Gun Ownership Pros And Cons Essay Esl

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Gun control is a hot button issue, especially in the wake of so many recent, tragic mass shootings. It is also a polarizing issue, which means that it tends to divide people.

When you’re writing an argumentative essay, it generally doesn’t matter what side of an issue you take. What matters is that you take a side and support whichever position you choose.

In the case of the gun control issue, you could plausibly—and defensibly—take either side: strict regulation up to and including an outright ban on firearms or complete legalization of individual gun ownership.

Either way, you’re going to need strong evidence.

With this in mind, I’ve sourced 12 gun control articles from online publications that illustrate both sides of the debate, plus two articles that can help you understand the background of the issue.

For each article, I’ve included the author’s basic point and why the article is a worthwhile resource, as well as citations for APA and MLA 7th and MLA 8th editions.

No matter what side you argue, this post will point you to some credible sources for your argumentative gun control essay.

6 Supporting Gun Control Articles

Pro-gun control article #1: Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?

This article discusses what is perhaps the greatest source of contention in the entire debate: the Second Amendment’s wording.

The author quotes former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who advocates changing the Second Amendment’s confusing language to clarify that it only applies to those serving in a militia.

Formerly called BusinessWeek until 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek has been around since 1929 and has earned numerous industry publication awards.

APA Citation

Barrett, P. M. (2014, February 10). Gun control and the Constitution: Should we amend the Second Amendment? Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-20/gun-control-and-the-constitution-should-we-amend-the-second-amendment

7th Edition MLA Citation

Barrett, Paul M. “Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?” Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Barrett, Paul M. “Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?” Bloomberg Businessweek, 20 Feb. 2014, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-20/gun-control-and-the-constitution-should-we-amend-the-second-amendment. Accessed 10 July 2016.

A quick note about citations. I’ve included both MLA 7th edition and MLA 8th edition, as well as APA, citations for each article that you can use if you decide to reference the source in your gun control essay.

Because the MLA 8th edition went into effect in early 2016, not all professors/schools will require the use of the new format. Check with your professor to see which edition he or she prefers.

The 8th edition of MLA also suggests that you include the URL in each entry. Including the date you accessed an online source is now optional. I’ve included both pieces of information in my examples.

(Again, check with your professor to see what he or she prefers.)

Pro-gun control article #2: It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.

Bovy tackles the gun issue by arguing that the debate should not be about closing loopholes in gun control. She doesn’t argue that specific types of guns should be banned, but argues that all guns should be banned.

This article is published by New Republic, which “…was founded in 1914 as a journal of opinion which seeks to meet the challenge of a new time” (NewRepublic.com). “Today, the New Republic is the voice of creative thinkers, united by a collective desire to challenge the status quo” (NewRepublic.com).

APA Citation

Bovey, P. M. (2015, December 10). It’s time to ban guns. Yes, all of them. New Republic. Retrieved from http://www.newrepublic.com/article/125498/its-time-ban-guns-yes-them

7th Edition MLA Citation

Bovey, Phoebe, M. “It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.” New Republic. New Republic, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Bovey, Phoebe, M. “It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.” New Republic, 10 Dec. 2015, newrepublic.com/article/125498/its-time-ban-guns-yes-them. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #3: Battleground America

This well-researched article was written in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting. It covers three main areas:

  • An in-depth discussion of the meaning of existing gun laws and the Second Amendment.
  • The difference between now and the time in which the Amendment was drafted.
  • How the drastically increased killing power of modern firearms makes any reference to the laws crafted two centuries ago obsolete.

LePore is a frequent contributor to TheNew Yorker, as well as many other national news magazines.

APA Citation

LePore, J. (2012, April 23). Battleground America. The New Yorker. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/23/battleground-america

7th Edition MLA Citation

LePore, Jill. “Battleground America.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

LePore, Jill. “Battleground America.” The New Yorker, 23 Apr. 2012, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/23/battleground-america. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #4: Why We Can’t Talk About Gun Control

Hamblin discusses one of the most problematic aspects of the gun control debate: the fact that it is so politicized.

Here, the author explains his opinion by framing it in his own experiences. He states that he lost his job when he published a column arguing that it’s possible to regulate guns without infringing on individuals’ rights.

Hamblin is a frequent contributor and senior editor at TheAtlantic.

