What it means to THINK THE VOTE

// The importance of civic discourse

Join The Debate Top Comments

Q: Should there be more restrictions for purchasing guns and ammunition?


“While I do not think banning firearms is the solution to the increase of mass shootings and gun violence, I strongly believe that more restrictions should be in place limiting access to guns and ammunition from those who would potentially abuse them. Obviously, it can be difficult to determine exactly who would improperly use a firearm, but there are many people who gain access to these weapons who demonstrate many dangerous warning signs prior to purchasing the weapon. Extensive background checks must be put in place and enforced by the government in order to ensure that people with a history of crimes or mental illness can not get access to these firearms. Additionally, the age to purchase any firearm should be raised to 21 years old. If a young adult is not old enough or mature enough to drink alcohol, then they are not mature enough to carry and own a firearm that has the potential of ending their life or the life of someone else. While the constitutional right to bear arms from the second amendment is important, there are certain rights that must be infringed upon for the safety of the entire country as a whole. There is a delicate balance between freedom and safety. This can be seen from the passing of the Patriot Act in 2001. This act infringed upon American’s fourth amendment rights because Americans proved after the terrorist attack of 9/11 that they valued safety over some of their freedom. They willingly accepted giving up part of their fourth amendment rights to protect themselves and the ones they loved. This would be the case if these changes were enforced today. We would not have to repeal the second amendment, but we could pass legislation making it more difficult to purchase a firearm. This legislation will allow those people who are responsible enough to handle a firearm to be able to practice their second amendment right while keeping those who would abuse their rights from getting access to these weapons. These changes would be a start to minimizing or even eliminating gun violence or mass shootings in America.”

Shaely from Georgia


“The topic of restriction of firearms has been debated for several years now. Many people support restriction of firearms citing mass shootings and hate crimes as reasons to carry out certain policies. While mass shootings are terrible, terrible events that plague or country, and I certainly do not condone them, restricting access to firearms isn’t the way to prevent these crimes. First, by restricting access to firearms, you are limiting the freedoms given to every American citizen. The second amendment to the United States constitution states clearly and adamantly that every American citizen has the right to bear arms. This amendment was created to give us ways of self defense and, at the time, to protect ourselves from a restrictive government. By putting restrictions on firearms, you are effectively limiting the rights given freely to every American citizen and, in the process can be causing more harm than good. Secondly, restricting access to firearms is not going to solve the problem of mass shootings and hate crimes. In fact, it may even make it worse. Think of it like this, most drugs are illegal in the United States. However you hear all the time on the news that people have overdosed and died because of use of drugs such as heroin or cocaine. If we restrict access to firearms, the same thing will happen. Just because the Federal or state governments restrict access to certain firearms, doesn’t mean people who want to do bad things will not get their hands on them. Through means like the black market or smuggling through other countries, people will still be able to get them. Third, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. In the hands of a law abiding citizen, a gun does no harm to the people around it. Anyone who owns a gun and follows the law will not commit a crime using the gun. The people who are committing hate crimes and mass shootings using firearms are people who are disobeying the law anyway. Think of this. Stealing is against the law. Law abiding citizens do not rob other people. People who do steal are not going to stop stealing just because it is illegal. It is the same thing with mass shootings. Killing people is illegal, people aren’t going to stop killing others because it is illegal. If they are already doing something illegal, restricting firearms isn’t going to stop people from buying them. People intent on killing others are going to find a way to access firearms anyway. This means that law abiding citizens will not be able to defend themselves in the event of an attack by a non-law abiding citizen. By restricting firearms, you are ONLY preventing law abiding citizens from protecting themselves. People intent on killing others will find a way no matter what. In conclusion, restricting firearms will provide no benefit to our country, and mass shootings will still continue. Even if these crimes stop being committed by firearms, people will just move on to using knives, bows, and other dangerous weapons. Restricting firearms will not solve the problem of hate crimes and mass shootings in our country.”

Sidney from Virginia

Think the Vote helps you to understand controversial topics and current events. Thinking through your vote is more than showing up on Election Day and picking the person that you like the best—it’s showing an interest in the world and the issues that surround you every day.

Learn About the Issues 

Join The Debate

“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”

– President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961