Firearms regulation can be a hard or emotional topic to debate, whether it is pre-election dispute, conversation among friends, or classroom discussion. It has become an even more pressing issue because of the events reported in the media, such as the shootings that take place in public places and even school. And each time the same questions arise: did it happen because gun control is not tough enough? how is it possible to prevent such events in the future? who is right — opponents or proponents of gun control tightening? So, let’s find out how to research this topic and find the answers.
Gun Control Definition
Gun control usually refers to a set of legal regulations that define the regime of gun use, possession, manufacturing, modification, transfer, classification and all related matters. Most of the countries in the world have restrictive firearms regulation regimes. This means that possession of firearms by civilians is defined as a privilege and is limited to certain categories of citizens, and/or circumstances, and/or specific procedures.
Still there are a couple countries with permissive gun control regimes. Due to its colonial history and gun culture, USA is one of them. That’s why possibly the hardest debates on gun control take place in the USA. Gun ownership protection by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution is usually the main argument against gun control. Though, everything is not that simple when it comes to reading the laws. And gun control proponents point out that this right is not unlimited and it doesn’t mean that there should be no proper procedures and restrictions for specific groups and places.
Debate Side Choice
To begin with, learn more about firearms regulations in general and find commonly used arguments for each side of the debate. Actually, at the heart of the dispute on this subject, a philosophical question lies; if gun possession is a right or a privilege? And there are a lot of other questions that arise from this one that should be properly regulated, including questions about: gun possession, manufacturing, use, trade, transfer, responsibility for misuse and etc.
Here are some overall arguments of gun control proponents:
- firearms regulation laws reduce the amount of gun deaths;
- most guns used in crimes were obtained officially and not from gun dealers (up to 90% in the USA);
- and possession of guns increases the number of firearm accidents and domestic violence.
Opponents could apply to the following general ideas:
- possession of guns is the best way to insure self-defense;
- gun control would not change anything, it will only increase the availability of guns through the black market;
- and education on guns and gun safety will be more effective than increased firearms regulation.
Some people think that the amount of arguments on their side makes their position stronger, but what really matters is the quality of those arguments. The better the argument is, the harder it will be to challenge it. So, what is a good, strong argument? Firstly, it needs to be clearly stated and easy to understand. Secondly, a strong argument is backed with evidence and facts, rather than emotions. Thirdly, it should be based on reliable sources and contain resource links if your argument is for an essay. Let’s take a look at some strong and weak argument examples:
Strong argument: The population of the USA is 319 million people and the number of firearms owned by US citizens is 371 million [resource link]—in fact, there are more guns than people.
Weak argument: There are more guns than people in the USA.
Strong argument: The study conducted in Israel in 2010 shows that the restriction of access to guns decreased suicide rates by 40%.
Weak argument: Many studies show connection between gun control and decrease of suicide rates.
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How to Select the Topic for a Gun Control Essay
Don’t try to cover all the aspects of this global matter into your paper. Pick up a specific topic you want to go deeper into and develop it. The best way to decide on a topic is to take the most interesting one for you. In this case, you will be more involved in your essay’s research and will get more satisfaction from your work.
Also, you may pick a topic that is connected with your life somehow: gun control situation in your country or region, guns and youth, or violence in the schools and how it could be reduced. As a result, it may be easier to cover the topic more precisely.
Furthermore, you may take a topic that is new to you, where you might never even have thought of this aspect of firearms regulation. In this case you will learn a lot while working on it.
If you are against the idea of firearms possession, here are some interesting topics to support your argument:
- More arms means a safer world… are you sure?
- Gun control efficiency: what studies say?
- Youth suicides and guns accessibility: what is the connection?
- Economic advantages of stronger firearms regulations
- Second amendment and gun control: how could it work together?
If you believe that obtaining the gun is one of your rights, you can choose among these topics:
- Guns don’t kill, people do
- Possession of guns is the most effective self-defense
- Gun control or how to increase the demand for guns on the black market
- Gun control or gun safety education: what is more effective?
- Privacy invasion as a gun control side-effect
Gun Control Essay Types
Before you start writing, you need to decide on essay type as well. It will help to make an effective structure and lay down your thoughts clearly. Here are types that would be the most appropriate for a gun control essay:
- Argumentative essay. It is usually used to provide your opinion along with the arguments that support it. Your arguments should be strong and your position well-defined.
- Persuasive essay. This type of essay is aimed to persuade the readers to take your point of view. Try to predict what arguments could impress, catch the attention of your readers and persuade them to see the problem from your side.
- Compare and contrast essay. Such essays are based on the comparison of two objects, their differences and similarities, and finding out some consistent patterns. Comparing gun control regulations, gun homicides levels in two different countries, and making your conclusions on the connections is the best way to write this type of essay.
- Cause and effect essay. The aim of this type of essay is to show a causal relationship between facts. Using studies that show a connection between gun control regulations and gun mortality or injuries will be handy to write it.
5 Basic Principles of Writing an Impressive Gun Control Essay
1.Provide all definitions
If you provide definitions for any terms that could be misinterpreted, you will be sure that your readers will understand your thoughts correctly. What is gun control? Who are gun control proponents and opponents? What does the act or law you mentioned in your work regulate? You may take definitions from legislative acts if you are writing about a specific country, or give common definitions if your topic is wider.
2. Study both sides arguments
Do it even if you made up your mind a long time ago. To choose the strongest argument(s), you need to know what arguments there are against it. In addition, you need to be prepared for the counterarguments in case of a rebuttal of your work.
3. Make your position clear
Despite the temptation to stay in the middle of the debate, don’t do that. One of the main points of researching such controversial topics is to make up your mind if you haven’t done it yet. So, answer yourself: are you for or against gun control? And make sure your opinion is clear to readers.
4. Share facts
Choose the most helpful facts to support your ideas; explain them if required. There is no need to give too many facts, as it may confuse your readers. Though, a gun control essay without any facts won’t be considered seriously.
5. Finalize your work with a conclusion
All the work that you have done should be finalized in one short message. The conclusion is the main idea you want to share through your work in a paragraph, or even a few words. It may also contain an appeal for people to think of something, to do something or to join your opinion in some other way.