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Chris Sloan
Mr. Wright
English 1

The nation has been divided on how tightly to regulate gun ownership. This isn't surprising
considering that United States citizens own more guns per resident than any other nation in the world,
with .89 guns per resident. Many Americans feel that gun ownership is a human right, citing the 2nd
amendment of the US Constitution. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are many
individuals that believe that there is a direct correlation between guns and violent crimes. These
individuals are campaigning for more stringent gun regulations. In this essay, I am going to address
these two sides and explain why gun regulations should remain looser; along the way, focusing on how
guns arent to solely blame for violent crime, are a fundamental American right, and how to reduce the
number of gun related violent incidents.
For starters, guns are aren't to blame for violent crime, guns are simply a scapegoat. There are
numerous statistics supporting the fact that tighter gun control laws don't lead to a drop in violent
crime. One example of this is in the State of California, a state with the tightest gun control according
to the Washington Post. According to The Guardian, California had 3.25 armed homicides per 100,000
residents in the year 2011. Now, compare that to the state of Utah which had .97 gun related homicides
per 100,000 residents in 2011, which according the Desert News is the state with the most lenient gun
laws. This type of data disproves the belief that guns unexceptionally lead to violence. Clearly, having
tighter gun control laws doesn't have a significant impact on gun relate homicides,in-fact the opposite
might be true.
Secondly, guns are a fundamental American right. By pushing for tighter and tighter gun

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regulations we are heading down a slippery slope. It it explicitly stated in the United States
Constitution that American citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. The founding fathers didn't
just decide to put that amendment there for an arbitrary reason. In fact, this amendment is a major
cornerstone of our constitution. The constitution itself states that the right to bear arms is necessary to
the security of a free state. Clearly the founding fathers granted these rights to American citizens for
good reasons.
Thirdly, the gun related deaths that currently exist, are capable of being drastically reduced if
we stop looking in the wrong places. Many people are of the opinion that tightening gun restrictions
will lead to a safer country, one with less violent crime. However, instead of blaming guns we should
focus on screening gun owners for mental illnesses. According to Jeffery W. Swanson, a professor at
Duke University, the 12-month prevalence of any minor or serious violence among people with
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression was about 12% overall. Compare this with the
same tests run on individuals without mental disorders which resulted in a figure of 2%. This is an
alarming change in numbers between the two groups and is a prime example of why mental health
screening should be taken more seriously. A good example of a person who slipped through the cracks
is Eliot Rodgers, a resident of Santa Barbara California who killed six people. Rodgers accomplished
this in-part by using a legally acquired fire arm as one of his weapons, despite his long history with
mental health issues, having been in treatment since age eight, according to Telegraph. This is one of
numerous incidents involving a mentally ill person legally obtaining a firearm and using it illegally. If
there were more extensive background checks done on people with mental health issues before they
obtained a fire arm, a significant amount of violent assaults with weapons could be avoided. It's clearly
evident that gun restrictions arent the solve all here, things like mental health of gun owners plays a
significant role in gun related violence, which shouldn't go ignored.
In summary, gun control is a topic many people are passionate about, and will surely remain

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passionate about for a long time, as the right to own firearms has come under fire in recent years.
However, guns shouldn't be the target of all this criticism; especially when it is taken into consideration
that guns aren't unexceptionally to blame for violent crime, they are a guaranteed American right, and
they are demonized unfairly when things like mental illness and its correlation to violent crimes
continues to be disregarded. These are reasons why overbearing gun control is over the line and leads
down a very dangerous road.