For decades the debate on firearms and gun reform has been a topic that always seems to make headlines. This is no longer a debate of Democratic vs Republican, but a battle for the lives and safety of innocent victims injured and killed in mass shootings. The increasing numbers of mass shootings in recent history is a cause for concern. Although everyone can agree that there should be a stop in murders of innocent victims, the debate begins on wither or not the American people should have access to firearms, semi-automatic AR-15 rifles in particular. The 2nd amendment of 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 “. This amendment has been interpreted in two different ways, the pro firearm supporters believe this is there right given by the founding fathers and shall not be infringed as the amendment states. The gun reform side argues that the founding fathers did not have the idea of a semi-automatic rifles in those years so those rifles should not be protected under that constitution.
What is a AR-15? In a brief description the Armalite 15 was introduced in 1964 by Colt. It is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle meaning it cannot fire at an automatic rate as the M16 can. The appearance of this firearm is nearly identical to the M16 which causes much confusion and fright to those who are not educated on this firearm. This semi-automatic rifle mainly shoots a .223 bullet and is a popular choice in home defense for men and women who cannot handle the harsh recoil of a shot gun or pistol. Less recoil means more accurate shooting.
The AR-15 has been used in many recent shootings including the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in Parkland Florida which left 17 students and teachers dead and 17 others injured. With over 8 million of these rifles sold and used in the United States. Should they be deemed as dangerous and deadly? Is the AR-15 an assault rifle? Should they be banned? These are questions that must be answered with proper knowledge and understanding, not with the memories of seeing these firearms in movies and used by villains to create chaos. So, what are the facts? semi-automatic rifles or the labeled “Assault Rifle” is only used in 3% of gun violence. Pistols are used in the majority of firearm related deaths with 22,018 deaths coming from suicides(CDC.gov). The definition of an assault rifle can only be defined by perception(http://www.assaultweapon.info/). The way you view the object. Pro fire arm supporters view the AR-15 as a tool, it is light, accurate, highly accessorized and easy to shoot. For these reasons it is the most popular firearm sold in the United States. Gun reform supporters view the AR-15 as a rapid firing weapon that can very easily be bought and used by criminals to use in mass shootings.
What would banning AR-15 do? The simple fact that criminals will not obey the law leads many pro-gun advocates to believe the only effect it would have is stripping thousands of law abiding Americans of their rights to keep and bear arms. The argument of bombs being illegal but still used in the Boston Marathon Bombings is a prime example of criminals not abiding to the law so will the banning of AR-15 rifles lead criminals to illegally possess and continue to use these firearms in mass shootings? It is sickening that criminals will make use of whatever they can get their hands on to cause destruction wither it be a pistol, rifle, knife, car, bomb etc. Another example of this theory is the “War on Drugs” everyone is aware that drugs are illegal but yet drug overdoses continue to ruin the lives of thousands of people, in 2016 64,070 Americans died from drug overdoses (National Institute on Drug Abuse). The consistent increase in deaths from drugs is a clear indication that the war on drugs in not working. Will the new war on the AR-15 have a similar effect? These questions will remain unsolved.