendment allow, though? Not much of anything. The second amendment to the constitution was written quite a while ago, December 15th 1791 to be exact. The issue therefore shouldn’t really be whether or not we should be allowed to own, purchase or carry weapons that weren’t around before then. Furthermore you aren’t allowed to buy machine guns; you’re not allowed to buy tanks, submarines, missiles, etc. There already are restrictions in place for all sorts of ridiculous things. What really is the issue about putting assault rifles (back) on that list? Do you need an assault rifle for hunting? For protection? No. For either of those uses they’re not well suited at all.
There are guns used for hunting that I think should be legal. There are guns that are well-suited for protecting yourself, that I have more of a problem with. The main issue is about protecting your home and your family from intruders. For that a handgun would probably be way better suited than an assault rifle since you can aim and fire it faster. Do I think that anyone should be able to buy a handgun, though? No. As charts in this motherjones article show there were 131,246 accidental non-fatal shootings between 2003 and 2010. Over five thousand accidental fatal shootings. With those numbers I would not feel safe about a gun being in my home.
Now for armed robbery and muggings. What we’re assuming is that we’re up against someone who has already drawn a gun. Someone who has a gun pointed at us. No trained shooter (cop, armed forces, etc.) would take the risk of going for their own gun in this situation. The bad guy needs to only do one thing, pull the trigger. You need to somehow get to your gun (even if it’s just reaching for your belt), get it out, take the safety off, aim it and shoot it. All that before the bad guy has a chance to pull the trigger. It just is not possible.
I incidentally also know someone in law enforcement who is afraid of a ban on assault weapons and that is something that I don’t understand. He also hasn’t answered why he would be in favor of other people having assault rifles which would make it a very difficult job for a cop if one were to have to go up against that. The ‘famous’ north Hollywood shootout should be a warning for anyone in law enforcement. The cops in this case were severely outgunned and couldn’t penetrate the robbers’ body armor with their guns. The robbers with their assault rifles fired 1,300 rounds of ammunition at the cops. The cops had to go to nearby gun stores and get assault rifles. How ridiculous is that? The same situation would have occurred had there been people in the movie theater of the batman shooting. He was wearing body armor while using an assault rifle. Do you really think you have a chance against that with your handgun and 9 rounds of ammunition?
Now for some other claims. “Criminals don’t care about laws”. That is seriously over simplified and pretty retarded. If you really think about that statement it says criminals should be able to buy guns, because they will have them anyway. No they shouldn’t. There are laws against giving guns to criminals. They are good. I think there should be more laws that make the punishments even more severe if you’re not allowed to have a gun and yet you do. I think that punishments should escalate for people who get caught with a gun. I think there should be added punishments for having a gun that was stolen. I think there should be added punishments for having a gun that was used to commit crimes. I think all these would make it far less likely for someone to carry a gun that isn’t supposed to have one. Obviously the people who are already on the run will not care that much, but even then it would make it far easier to put violent criminals away for long periods of time. Still someone who has a felony for selling weed will likely not buy a gun from a shady source knowing he could go to jail for a long time for just carrying it. I really think this is how you make America safer, less guns in the hands of criminals, through laws that don’t target law abiding citizens.
Now for the more recent claims of people “It’s not the guns that caused those tragedies it’s the mental health of the shooters”. I agree with that. Since this Washington post article has some nice charts that show that most cases had killers use weapons that they had obtained legally. I think the only solution to this is universal health care since obviously a lot of people can’t afford to see a doctor every time they feel something’s wrong, they’re way less likely to see a psychologist, even if a doctor thinks they should be seeing one. But then I guess you’re arguing that people of questionable mental health should be on some kind of list that prevents them from buying guns? Or do you just think that anyone buying a gun should pass a psychological exam? I’m all for the second one.
One claim of some people that said there would be far less break-ins if everyone had a gun at home I always thought was pretty amusing. Recently The Journal News published a map that showed homes with registered guns and sparked some significant outrage because “Now everyone knows where the legal guns are kept, a valuable piece of information for criminals,” as a commenter stated. Pretty big contradiction there. But I do agree with the latter point. Criminals get their guns from people stealing them from your home. If you had less legal guns the number of illegal guns would also drop. There are millions of guns that get taken away from criminals. There needs to be an influx of guns to keep the criminals armed.
The second amendment doesn’t really give you any rights. There are restrictions on a lot of ‘arms’ already. I think the US should legalize guns. I think you should be able to buy a hunting rifle after proving that you can skin a deer. I think you should be able to buy a handgun after passing a background check, a psychological test, and wait a few days.