I am opposed to an “assault weapons” ban for a couple main reasons. First, because it does not fix the underlying problem. Second, there is a mental health crisis in the United States.
Let’s begin by defining our terms. An “assault rifle” is defined as “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges,” according to a 1994 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Law.
The next term is AR-15, which has caused a fair amount of confusion. The AR in AR-15 does not stand for assault rifle. It’s actually named after the company; AR stands for ArmaLite rifle.
Our last term is “assault weapon” which was created by Democrats as a politically defined category of guns they could then demonize and ban.
My first reason for opposing any weapons ban is that it’s a cosmetic fix to the problem. This ban would only hurt those who have passed all of the background checks to legally obtain a gun.
Our history as a nation proves that just because something is prohibited does not mean that it will not be consumed. Let’s take the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s as an example.
This was an attempt by the federal government to reduce crime and solve social issues. This was also a time that speakeasies were thriving and moonshine was illegally obtained. Americans did not like the regulation and found a way around it. It was clear that Prohibition was a miserable failure.
Those who obtain guns illegally are the problem in this situation, and a ban doesn’t get to the deeper issues taking place.
My second reason for opposing a weapons ban is that mental health is the real issue. The United States has never handled mental health well.
With all of the stigma surrounding mental health, many are not getting the help or services they need. According to Politico, of the adults who report mental health disorders, only a small portion are receiving treatment. There is a lack of access because there is a shortage in the workforce.
According to Mental Health America, most Americans lack access to proper care. There are some states where people who suffer from mental health issues outnumber mental health professionals six to one. One in five Americans reported an unmet need in seeing a specialist, therapist or psychiatrist.
It’s even more troubling that mental health in our nation’s youth is worsening, and access to care is limited. While the federal law restricts gun purchases to 18-year-olds for assault rifles, it’s still essential for young people to have access to mental health resources before they reach the age of 18.
In the United States, we need to come together and fix the root cause of our problems. Putting a ban on certain types of weapons is a temporary fix that only scratches the surface of the problem. The real issue is how we deal with mental health. We do not have an excellent track record for getting those who are suffering from mental health issues the help they need without demonizing them.