APA Citation

Hamblin, J. (2014, June 29). Why we can’t talk about gun control. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive /2014/06/how-to-interpret-the-second-amendment/373664

7th Edition MLA Citation

Hamblin, James. “Why We Can’t Talk About Gun Control.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 29 June 2014. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Hamblin, James. “Why We Can’t Talk About Gun Control.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group, 29 June 2014, www.theatlantic.com/politics /archive/2014/06/how-to-interpret-the-second-amendment/373664. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #5: California’s proposed gun laws won’t change our culture of violence, but they will make us safer

This editorial by the the LA Times Editorial Board explains that, even though California has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, there are still many loopholes. The editorial board argues that stricter regulations for purchasing guns and ammunition need to be in place to stop gun violence.

The Los Angeles Times is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper that has been in publication for more than 134 years.

APA Citation

Times Editorial Board. (2016, April 22). California’s proposed gun laws won’t change our culture of violence, but they will make us safer. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-adv-california-guns-20160422-story

7th Edition MLA Citation

Times Editorial Board. “California’s Proposed Gun Laws Won’t Change Our Culture of Violence, but They Will Make Us Safer.” LATimes.comLos Angeles Times Media Group, 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Times Editorial Board. “California’s Proposed Gun Laws Won’t Change Our Culture of Violence, but They Will Make Us Safer.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Media Group, 22 Apr. 2016, www.latimes.com/opinion/ editorials/la-ed-adv-california-guns-20160422-story. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #6: 4 Pro-Gun Arguments We’re Sick of Hearing

Though you might not automatically think hard-hitting news when you think of Rolling Stone magazine, the author of this brief article succinctly sums up four common pro-gun arguments and explains why she doesn’t feel they’re effective.

Rolling Stone covers a variety of cultural, music, social, and political news and is a well-established magazine.

APA Citation

Marcotte, A. (2015, October 1). 4 pro-gun arguments we’re sick of hearing. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/ politics/news/4-pro-gun-arguments-were-sick-of-hearing-20151001

7th Edition MLA Citation

Marcotte, Amanda. “4 Pro-Gun Arguments We’re Sick of Hearing.” Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Marcotte, Amanda. “4 Pro-Gun Arguments We’re Sick of Hearing.” Rolling Stone, 1 Oct. 2015, www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/4-pro-gun-arguments-were-sick-of-hearing-20151001. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Now that we’ve examined articles in favor of gun control, let’s take a look at a few articles that are against gun control.

6 Opposing Gun Control Articles

Anti-gun control article #1: 5 arguments against gun control — and why they are all wrong

Published in the LA Times, this op-ed piece is written by Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes, who are the founders of the gun violence prevention site Armed With Reason.

The authors argue that gun control laws don’t deter criminals and cannot prevent mass shootings.

APA Citation

DeFillipis, E., & Hughes, D. (2016). 5 arguments against gun control—and why they are all wrong. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/ opinion/op-ed/la-oe-defilippis-hughes-gun-myths-debunked-20160708-snap-story

7th Edition MLA Citation

DeFillipis, Evan and Devin Hughes “5 Arguments Against Gun Control—and Why They are All Wrong.” LATimes.com. Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

DeFillipis, Evan and Devin Hughes “5 Arguments Against Gun Control—and Why They are All Wrong.” Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2016, www.latimes.com/ opinion/op-ed/la-oe-defilippis-hughes-gun-myths-debunked-20160708-snap-story. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #2: Gun control isn’t the answer

Wilson, an author of several books about crime and a teaching fellow at Pepperdine University, asks an interesting question: how could or would we ever get rid of the hundreds of millions of guns that already exist in the United States?

He takes the stance that banning firearms is pointless, that “the genie is out of the bottle.” He discounts the debate—driven by the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred just before he wrote the article—as being driven by election politics and, therefore, insincere. Though this source is a bit older, it still raises a valid question.

APA Citation

Wilson, J. Q. (2007, April 20). Gun control isn’t the answer. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved fromhttp://www.latimes.com/la-oe-wilson20apr20-story.html

7th Edition MLA Citation

Wilson, James Q. “Gun Control Isn’t the Answer.” LATimes.com. Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2007. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Wilson, James Q. “Gun Control Isn’t the Answer.” Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2007, www.latimes.com/la-oe-wilson20apr20-story.html. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #3: Why Gun Owners are Right to Fight Against Gun Control

Hardy argues that sweeping gun control legislation proposed by the anti-gun lobby leaves no room for compromise. He then does a U-turn and complains about the slippery-slope nature of bans on one kind of weapon, such as assault weapons or sniper rifles, leading slowly but surely to total prohibition.

