Task 2C: Gun control in the USA


Task 2C ask you to discuss why gun control is a complicated political issue in the USA, based on two quotations.

The first quotation is by David Bartholomew Smith, who is a gun rights activist. Smith argues that gun control will not work in the USA because it is people who are responsible for killings and not guns. He argues that there is a need for more education about gun use and that guns protect people from being robbed and hurt. Furthermore, he mentions that Americans have the right to own guns according to the Constitution and that the risk of mass shooting is a price people pay for individual liberty.

The second quotation is by Caroline Harriet Weston, who is a gun control activist. Weston argues that she cannot understand people’s support for the Second Amendment and how it relates to the idea of liberty. She thinks more guns mean less liberty and less safety, because it leads to people fearing to go to church or concerts. She states that gun control will not prevent people from owning weapons intended for hunting. However, she thinks that military-grade weapons are made with the sole aim of killing people, and therefore people should not be allowed to own such weapons.


In the USA, the Second Amendment of the Constitution grants citizens the right to own and carry firearms: “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.”

Because of this amendment, introduced in 1791, many legislative initiatives to restrict or ban gun ownership have been rejected as being unconstitutional. However, in recent decades, the issue of gun control has become a highly debated topic in the USA, dividing the country into two groups: those who advocate for tighter gun control and those who advocate for gun rights.

While the debate is ongoing, it usually becomes more visible whenever there are civilian incidents involving firearms, such as mass-shootings in schools, churches, or other public places. For example, a mass shooting recently took place in 2018 at...

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