Gun Law Argumentative Essay Outline

Gun Control

Richard Moore

English Composition II

Judi Reed

13 April 1995


Thesis Statement: Society benefits from firearms in the hands of responsible citizens. Attempts to keep firearms away from these citizens do more harm than good.


Outline

I. Introduction

II. Political

III. Practical

IV. Personal

V. Conclusion


Gun control is not one issue, but many. To some people gun control is a crime issue, to others it is a rights issue. Gun control is a safety issue, an education issue, a racial issue, and a political issue, among others. Within each of these issues there are those who want more gun control legislation and those who want less. On both sides of this issue opinions range from moderate to extreme.

Guns are not for everyone. Certain individuals cannot handle a firearm safely, and some individuals choose to use firearms inappropriately. Our society has passed laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms, and more legislation is being considered. Most of this legislation restricts, to some degree, the rights of individuals to possess or use firearms. Some restrictions may be necessary, but some recent legislation has gone too far. Society benefits from firearms in the hands of responsible citizens. Attempts to keep firearms away from these citizens do more harm than good.

To begin with, a definition of a "responsible citizen" is in order. The definition used in this paper was provided by Steve Rusiecki, a local police officer. When asked what makes someone a responsible citizen in regard to firearms ownership, Mr. Rusiecki replied, "The citizen must be law-abiding, with no felony record, must not abuse alcohol or drugs, must not be mentally ill, must not have renounced U.S. citizenship, must not have been dishonorably discharged from the military, and must be in the U.S. legally" (10). This definition combines elements from the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, and Arizona's concealed carry law.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The Founding Fathers included this in our Bill of Rights because they feared the Federal Government might oppress the population if the people did not have the means to defend themselves as a nation and as individuals (Halbrook 65-84). This idea was not new. The Founding Fathers' thoughts on the right to keep and bear arms were influenced by Aristotle, Cicero, John Locke, and Algernon Sidney (7).

The militia referred to cannot be construed as meaning the Army or National Guard, in the words of Samuel Adams: "The Militia is composed of free citizens" (qtd. in Halbrook 62). Additionally, George Mason considered a "well regulated Militia" to be one "composed of . . . Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Freemen" (qtd. in Halbrook 61). The Revolutionary War was won with the help of "An armed populace composed of partisans, militias, independent companies, and the continental army . . ." (63). It is obvious from this that the Founding Fathers thought that society benefited from firearms in the hands of the people.

Many years later we began placing restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. The first restrictions concerned the manner in which citizens could carry arms. In 1850 the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the constitution did not grant the right to carry a concealed weapon; although earlier court cases had ruled that the constitution did protect the right to carry concealed weapons (93-96). Shortly before the Civil War, some southern States passed legislation denying slaves and freed blacks the right to possess firearms. The basis of this legislation was the Dred Scott Decision. They reasoned that since blacks were not considered citizens they did not have the rights of citizens, including the right to keep and bear arms (96-98). The gun control legislation of this era resulted from prejudice against an entire race of people. These laws were in effect until after the Civil War when the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution were ratified. The legislation referred to here must be considered harmful to society.

The rational given for most modern gun control legislation is "Crime Control." The Brady Bill is one example. The Brady Bill is named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley during an assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. Supporters of the Brady Bill used that incident to gain support for their gun control legislation, claiming it would reduce crime and save lives. The fact is that the background check and waiting period included in the Brady Bill would not have prevented John Hinckley from legally purchasing the handgun used in that incident. Records show that "a police background was run on Hinckley four days before he purchased the revolver he used to shoot President Reagan and Jim Brady. The check showed he had no felony convictions in any jurisdiction. Neither had Hinckley any public record of mental illness" ("Guns" 51).

An even greater shortcoming of the Brady Bill is that it only affects legal transactions. By definition, a criminal is someone who breaks the law. Criminals have many ways to obtain weapons without going through the process mandated by the Brady Bill. Two obvious examples are theft and black market purchases. According to studies "only one firearm of every six used in a crime is obtained legally" (Thomas 277). Since the passage of the Brady Bill, only four felons have been apprehended trying to purchase a firearm (NRA, "Grassfire"). When I asked Steve Rusiecki for a policeman's opinion of the Brady Bill, he replied: "I think it is an emotional attempt at crime reduction rather than one based on legitimate facts" (6). In view of the facts presented, it is obvious that the Brady Bill is not an effective crime prevention tool.

The Brady Bill is not effective in fighting crime, but it does affect crime victims. The five-day waiting period during which the police conduct the background check is also supposed to serve as a "cooling off" period to prevent crimes of passion. Fortunately, this five-day wait is waived in states like Virginia which have an instant background check system in place. The following article is an example of how waiting periods affect crime victims:

Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross of Woodbridge, Virginia, might be dead if a waiting period had been in effect. Instead, the instant check system in place in that state allowed her to defend her life against a former boyfriend three days after she purchased a pistol. The man, a Marine under orders to stay away from Ross because of previous assaults and threats, broke through a door and rushed into her bedroom with a bayonet. Ross fired twice, mortally wounding him. The shooting was ruled to be a case of self-defense ("Armed Citizen").

