Should Assault Weapons be Banned in the United States?

assault imageby Marshal Fenster

Banning assault weapons is not the answer. The banning of assault weapons not only violates our rights as Americans but says we cannot be trusted to make decisions on our own, while also leaving many of us defenseless. You’re either for the ban or opposed of it, rarely do you find someone who finds common ground between the two. Having seen all the mass shootings in the news lately this topic has struck me emotionally, forcing me to formulate an opinion on this debate. An overwhelming majority of people say a ban would be the solution, but what most pro ban supporters fail to realize is that a ban on assault weapons will do very little in affecting the crime rate in the United States.  As an avid hunter and someone who appreciates as well as participates in and appreciates marksmanship sports such as skeet shooting and competition shooting this issue affects me in more ways than just the average American.

A case study conducted by the FBI regarding homicide rates stated that in, “2011, of the 12,664 murders in the U.S., 6,220, or just under half, were committed using a handgun, while only 323, or around 2.5 percent, of murders were used with rifles” (Wrigley par.3). And out of the, “143 weapons used in 62 mass shootings that occurred since 1982, 20 were assault weapons”(Wrigley par.5). This study demonstrates my point that assault weapons don’t account for as much crimes as we may be lead on to believe. I’ve hardly ever heard of gun crime on the streets involving assault rifles, they are more often than not handgun related. I believe if anyone is truly concerned with the gun related crime rate they should center their focus much more heavily on handguns and leave the assault weapons as an afterthought for the time being.

Where I believe we truly fail as a nation in regards to this issue is how regularly available these weapons really are to those who are mentally deficient. For someone who is purchasing a weapon to be turned down by way of mental deficiency they must be, “adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution” (qtd in Fox par.7). That only excludes those who have an obvious and in most cases severe mental problem, when there are plenty of people who are not admitted into mental institutions who should not be allowed to own a firearm. No one is going to argue that a mentally ill person should be able to own a gun, yet somehow in these horrific mass shootings often times the shooter obtained their guns legally. I believe that since there is such room for improvement in this area of the law, focusing on proper screening is where the biggest impact can be made.

Another reason I believe we should not place a ban assault weapons other than the fact they don’t equate for a significant amount of crime, is the severe economic impact it would have on us as a nation.  “Restricting the manufacturing and the sale of a class of weapons is going to be devastating for the economy” (Cox Par.8). In 2011 estimated sales of firearms were in excess of 30 billion, demonstrating that the firearm industry plays a major role in our economy. I believe gun retailers and manufactures would report significant losses thus resulting in major downsizing within the companies leaving thousands jobless.

I hate the argument presented by so many pro ban supporters that if people wish to keep these assault weapons legalized then they must be ok with innocent lives being lost in these mass shootings. As if by standing up for gun legislation somehow means they’re automatically in favor of these mass shootings and are ok with these tragedies. Make no mistake on where I stand, however. I do not condone the misuse of assault weapons in anyway, but rather believe the individuals’ judgment is the major issue here, not a weapon that holds no power without a person’s control.  I strongly stand by the notion that you are free to do whatever you please as long as it’s within your legal rights. And seeing how under the United States Constitution the second amendment clearly states that we have the right to bear arms, which includes assault weapons. So we as Americans are doing nothing wrong by owning assault weapons and using them for leisure activities in which we cause no harm to anyone. It goes back to the age old phrase that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Works Cited

Cox, Matthew. “Assault Weapons Ban Will Kill Jobs.” Military.com. Copyright 2013 Military.com, 18 Jan.2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.

Fox, Lauren. “Mental Health Legislation, Not Gun Control, Focus of Congress after Navy Yard Shooting. “US News. U.S.News & World Report, 17 Sept. 2013.Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Wrigley, Will. “John Boozman: Assault Weapons Ban Pointless Because Criminals ‘Don’t Use Them'” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.

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5 thoughts on “Should Assault Weapons be Banned in the United States?

  1. I completely understand what you’re saying. It is true that most violent crimes in our nation are involving hand guns, not assault weapons. Although, we do need to look into the fact that there is a possibility that these assault weapons can possibly get into the hands of the wrong person and can easily cause a horrible reaction. Perhaps the answer wouldn’t be to ban these weapons completely, just make it more difficult to acquire them. For example, a gun as serious as an assault rifle in the wrong hands, can produce catastrophic events. This same gun in the hands of the right person, wouldn’t matter to anyone else at all. It is not a matter of banning them completely, but instead a matter of making sure they do not get into the wrong person’s hands. We do have legal rights as American citizens to bear arms, but the goal should be to make sure these weapons are in the right hands. I love the quote at the end of your paper that says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Great article. Good supportive details. In my opinion I would be in between. In a way I would support it because if we want to save our lives or the lives of our family members would should do so. Yet, I also oppose because there “might,” and I highly believe so that these guns can fall in the wrong hands. If there are guns at home it would also make it an easy access for children to get ahold of them. They might just want to play with it, but what if the guns are loaded. I am not saying that every home will be in the same situation, but I do believe that they might be some instances. Unnecessary deaths would occur and innocent lives lost.

  3. I have opinions both for and against said argument, but more for than against. I lived in Germany for a short while and they have a policy, I believe due to WWII, that bans firearms. This nationwide ban on firearms has reduced their violent crime rate considerably. However, now instead of guns they commit violent crimes with knives. Personally I’d rather be shot than have a knife go in and out of my body repeatedly. If someone desires committing a violent crime closing off their access to firearms doesn’t close off their desire to commit the crime. They will find other means of doing so, as shown above. I support the right to have firearms. Here’s a nice quote from some random meme i saw on the internet once, “Why do you need to carry a gun? Are you expecting to be robbed? I don’t expect to have a fire, but i still have a fire extinguisher”. I agree with your statement, “The banning of assault weapons not only violates our rights as Americans but says we cannot be trusted to make decisions on our own”.

  4. This was a great post! Personally I feel that it depends on your situation. If you need a weapon, for let’s say, hunting for your family so you can provide meals it would be crucial to have a weapon. To have a weapon just to have it is where we can get out self into predicaments. This is where we see people getting murdered. Don’t get me wrong we can see this in any case, whether it being someone who needs the gun or not. I personally don’t have one and wouldn’t find any use for one, but I can see both sides. I think this decision would be hard to make because it is more essential in some cases than others. This post got me thinking! I enjoyed the read!

  5. I really enjoyed this post. I feel that you provided great supporting details to back up your position on gun bans. The numbers really go to show the lack of truthful facts out there. Guns really aren’t used in crimes as often as they are thought to be. I didn’t realize that the gun market in America was so huge. If assault weapons were banned, the economy would be greatly affected.

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