26 April 2013
Critical Thinking Essay
Gun Control in America
- I know we were supposed to pick an article that we read, but I really wanted to write on the issue of gun control because of all the recent events. I think it is as relevant as any topic we read and relates to many ethical and social issues, and I will incorporate a look at both sides and my opinion as well. Hope that is OK.
The term gun control as it is used in the United States refers to “any action taken by the federal government or by state or local governments to regulate, through legislation, the sale, purchase, safety, and use of handguns and other types of firearms by individual citizens.” The political and social debate over the question of how much gun control is appropriate has been an extremely polarized one for over a decade. In recent months, the Colorado theater massacre, the Newtown shootings and other subsequent school shootings have pushed the gun control debate further into the public eye.
Discussions of the topic tend to revolve around three major talking points: A sociological, an ethical and a legal dimension. From the point of view of social science, the arguments concern the efficacy of gun control laws in relation to reducing violent crime. The ethical point of view pits the right to bear arms against the protection of citizens and prevention of crime. The legal question is the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on the issue of whether or not the right to bear arms extends to private citizens or applies only to a so-called "well-regulated militia.” Some of the restrictions that have been proposed or enacted into law include background checks and waiting periods for individuals who want to purchase a firearm, regulation of secondary market sales, concealment laws, bans on small and lightweight guns, and a controversial ban on assault weapons.
Guns are extremely powerful weapons. They can cause...