Hardy fears that the gun control lobby is on a crusade to wipe out individual gun ownership altogether.

Hardy is an Arizona attorney and a Second Amendment scholar and writer.

APA Citation

Hardy, D. T. (2013, July 18). Why gun owners are right to fight against gun control. Reason.com. Retrieved from http://www.reason.com/archives/ 2013/07/18/why-second-amendment-supporters-are-righ

7th Edition MLA Citation

Hardy, David T. “Why Gun Owners are Right to Fight Against Gun Control.” Reason.com. Reason Foundation, 18 July 2013. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Hardy, David T. “Why Gun Owners are Right to Fight Against Gun Control.” Reason.com, Reason Foundation, 18 July 2013, reason.com/ archives/2013/07/18/why-second-amendment-supporters-are-righ. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #4: ‘American Sniper’ widow: Gun control won’t protect us

This opinion piece discusses one woman’s experience with gun violence and why she believes gun control is not the answer.

Taya Kyle, the writer of this article, is also the author of American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal. The movie American Sniper was based on her late husband, Chris Kyle.

APA Citation

Kyle, T. (2013, July 18). ‘American Sniper’ widow: Gun control won’t protect us. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/opinions/taya-kyle-gun-control

7th Edition MLA Citation

Kyle, Taya. “‘American Sniper’ Widow: Gun Control Won’t Protect Us.” CNN.com. Cable News Network, 18 July 2013. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Kyle, Taya. “‘American Sniper’ Widow: Gun Control Won’t Protect Us.” CNN, 18 July 2013, www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/opinions/taya-kyle-gun-control. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #5: A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control

This article includes an interview with James Jacobs, director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University School of Law. He is also a professor of constitutional law and the author of Can Gun Control Work?

In this article, Jacobs examines misunderstandings about gun control and examines the effectiveness of various gun control strategies.

APA Citation

Davidson, J. (2015, December 1). A criminologist’s case against gun control. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/4100408/a-criminologists-case-against-gun-control

7th Edition MLA Citation

Davidson, Jacob. “‘A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control.” Time.com. Time Inc., 1 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Davidson, Jacob. “‘A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control.” Time, 1 Dec. 2015, time.com/4100408/a-criminologists-case-against-gun-control. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #6: How Gun Control Kills

The author gives examples of incidents of gun violence that were stopped by people carrying guns, arguing that had such people not been on the scene, the results would have been worse.

Hunter is an aide to conservative senator Rand Paul.

APA Citation

Hunter, J. (2012, December 27). How gun control kills. The American Conservative. Retrieved from http://www.theamericanconservative.com/ articles/how-gun-control-kills

7th Edition MLA Citation

Hunter, Jack. “How Gun Control Kills.” The American Conservative. Burr Media Group, 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Hunter, Jack. “How Gun Control Kills.” The American Conservative, Burr Media Group, 27 Dec. 2012, www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-gun-control-kills. Accessed 10 July 2016.

2 Resources About the Gun Control Debate

If you’re looking for articles with more background on the subject, check out these two resources that provide an overview of gun control and a variety of discussions about the topic.

Resource #1: Guns in America

In 2015–2016, the well-respected news source CNN aired a series of programming titled Guns in America. This resource contains both articles and videos about a wide array of gun-related topics, including town-hall meetings, an interview with President Obama, gun violence statistics, interviews with the NRA, a discussion of the gun industry, and segments about guns and police.

The articles and videos are too numerous to cite in this post, but I’ve included one sample to help illustrate how you might cite these resources.

APA Citation

Simon, M., & Sanchez, R. (2015, December 4). U.S. gun violence: The story in charts and graphs. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/ 04/us/gun-violence-graphics/index.html

7th Edition MLA Citation

Simon, Mallory and Ray Sanchez. “U.S. Gun Violence: The Story in Charts and Graphs.” CNN.com. Cable News Network,4 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Simon, Mallory and Ray Sanchez. “U.S. Gun Violence: The Story in Charts and Graphs.” CNN, 4 Dec. 2015, cnn.com/2015/12/04/us/gun-violence-graphics/index.html. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Resource #2: Gun Control Explained

This article, published by the The New York Times, provides broad definitions of gun control, includes arguments both for and against gun control, and even speculates as to why it’s so difficult to solve the debate.

