As we engage in social networking and social media day to day, it is important that we do our own personal research or look a little further because social media sites often misinterpret information. After reading an article from America’s 1st Freedom, “Gun Control Won’t Stop violence,” By Dave Kopel, based on the sources in the article, the author proves his reliability, but it is still important to construct some further research on the topic to verify his information is credible. While the author, Kopel portrays himself in a reliable way, it is important to check and make sure his information on gun control stands true. Credibility is established once there is proof that an idea is believable, trustworthy, or convincing. Kopel argues both sides to gun control; the advantages along with the disadvantages. He argues that the implementation of gun control laws won’t put a stop to violence, because it is not the gun that is the issue, it is the people. In the article, the sources that he uses to back up both the advantages and the disadvantages are reliable articles from sources such as New York Times and ATF.gov. This makes him credible because not only is he giving us reason and taking a stance on why gun control won’t stop violence, he is also acknowledging the other side to his argument giving the readers knowledge on both ends, making his argument research driven and factual.
Although some may disagree, making citations easily accessible, establishes a sense of trust because the reader is able to see for themselves where the source of the information is coming from that they are reading on. Throughout Kopel’s arguments and main points, he provides us with citations that are easily assessable. When the citations are clicked on, it directly links to the information he looked at in order to make his own judgement. This is convenient because makes checking the sources efficient and easy, establishing trust right from the beginning.
Gun control has been a prompt, reoccurring, current issue that people are becoming more opinionated on. The beginning of the article informs us that thirty years ago, the public decided that instead of dealing with the gun ban issue, they were going to focus more on banning assault weapons. He clarifies that they are not just talking about banning machine guns (the gun everyone thinks of first when assault weapon comes to mind), but he is including all guns that are more powerful than other normal guns like the Caliber AR-15. According to The University of Chicago Press Journals, “guns don’t kill people, people do,” (LaFollette, 6). The journal article goes into detail on how guns are objects, making them moral agents. It is within the person behind the gun to decide whether or not they choose to use it in act of violence or for better purposes. Even though it is a great idea to limit the amount of powerful weapons, the journal article written by the University of Chicago convinces the audience that gun control won’t stop violence because it is not the guns that are the issue, it is the people choosing to use them in a form of violence. An article published by Robin M. Wolpert and James G. Gimpel suggests that a ban on assault weapons is extremely restrictive and could possibly lead to the denial of the right to bear arms, which is a naturalized right granted to all U.S citizens (excluding felons and other convicted citizens). Wolper and Gimpel clarify that by restricting certain handguns and assault weapons, this will get the public comfortable with taking away from our basic right slowly, but gradually ( Wolpert and Gimpel, 4). It is important to look at the issue as a whole instead of putting all of the blame on the gun because in the end, the gun doesn’t choose to shoot on its own, the operator chooses to pull the trigger and as long as gun control continues to be the number one proposal in ending violence, out rights will slowly be controlled as well. After reviewing both articles by Wolpert and Gimpel, the Chicago Press Journals, and Kopels article, the information given in each correlate thus leading me to believe that Kopel’s information so far is accurate.
Those that live by their right to bear arms share a different view on gun control. Kopel compares civil rights to gun control with the idea that they are similar in trying to control the people. For example, the gun laws that were made after the Civil War were made to keep former slaves in de facto servitude. Stripping the people of certain guns and controlling their rights as a citizen (to bear arms), is comparably wrong to denying civil rights based on race, religion, sex or age. Katarzyna Celinska, a sociologist who wrote a journal article on gun control, found that research proves gun owners are most likely Caucasian males in the middle class (Celinska, 5). Instead of discriminating and setting “separate but equal” like rules, we can implement “Universal” background checks. Researches prove that there is already a majority of Caucasian gun owners, and while the government might be controlling and stopping some individuals (minorities) from containing a firearm, this is almost as bad as segregation and this is not the way gun control needs to turn into. Minorities are not the only group of people who uses a gun as a threat, all races take advantage of this tool. A current issue we face as of now with the Gun Control Act of 1968, is young millennials unable to purchase a handgun from a retail store. This is discriminatory in that there is an age limit blockading 18-20-year old’s from purchasing certain guns from certain stores when it is under their right to bear arms after the age of 18. This is not stopping violence at all, but more so discriminating against a certain group of individuals (Yale, 1). Gun control should not steer particular groups away from the privilege, nor should it take away from our rights. Kopel’s comparison is once again proved factual based on the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Lastly, In each argument Kopel makes, he strategically illustrates the issues with gun control and then follows it up with different aspects on both sides of the spectrum, the advantages and disadvantages. After reading his informative article on how he believes gun control won’t stop violence and comparing them to other databases within in the same topic, his article is not a misinterpretation of information. His information was factual and proved credible. Kopel’s logical research was proved true in other scholarly articles, making his argument believable. For example, he mentions the issue with discriminatory laws against 18 to 20-year old’s, then explains how this can affect independent 18-20-year old’s versus dependent 18-20-year old’s. Kopel also made the point that the gun is not the issue, it is the people. He implements some information from a New York Times article and ATF.gov article. All in which were proven reliable and credible in all other sources used to check his information. His argument is valid, gun control will not stop violence, it will only hinder the rights as a citizen to bear arms. The only way to stop violence, is by people recognizing it is the man behind the gun, not the gun itself. This argument morally makes sense and was backed up in research proving Kopel’s argument true. Not all the time is information misinterpreted, but it was helpful to go back and double check his information with other sources before agreeing with an article that could have been bias.
- Celinska, Katarzyna. “Individualism and Collectivism in America: The Case of Gun Ownership and Attitudes Toward Gun Control.” Sociological Perspectives, vol. 50, no. 2, 2007, pp. 229–47. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/sop.2007.50.2.229. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sop.2007.50.2.229.
- “Government Control of Richard Nixon’s Presidential Material.” The Yale Law Journal, vol. 87, no. 8, 1978, pp. 1601–35. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/795748. https://www.jstor.org/stable/795748.
- Gun Control Won’t Stop Crime. https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2018/5/2/gun-control-wont-stop-crime/. Accessed 1 May 2019.
- LaFollette, Hugh. “Gun Control.” Ethics, vol. 110, no. 2, 2000, pp. 263–81. JSTOR, doi:10.1086/233269. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/233269.
- Wolpert, Robin M., and James G. Gimpel. “Self-Interest, Symbolic Politics, and Public Attitudes toward Gun Control.” Political Behavior, vol. 20, no. 3, 1998, pp. 241–62. JSTOR. https://www.jstor.org/stable/586530.