If the five-day waiting period had been in effect, it is likely that an innocent woman would have been killed. During the debate in Congress over the passage of the Brady Bill, supporters claimed passing the bill would be worth it "if it saved just one life." Surely the bill is not worth it if it costs just one innocent life.

Another example of gun control legislation that affects the wrong people is the "Assault Weapon" ban included in the Crime Bill of 1994. While supporters of the ban claim the firearms banned by this bill are the "weapons of choice" of gangs and drug dealers, the FBI Uniform Crime Reports show this contention is unfounded (Rusiecki 7). However, at Congressional hearings held on March 31of this year, several people testified that they had used guns which are now banned to defend their lives and to prevent crimes ("Survival"). It is fortunate that these citizens had firearms to defend themselves. Society does not benefit from the death or serious injury of innocent citizens.

As mentioned earlier, crime is not the only issue related to firearms ownership. Hunting is a popular sport and, in some parts of the country, an important source of food. On the surface, it might appear that hunting is harmful to wildlife and the environment. The fact is that the opposite is true. Wildlife biologists have found that well managed and regulated hunting programs are beneficial to wildlife. If the wildlife population becomes too large, food becomes scarce and the population starves to death. Wildlife biologists take counts of game animals in a given area and study the habitat to determine the population level it can support. Then they make recommendations to State Game and Fish officials who set hunting seasons and bag limits. Hunting is a tool used by these officials to manage the wildlife under their care ("Arizona" 18).

Non-game wildlife is also protected by hunters, and even by firearms owners who do not hunt. Approximately 77% of the funds used to operate state Fish and Game and other wildlife agencies are derived from the sales of hunting licenses, excise taxes levied on sales of firearms and ammunition, and the sale of federal duck stamps. More than three billion dollars have been raised from these sources and used to protect both game and non-game animals (22). Firearms ownership is clearly beneficial to the environment and a good environment is beneficial to everyone.

Firearms are also used in competitive sports. The Olympic Games include competitions with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Shooting is also part of the biathlon and has been part of the Olympic pentathlon since 1912 ("Pentathlon"). There are also many competitions throughout the country in bull's eye, bench rest, silhouette, practical pistol, trap and skeet, and other shooting sports. Men, women, older children, and even individuals with certain disabilities can enjoy these sports since shooting does not require much agility or physical strength.

Even without formal competition, shooting can be enjoyed as a hobby. Recreational shooting may involve paper targets, tin cans, or other suitable targets. This hobby can be enjoyed at indoor target ranges, but is usually practiced outdoors. In fact, shooting can often be combined with other enjoyable outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and sight seeing.

Shooting is a relatively inexpensive activity which the entire family can enjoy. With close supervision, children can be taught to shoot. Learning how to shoot safely means learning about responsibility, and the time spent teaching a child to shoot is quality time. When a child is ready, they may be allowed to shoot with less supervision. When this time comes, the child knows they have earned their parent's trust and they gain a sense of self-confidence. Sharing a hobby like shooting can bring a family closer together, teach children responsibility, and promote trust between parents and children. This is definitely good for society.

Throughout history violence has plagued the human race. Since ancient times the strong have preyed on the weak and the meek. We have passed laws to protect society, but the violence continues. Laws attempt to change human behavior, but laws are not able to change human nature. Laws are not enough to protect people from aggression. We must allow people the means to protect themselves. Protection is a major reason that about half of all Americans own a firearm (Lester 30).

It is a fact that not all people are the same size or possess the same amount of strength. Sometimes people must defend themselves from stronger aggressors, or sometimes from multiple aggressors. This is especially true for women since they are, on average, smaller than men. Also, older people are generally less able physically to defend themselves than young adults are. Everyone deserves to be safe, but not everyone has the physical ability to defend themselves. Firearms are the most effective tools used today for self-defense, but they are only useful if they are available.

Statistics show that people who are attacked by a criminal are safer if they use a weapon to resist their attacker than if they do not resist. In addition, those who resist with a gun are less likely to be injured than those who use a less effective weapon, such as a knife (Quigley 14). Resisting crime with a gun does not always mean shooting the criminal. Statistics show that in true life instances of self-defense with firearms, firing the gun was necessary only one third to one half of the time (13), the rest of the time the mere presence of a gun was enough to scare away the attacker.

Guns are an effective deterrent to crime. A study involving convicted felons showed that nearly 40 percent of them had decided against committing a specific crime because they suspected their intended victim might be armed (14). In 1966 the Police Department in Orlando, Florida, offered a well-publicized self-defense shooting program to women. As a result, the rate of rape in that city decreased from thirty-six per year to only four. This was accomplished without any of the women shooting anyone or even pulling a gun on anyone. The publicity alone was enough to discourage potential rapists (15-17). Rape and other violent crimes should not be tolerated in any society. It has been shown that firearms are a deterrent to these crimes; therefore, firearms are beneficial to society.