APA Citation

Perez-Pena, R. (2015, October 7). Gun control explained. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/ 07/us/gun-control-explained.html?_r=0

7th Edition MLA Citation

Perez-Pena, Richard. “Gun Control Explained.” NYTimes.com. The New York Times Company,7 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Perez-Pena, Richard. “Gun Control Explained.” The New York Times, 7 Oct. 2015, nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/07/us/gun-control-explained.html?_r=0. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Putting it All Together

You can cite these or any of thousands of other gun control articles to buttress your argument. (Read 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper if you need assistance researching more scholarly sources.)

Whichever side of the issue you take, make sure to mention the source, cite it properly (in-text and in your Works Cited or References list), and format direct quotations, summaries, and paraphrases per MLA 7th edition, MLA 8th edition, or APA guidelines.

If you copy the APA or MLA citations I created above, be sure to update the accessed date (10 July 2016) to the date that you accessed the article.

Keep in mind that there will be very, very few sources (including the ones I used above) that are totally objective. Most writers—and most websites—will be catering to an audience. For a fuller list of issues on both sides of the debate, check out these Top Pro & Con Arguments on gun control.

Your job is to filter out the bias and see what value a given person’s argument really has. Some of the most rabid commentators on both sides of the issue actually make good points—you just have to get past all the screaming.

Once you’re ready to start writing, check out these sample essays on gun control for some ideas on how to put your paper together.

If you need help with writing your essay, read How to Write a Research Paper: a Step-by-Step Guide. Need help with overall formatting according to the style guide you’re using? Give these resources a try:

When you’re finished drafting your argument, don’t forget to have an editor proofread your essay for you.

Good luck!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

The “Right to Bear Arms” is the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, which became a law collectively with the 9 amendments composing the Bill of Rights. The commandment it holds states that “Well governed armed forces, which are vital to provide security and protection to the independent State, shall not disobey the natural right of a person to bear arms,” proclaiming the militias to recognize completely citizens’ rights. While there are benefits to it, there are also drawbacks. To get a well-informed insight of this law, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

List of Pros of the Right to Bear Arms

1. Symbol of Freedom
The individual right to carry arms is seen as an important symbol of individual freedom. In fact, it has become so important that it lasts expression to many people in the US of their individual liberty. There are few symbols as powerful, particularly as this right potentially allows citizens to join a militia and fight a tyrannical government. Much less tangible are the rights to free speech and religion, which lack the power and threat of violence as a check on government tyranny. This symbolic expression of freedom is resonating too deeply with many Americans for them to be deprived of it.

2. Personal Protection
With this law, people are permitted to own firearms for self defense or protection whenever they are physically or offensively attacked by other people. In fact, it does not corrupt protection power of citizens to save their selves and live a life free of harm.

3. Well-Regulated Militia
As mentioned above, the Right to Bear Arms secures its subjects the right of having arms for their defense, suitable to their degree and condition. In the construction of this law, owners are adhered to comply with the conditions to be responsible for the right they are given to. It even includes the field of hunting games. Certainly, we can reasonably hope that the people in this country will never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.

4. Better Individuals
This law enforces a requirement of firearm license, which can only be purchased after applicants undergo a background check that specifically scrutinizes the presence of a possible history of committed criminal cases. The Right to Bear Arms definitely excludes citizens who have a history of criminal acts against the community or a person.

It does not carelessly provide the right of a person to possess firearms. In fact, before one can purchase a gun, he has to go under a number of safety courses to verify the ability to own a gun harmlessly. Also, the public carrying of firearms is permitted if and only if the arms themselves are concealed. Convincing concealed gun permit should be obtained by the owner.

5. Tighter Controls of Guns
This means that there would less shooting. Taking into consideration what ordinary citizens and government officials claim, the fewer guns that are had, the less shooting will be. With such kind of restriction, cutting down on gun crimes can also made easier.

6. Type of Weapons You Have Should Be Negotiable
Mostly, gun control activists do not argue the right to own arms. However, they believe that stipulations to gun ownership should be placed but not made to be a limitation of the rights of the constituents.

