The major argument in favor of gun control typically consists of three parts. First, proponents of gun control argue that gun violence is a serious problem in the United States. Second, they argue that reducing the number of guns (or the number of some types of guns and ammunition clips) would reduce the severity of the gun violence problem. Finally, they argue that gun control would not be a serious infringement on people’s rights.
The first part of this argument is relatively easy to make. The United States has much higher rates of gun violence than any rich country in the world. This is not open to debate. What is harder is the second part of the argument. Gun control advocates argue that restrictions on guns would make it harder for people to use guns to kill and would therefore reduce the murder rate in the US. They argue that a ban on semi-automatic weapons or on high-capacity ammunition clips would prevent people from engaging in mass shootings like the recent one in Connecticut. People would still have the capacity to kill others, but it would be much harder if the people did not have guns or if the guns were less able to fire so rapidly.
Finally, gun control advocates argue that people would still have the right to bear arms that is guaranteed to them by the Constitution. They would still be able to have guns for hunting and (at least to some gun control advocates) for defending their homes against intruders. What they would not have is weapons that could kill so easily.
There are, of course, many other arguments and many variations of these arguments. However, this is the basic outline of common arguments in favor of gun control.
Another argument for gun control in America is that it has been successful in other Western and/or industrialized countries. Of all the analyses and statistics, some of the most glaring numbers are how much of the worlds guns are in America and how many gun-related fatalities occur in America. The Small Arms Survey shows that although the United States comprises only 5% of the world's population, the United States houses 35-50% of the world's civilian-owned guns.
Other studies have shown that the more guns there are, the more gun-related injuries and deaths there are. These statistics suppose the theory that if guns are around, there is more likelihood that they will be used. The more they are used, the more injuries may be inflicted. This study, cited by the U.S. Department of Justice showed that in 2010, there were 14,748 gun-related deaths in the United States and only 554 in Canada. Correlation does not always prove causation, and certainly there are more aspects to the gun control debate, but statistics such as these are quite dramatic.
One of the most troubling facts is the gun show loophole where guns can be purchased at these shows without a background check and these purchases account for a large amount of gun sales.