Essays About Gun Control: 7 Best Examples and Topics for Students

Gun control is a hot topic in the United States. Here, we’ll explore some essays about gun control topics to help you learn more about this topic.

From mass shootings to second amendment rallies, gun ownership is a topic that fires up Americans. While the Constitution does promise Americans the right to bear arms, many gun control activists argue that the writers of the Constitution couldn’t have imagined the advances in gun technology—such as the development of assault weapons—that have occurred in recent years.

Pro-gun control activists cite school shootings and other mass shootings as reasons people shouldn’t own guns. In contrast, people who are against gun control policies often argue that guns, when used correctly, can stop violent events. The topic of gun control is a controversial issue for a good reason, and no matter what side of the gun control debate you’re on, it can be tough to find the right solution.

Here, we’ll take a look at essay topics that take a passionate opinion on the issue of gun control. Remember, the issue of gun control in the United States can be incredibly divisive, and it’s important that you speak carefully and respectfully in an essay about gun control to get your point across.

These essay topics delve into the intricacies of gun violence in America, helping to shed light on how the right of the people in the United States of America to use firearms interacts with the US citizens’ right to stay safe from violent crimes. For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers

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Essay Examples On Gun Control

1. Stop It With ‘Gun Control.’ Enough Already. By Frank Bruni

“If you’re a person who doesn’t want to see our gun laws change, it makes sense that you would evoke the rhetoric of ‘gun control,’ especially in a place like America, where individual freedom is so celebrated,” said Jonathon Schuldt, an associate professor at Cornell University whose expertise includes the role of language in opinion making. “It’s much harder to justify being against ‘safety’ than it is to justify being against ‘control.’”

There’s no denying that words matter, especially with tough issues like gun control. In this essay, New York Times opinion columnist Frank Bruni shares the importance of language around gun control and gun safety and explains other times throughout history in which language has made a difference in garnering public support and creating lasting change.

2. Gun control is a lost cause. Come despair with me. By Ross K. Baker

“Let’s start with the fact that there are enough guns in this country so that every man, woman and child could have one. Add to that a couple of Supreme Court decisions that enshrine gun ownership alongside freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as constitutionally hallowed rights. On top of that is the fact that even such modest efforts at the state level to limiting access to guns to people deemed dangerous to themselves have proved ineffective.

No better example of this is the fact that the Indiana “red flag” law designed to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people only temporarily delayed the killer of eight people in Indianapolis from getting his hands on the weapon used to take their lives.”

According to USA Today opinion columnist Ross K. Baker, gun control in the United States has become a non-issue, falling to the wayside with bills requesting changes to the national anthem. Baker explains how each state’s right to dictate their gun control laws means that people are simply travelling further—and becoming more sneaky—to get the guns they want without red tape. Baker states that with the current political standing of Congress, there’s no way to change gun laws in a way that impacts the devastating number of mass shootings that occur in the United States each year.

3. Why Gun Control is Now a Matter of National Security By Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson

“We share Biden’s view that the level of U.S. gun violence is a “national embarrassment.” But as National Security Council veterans who have specialized in counterterrorism—with direct experience involving far-right American terrorism, burgeoning jihadism, and Northern Irish extremism in the 1990s—we also see a new threat rising, one that has the potential to change the urgency of the debate: the growing, and heavily armed, American militia movement, which made a show of force on January 6.”

In this Politico essay, authors Simon and Stevenson dig into the events of the January 6th attempt of a right-wing militia to take over the United States Capitol. The pair discusses the dangers of such groups having access to semiautomatic weapons. According to Simon and Stevenson, while these groups would not stand a chance against the United States military, they could easily cause mass casualty scenarios.

4. Gun control is all we have left By Kaelin Connor

“The U.S. has one of the worst gun violence incidents of any high-income country. It makes sense why out of 100,000 people in America, 12 die by a gun. To buy a gun at any large box store, like Walmart, it’s required to have a background check sent to the FBI. They look for things like criminal convictions, domestic violence and citizenship status. However, denials only occur less than one percent of the time.”

In this essay for The Battalion, Connor discusses the injuries and deaths in the United States each year due to gun violence. She explains the differences between the processes of purchasing a gun at a big box store versus purchasing a gun at a gun show and discusses the lack of action taken by Congress to change gun laws in recent years, despite school and mass shootings frequently happening in the United States.

5. Opinion: Pushing back against gun control arguments By Cathy S. Wright

“I agree that laws should be enforced, “A slap on the wrist does not do it.” However, we see this happening when lax prosecutors allow criminals to evade a city’s gun control laws with a free pass, such as in neighboring New York City. Progressive gun grabbers say it would be a disaster for public safety if the Supreme Court were to strike down any of New York’s firearms laws, yet city prosecutors do not pursue serious punishment for violating those draconian laws. How can this possibly make any sense if you have the toughest laws in the nation, but those laws are not meaningfully enforced against criminals?”