7. Gun Control Does Not Need to Affect Law-Abiding Citizens
Gun control does not need to affect firearms that are used for legal purposes, where in fact, the latest technology allows the tracking of guns and ammo. The technology used also allows firearms to be traced back to their owners. Through this method, it will be simpler for law enforcers to recognize what happened if crimes are committed.

List of Cons of the Right to Bear Arms

1. High Costs
Usually, when you purchase a concealed gun permit to validate your ownership, it can be very costly. The said permit is not going to be free and can vary in prices in different states.

2. Irresponsible Gun Behavior
The Right to Bear Arms certainly includes a few flaws, such as in the case where the gun gets into the wrong hands like children who just do not understand how to use or manage it. As a consequence, accidents can happen. For a teenager, it might be a game, but it can kill in an instant. Aside from this, a gun can even be dangerous to older people, which is often observed if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even those who are known to be responsible can make the mistake of using a firearm when intoxicated.

3. More Risk of Violence
According to research, people carrying a gun for self-defense were 4.5 times more likely to be shot during an assault than those without a gun in the same situation. This means that firearms may not be the most reliable and effective form of self-defense.

Furthermore, many people claim that adults with guns are often not adequately trained, and there are some states that do not even require a lot of training for concealed gun ownership. Most importantly, the power of controlling the way owners would utilize their guns exceeds this law’s range of concern. Individuals who are committed with physical and emotional stress tend to be more vulnerable to extreme self-consciousness and anger, which most probably lead to homicide.

4. Higher Crime Rate
In contrast to crime rate reports by pro guns, there is research that found the Right to Bear Arms can lead to a higher crime rate. According to the research personnel, it appears that “shall-issue” laws had increased aggravated assaults between 1977 and 2006. Interestingly, reports about the connection between firearms and crime seem to contradict each other, but in one certain report, such laws increased rates of violent crime, rape and robbery.

In addition to crime, some even argue that firearms can increase suicide risk. In fact, in 2005, more than half the number of all suicides in the country involved a firearm. Not only do people believe that firearms can increase crime, but they also think that these guns can also increase suicide.

5. Nervous People Around
Many people claim that armed citizens are making other people very nervous, where there were reports that scared citizens were informing the police about suspicious people who are looking armed with a handgun. Also, some of them claim that it is difficult for the authorities to tell or distinguish normal responsible citizens who have legal firearms from criminals with firearms.

6. Armed Criminals
In contrast to how armed citizens will deter criminals from attacking them, there is the idea on armed citizens can encourage criminals to arm themselves . Criminals would arm themselves so that they can threaten armed citizens which in effect would deter them from resisting the attackers.

7. Danger and Lethality
One big issue with firearms is that they sometimes can be dangerous or can turn lethal, especially when a person is under the influence or intoxicated. Even adults who are responsible could make the mistake of having or using guns when intoxicated. In addition, the right to carry firearms can increase the chances of unintended shootings.

According to a study by Matthew Miller (PhD), Deborah Azrael (PhD) and David Hemenway (PhD), approximately 50 people are unintentionally shot every day in the US, and children under 14 years old die every other day from unintended gunfire. As you can see, even with responsible law abiding citizens owning guns, there can be a lot of tragic accidents if guns are not restricted.

Conclusion

The Right to Bear Arms has become a controversial section under the Bill of Rights that concerns the enforcement or prevention of acts that restricts people from keeping gun possession or complete a ban from owning one. The Second Amendment’s function is to guarantee people with their right to bear arms is limited. There are lots of federal laws that prohibit the ownership of guns and other firearms. The concerns about this law under the Bill of Rights greatly contradict several federal laws which, in this case, continue to be a controversial issue. Since the belief of one individual to another is different, we have to understand why some of us desire to carry weapons while others do not. Whether you are in favor of carrying weapons or not, you should determine its influence on your society. And to protect its citizens, a country would make its government officials to often prohibit carrying illegal firearms.

You should know that obtaining firearm ownership legally conveys a personal thought of both defending and protecting yourself, keeping you safe from offensive attacks. Remember that self protection is the basic unit of national protection, but though you are enjoying this right, abuse is possible to break other laws. Thus, a sense of responsibly obeying underlying rules that makes up this law and a measure of self control must always be exercised.

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