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      In terms of gun control, I am personally against any law that prohibits responsible individuals from carrying firearms for sport or self-protection. I believe every person should have his or her own right to carry a firearm. So, I am con gun control arguing pro. 

      Individuals that oppose this argue strongly that my view lacks several key points and that the laws that states have currently adopted are too lax. The first issue they have with the right to carry a firearm deals with mental health records. Currently in the United States, only 22 states provide mental health records, the other 28 do not. My opponents argue that people with mental health deficiencies should not be allowed to purchase a firearm due to their ailments. By not allowing people with these mental health deficiencies to purchase a weapon, many instances of murder and suicide can be prevented all together. Many murderers have shown signs of mental distresses before committing violent crimes against society. By preventing them from getting their hands on weapons, it may deter them from committing their violent acts.  

       Another issue with the current laws dealing with gun control is the ability for an individual to outright purchase assault weapons. Assault weapons, such as automatic machine guns and sawed off shotguns, though some use for sport, are mainly produced with a purpose of efficiently killing. Automatic weapons are dangerous to society and no citizen should have the right to purchase a weapon intended mainly for instance of war. Take for instances Columbine High where the two gunmen used automatic weapons to kill 14 students and a teacher. Because they were able to get their shots off at such a high rate and efficiently, the killings and injuries were greatly increased. Had there been simply one shot weapons, it can be argued that they would have never killed so many people.  

      Then there is the issue of child safety locks and guns. Every gun in the United States should be forced to either be locked away or have a child safety lock properly installed when not in use. Nearly 1,500 children are accidentally shot each year, and by forcing gun owners to place purchase and place locks on their guns we can significantly decrease these senseless injuries.  

      My final issue with current laws is the lack of background checks when purchasing the weapons. Individuals with known criminal records and violent histories should not be allowed to purchase any weapon. This should even apply to the “gun show loophole”, where background checks are not mandated during private transactions. There is also a lack of background checks in Internet transactions. Shooters, such as the individual in the Virginia Tech massacre, ordered their weapons from Internet sites where simply paying for the weapon will get it in your hands. By putting forth more checks, registrations and laws, we can keep the guns out of the wrong hands.

This Economics & Policy article was written by Colby Almond on 5/11/2010

Colby Almond was a 2008 graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Public Policy and Economics. He is currently the Director of Social Media for Virante INC