This opinion essay discusses the importance of providing mental health services to address the root of gun violence rather than simply stopping access to guns for people deemed incompetent. Wright also discusses the importance of enforcing gun control laws rather than hitting violators with “a slap on the wrist” when these laws are broken. The author states that when criminals know penalties are lax for violating gun control laws, they’re more likely to continue breaking laws and dealing with the penalty.

6. Imagining Gun Control In America: Understanding The Remainder Problem By Nicholas J. Johnson

“None of these measures have been particularly successful and, upon reflection, have been somewhat peculiar. We have pressed supply-side rules at the margin-e.g., with prospective limits on supply and restrictions on obscure categories of guns-all while denying that disarmament is the ultimate goal.5 This recipe for gun control has yielded disappointing results.”

In this opinion essay, Johnson both includes factors that have contributed to his thoughts on gun control and presents compelling legal evidence to prove his argument. Johnson expertly discusses how laws that demand changes in gun supply are symbolic only and shares why he believes these laws will not work to change gun violence rates in the United States.

7. U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons By Jonathan Masters

“The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, has 46 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns, according to a 2018 report by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. It ranks number one in firearms per capita. The United States also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate of the world’s most-developed nations. But many gun rights proponents say these statistics do not indicate a causal relationship.”

In this essay, Masters compares gun law in the United States with other countries and presents a correlation between gun ownership rates and gun homicides. Masters uses statistics to back up his thoughts and details how other countries work to lower gun violence rates.

Gun Control Essay Topics

1. Gun Safety Vs. Gun Control: Does The Language Matter?

When writing an essay about the terms used to talk about gun control, it’s important to talk about how the issue of control has been handled by American citizens in the past (you may want to contrast questions in the United States around women’s rights issues). You’ll also want to talk about how gun control laws are, in fact, gun safety laws and talk about how gun control laws have the potential to lower the number of gun-related deaths in the United States. 

2. Changing Gun Laws In Today’s Political Climate

Essays About Gun Control: Changing Gun Laws In Today's Political Climate
Some people feel that gun control laws in less-restrictive states contribute to many mass shootings each year

Each state has the right to create laws around gun control, which many activists feel makes creating national gun control laws a losing battle. Some people travel to other states to obtain guns that are illegal in their state, making gun control laws ineffective. Some people feel that gun control laws in less-restrictive states contribute to many mass shootings each year in the United States. 

3. Gun Control And National Security: One In The Same

Many people feel that access to semiautomatic weapons creates the possibility of a small group of citizens causing a mass casualty scenario. An essay about gun control and national security talks about how gun control laws have changed over time and dig into the statistics on how many mass shootings are related to access to semiautomatic weapons each year. 

4. Gun Control: The Only Option To Stop Mass Shootings

Sadly, mass shootings are a regular occurrence in the United States. In your essay about gun control and mass shootings, discuss the injuries and deaths in the United States each year due to gun violence. Be sure to explain the differences between the processes of purchasing a gun at a big box store versus purchasing a gun at a gun show and discuss the lack of action taken by Congress to change gun laws in recent years, despite school and mass shootings frequently happening in the United States.

5. Mental Health Services And Gun Control: How The Two Can Work Together

In an essay on mental health services and gun control, you’ll want to discuss the importance of providing mental health services to address the root of gun violence rather than simply stopping access to guns for people who are deemed incompetent. Many people who commit violent acts struggle to deal with issues in their own lives. Some people who are against gun control laws feel that controlling access to guns would not stop violent acts; rather, it would cause people struggling with mental health issues that result in violence to find other ways to commit violent acts. 

6. How Does The National Rifle Association Influence Politics?

There’s no question that the National Rifle Association influences American politics. Still, it can be tough to figure out exactly how the organisation influences elections, policy, and other factors. In your essay about how the NRA affects politics, you’ll need to dig deep to touch on how the NRA plays a role in American politics and lawmaking. 

While the influence the NRA plays can be tough to pin down, there are concrete statistics that make it clear that the NRA’s political involvement directly influences sales: for example, when Smith and Wesson worked with the Clinton Administration to alter their products, their sales dipped dramatically—due to an NRA boycott of the company.

When researching how the NRA is connected to politics, learn more about how current political leaders are connected with the NRA. This information changes with time, and it’s important to ensure that you’re using the latest news to support your stance.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

If you’d like to learn more, in this guide our writer explains how to write an argumentative essay.