The Brady Bill and the "Assault Weapon" ban in last year's Crime Bill are examples of bad legislation, but some good firearms-related legislation was also passed last year. The Arizona Legislature recognized the benefits of firearms to our society and passed a law which enables many Arizona residents to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. There are restrictions in place to ensure that only responsible citizens are issued a permit. These restrictions cover age, criminal record, and mental competency. Applicants for this permit must pass a sixteen-hour training course. In addition, the applicant must send a copy of their fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety to be used to help them conduct a background check (Korwin 150-151).

It is too early to determine the effectiveness of Arizona's Concealed Carry Law, but statistics show that a similar law passed in Florida in 1987 has been effective in reducing crime. Between 1987 and 1992 murders involving handguns decreased 29 percent (Francis). According to the National Rifle Association, the homicide rate is 31% lower, and robbery rate is 36% lower in states with "favorable carry laws" compared to states with "restrictive concealed carry laws" (NRA, "Fact Card"). Some people may fear that citizens with concealed weapons are more likely to commit crimes, but statistics show that only .007% of the concealed weapon permits issued in the state of Florida have had to be revoked because of a crime committed by the permit holder (NRA, "Fact Card"). Laws that reduce violent crime are good for society, and concealed carry laws have been shown to reduce violent crime.

The Founding Fathers of our country won our freedom with firearms. After we won our independence the Founding Fathers included the right to keep and bear arms in the Constitution to ensure that the freedom they fought for would last. Throughout the history of this country firearms have been used to defend that freedom from both foreign aggressors and from violent criminal aggressors. Americans own and use firearms for many reasons, such as; hunting, organized sports competitions, informal recreational uses, and for protection. Some legislation has been passed recently which restricts our firearms rights, and the shortcomings of these laws have been exposed. Fortunately, there has also been good legislation passed, like Arizona's Concealed Carry Law, which give residents of this state a better chance to defend themselves against violent crime.

I recognize that criminals have misused firearms, often with tragic results, but I must point out that a few individuals committed those crimes. We should punish the individuals who commit these crimes, and we should imprison those who pose a threat to society so that they do not have the opportunity to cause harm. Punishing law-abiding citizens by passing restrictive gun laws is wrong. Guns are not the cause of this country's crime problem. Criminals are. Effective crime control legislation must control criminals, not guns. Effective crime control legislation should provide more prisons to lock up these criminals, and more police officers to deter crime and capture criminals. Effective crime control legislation should give the law-abiding citizens of our country the means to defend themselves. It should not restrict the rights of responsible citizens to own or carry firearms. The best way to ensure good legislation is to elect good legislators, I believe this is what happened last November 8.

Firearms can be dangerous in the wrong hands, that is why I believe firearms training is important. The best training consists of parents passing on our firearms heritage, respect for people and property, and some common sense safety rules to their children. For many people this training will be enough. Formal firearms training courses, like Hunter Safety Courses and the course required to obtain a concealed carry permit, are also very useful. These courses reinforce the basic safety rules that everyone who handles firearms should know. They also teach the legal requirements specific to hunting or self-defense, depending on the course.

Society does benefit from firearms in the hands of responsible citizens. It is our responsibility to use them properly and safely.


Works Cited

Arizona Hunter Education Manual. Seattle: Outdoor Empire Publishing, Inc., 1993.

"Armed Citizen." American Rifleman October 1993: 8.

Francis, Samuel. "The Truth and Tripe About Concealed Weapon Carry Laws." The Mohave Valley Daily News. 16 March 1995: A4.

"Guns, Bias and the Evening News." American Rifleman January/February 1995: 50-51.

Halbrook, Stephen. That Every Man be Armed. Albuquerque: University Of New Mexico Press, 1984.

Korwin, Alan. The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide. Phoenix: Bloomfield Press, 1994.

Lester, David. Gun Control Issues and Answers. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1984.

NRA Institute for Legislative Action. "NRA Firearms Fact Card - 1995." Computer file downloaded from GUN-TALK BBS.

---. "NRA Grassfire!." Vol. 1, No. 4. April 1995: Computer file downloaded from GUN-TALK BBS .

"Pentathlon." Microsoft Bookshelf '94. Computer Software. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corporation, 1994. IBM PC.

Quigley, Paxton. Armed & Female. New York: St. Martins, 1989.

Rusiecki, Steve. Personal interview conducted 4 March 1995. 26 questions.

"Survival of the Armed: Hearing Reviews Gun Laws." The Arizona Republic April 1, 1995: A4.

Thomas, Andrew Peyton. Crime and the Sacking of America: The Roots of Chaos. Washington: Brassey's, 1994.


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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!

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