As the nation has become polarized around the issue of gun control it can be almost impossible to sift fact from opinion. The gun control statistics we research and quote are likely to be accurate, but whether they hint towards more gun control or less is going to be dependent on from which group the statistics come from. If you talk to groups affiliated with The National Rifle Association you will learn that states with the strongest gun control laws, like California, are also states with higher murder rates as a result of guns. Meanwhile, states with very few gun control laws, like Utah, had only 26 murders in 2011 as a result of guns. Therefore, it stands to reason that putting in to place more control is only a catalyst for more crime, or at the least has no bearing on crime rates. Pro gun control groups might point out that if someone wishes to purchase a gun through a private sale in the U.S. then they need not pass a background check even if they are a criminal, felon, or someone with a known history of mental illness. Therefore, it stands to reason that there are not enough controlling laws in place to prevent guns from getting into dangerous hands. However, can we truly compare a state like Utah to a state like California? There are so many other factors at play like education, population, and other laws that who is to say that the gun control laws are the cause? Also, can we assume that just because private gun sales allow anyone to purchase a gun without a background check that it means all the criminals are getting their guns this way? Do you see what I mean? Facts are mangled by opinion any which way you spin them. So how can we ever have an intelligent debate about laws surrounding firearm control? If the statistics, though important, are only validated by the people who quote them and the beliefs that those people hold, then is this a debate that can be won over with facts? I would argue that it is not. A moral debate is always more difficult to solve than one with clear right and wrong. All we can do is determine for ourselves what we feel is right, and stand up for those beliefs as other groups either fighting for their rights or fighting for justice have done since the founding of this nation.
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