Informed Means Armed: The Complete Guide to the Gun Control Debate

Gun control and gun control policy are topics that frequently make headlines across the country and even internationally. The debate over how to most effectively manage gun ownership and use has been raging for decades, if not centuries, in the U.S., but it’s particularly heated right now. In response to recent mass shootings, Democrats have led efforts to tighten gun restrictions, proposing universal background checks, the red flag law that was recently signed into law in Massachusetts (and may be coming soon to another state near you), a ban on assault weapons, and a high-capacity magazine ban. They’ve also proposed banning bump stocks, which are devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at an even faster rate than fully automatic ones (which are illegal for most people to own).On the other side of the argument, Republicans have largely opposed efforts to restrict access or ownership of guns. Some have pushed for measures such as arming teachers in schools; requiring proof of citizenship or residence before purchasing a firearm; allowing only certain types of guns (such as those made from 3D printers) or magazines; and making it harder for people with mental illnesses or who have been convicted of violent crimes to own firearms—but much less than what Democrats have proposed. In this article, we will explore both sides of this contentious issue.

Defining Gun Control and Gun Control Laws

To begin understanding the gun control debate, we must first understand what gun control laws are and how they differ from gun control policy.Gun control laws are statutes (laws passed by Congress) that address issues such as who can own guns and what types of guns they are allowed to own. The process of passing these laws is called “legislation,” and there are many ways this can happen.Gun control policy is a set of ideas about what we should do with gun control laws. For example, if there is a proposal to ban assault weapons, then that is a policy idea, not a law. This policy idea is explained in a document called a “bill,” and it is debated in Congress (and possibly other legislative bodies). This might also include things such as funding for gun research, changing the way we report or collect data on gun violence, or other policy issues related to gun control.

Why Is the Debate Over Gun Control So Fierce?

The debate over gun control is so fierce because the issues of public safety and Second Amendment rights are both extremely important to Americans. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights advocacy groups argue that banning certain guns or creating more regulations on who can buy them will not reduce crime and may even increase it, as those who wish to do harm will still have easy access to guns. They argue that the best way to prevent gun violence is to allow all law-abiding citizens—including veterans, members of the military, veterans, people with mental illnesses, and members of minority groups who have often been negatively affected by gun violence—easy and unrestricted access to firearms so they can defend themselves if needed.

Pros of Restricting Access to Guns

Here are some of the potential pros of restricting access to guns:- Potentially fewer violent crimes – The biggest reason to support stricter gun control laws is the hope that they will lead to fewer violent crimes, including mass shootings. Although there are no guarantees, the data suggest that increasing regulations and restricting access to guns could greatly reduce the number of violent crimes involving firearms, including mass shootings, suicides, and even police shootings, which are surprisingly rare.- Decreased risk of suicide – The risk of suicide is particularly high for people who own firearms, and some research suggests that having access to guns is a significant risk factor for suicide. Suicide is among the top causes of death in America, so any steps we can take to reduce it are likely to save significant numbers of lives.- Decreased risk of accidental deaths – Another major reason to support stricter gun control laws is the hope that they will lead to fewer accidental deaths, particularly among children. Accidental deaths from firearms occur much more frequently than accidental deaths from other types of dangerous tools or items, such as chainsaws. As with suicides, any steps we can take to reduce this tragic and preventable type of death are likely to save many lives.

Cons of Restricting Access to Guns

Here are some of the potential cons of restricting access to guns:- Potentially fewer people will feel safe – One of the major concerns about stricter gun control laws is that they could make certain people feel less safe. This could apply to many people, including those who live in high-crime areas, law enforcement officers, those who may need to defend themselves against an attacker, and people who want to hunt. It is also possible that certain restrictions could make some people feel less safe by decreasing their ability to defend themselves.- Potentially less hunting – Another potential problem with stricter gun control laws is that they could lead to fewer people hunting. Hunting is a legal and important activity in many parts of the U.S., and it also provides a source of nutrition for many families. However, hunting is also more likely to be done by people who are well-off and live in rural areas, so hunting may not be a critical source of food for many people.- Potentially less inclusive society – Finally, one argument against stricter gun control laws is that they could make society less inclusive. By making it harder for certain groups of people to own or use guns, society could become less inclusive for people in those groups. This could disproportionately affect veterans, people from lower-income backgrounds, people with mental illnesses, and members of minority groups.

Pros of Allowing Unlimited Access to Guns

Here are some of the potential pros of allowing unlimited access to guns:- Potentially fewer home break-ins – One argument in favor of owning guns is that they can be used as a line of defense against home break-ins. This defense is not completely reliable, as it is difficult to know when and where a home break-in will occur, but it could be more effective in some situations if guns were more widely available.- Potentially better prepared communities – Another potential benefit of allowing people to own guns is that it could make it easier for people to defend themselves and others in the event of a natural disaster. This could be particularly important for people in remote areas.

Cons of Allowing Unlimited Access to Guns

Here are some of the potential cons of allowing unlimited access to guns:- Potentially more homicides – The biggest potential problem with allowing unlimited access to guns is that they could lead to more homicides, particularly those involving firearms. Homicides are already the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 34 in the U.S.- Potentially more suicides – Along these lines, more access to guns could also lead to more suicides, particularly among people with mental illnesses.- Potentially more accidental deaths – Similarly, more access to guns could also lead to more accidental deaths.- Potentially less inclusive society – Finally, more access to guns could also make society less inclusive for people in certain groups, such as children, law enforcement officers, and people with mental illnesses.

Should We Allow Unlimited Access to Guns?

Clearly, both sides of this debate are passionate about their positions on gun control, and both have strong arguments. It’s important to note that this isn’t really a debate between two sides but rather a debate within a side, as both sides of the gun control debate are part of the same conversation.That said, there are a few important points to consider when weighing the arguments for and against stricter gun control laws:- Things don’t change quickly – First, it’s important to remember that gun control laws and policy aren’t something that happens quickly. They usually take a long time to pass, if they pass at all. What we’re seeing now is the result of years of gun control debates and challenges, and we can expect this debate to continue for years to come.- History suggests results – Second, the history of gun control laws and policies in other countries suggests that they do lead to fewer violent crimes. There are many examples of this, including Japan, Australia, the U.K., and a number of other European countries.- Cultural changes are important – Finally, it’s important to remember that cultural changes are slow but have a significant impact on society and how it functions. Gun control is a cultural issue, and we need to remember that cultural changes take time.


This article explores the debate between those who want more gun control and those who want less gun control. We’ve defined gun control, talked about the reasons advocates have for wanting it, and explored some of the potential drawbacks. We’ve also discussed the opposite arguments that advocates for looser gun laws make, and shown that both sides have good points to make

Leave a Comment