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Gun Law Argumentative Essay

To tote or not to tote (read: gun), that is the question.

This question haunts the average American citizen as well as the government on an equal level. While quite a few parents and those who’ve lost near and dear ones due to shootouts have rallied in support of gun control, there are still many out there who call it a legal right and the perfect weapon of choice for self-defense.

The haunting appeal of guns has had everyone under its spell, and its horrors have not even spared famous celebrities such as Kurt Cobain or Tupac Shakur who have been victims of gunshots. Schools, too, have been under gunfire in America since time immemorial with the first recorded incidence of a shootout in an educational institution in the country dating back to July 26, 1764: a time when America was just a little more than a decade away from becoming a nation to reckon with.

Incidences like these have sparked endless debates on gun control, with the nation divided in half — those who support it and those who don’t. Many scholarly articles too have been written in this regard, with some taking a pro-gun stance, while the others are firmly against it.

Now as students, you’ve been asked to prepare an argumentative essay on gun control. And it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you lean on, you need some solid evidence to back up your argument. Here’s a list of gun control articles you can make use of in your essay. We’ve also provided a song suggestion with each article that can help you get in the groove of your essay.

1. What 130 of the Worst Shootings Say About Guns in America – The New York Times

This jointly written article by Sharon LaFraniere and Emily Palmer opens with the infamous case of Mr Houser who had recklessly opened fire at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana and then goes on to present its analysis of the 130 disastrous shootings that have taken place in the US. The article also puts forward conclusive data on these shootings, taking a rather anti-gun point of view. It also questions the legality of owning a gun and states how easy it is for even convicted felons to get a license to guns in the US.

Suggestion for your playlist: ‘Saturday Night Special’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd is our pick for this one since the song focuses on how easy it is to obtain a handgun in the US.

2. Study: Some Gun Control Laws Result in More Deaths – The US News

Now, this article takes a completely different angle from the previous one. Written by Kimberley Leonard, a staff writer for the US News, it presents a very curious study, stating that imposing stricter gun control can actually result in more deaths than lesser as is expected. The research was originally published in the British journal known as The Lancet. Students who are against gun control can make use of this article.

Suggestion for your playlist: A song by the artist called Cracker, aptly named ‘Can I Take My Gun To Heaven?’ justifies the obsession Americans have with guns.

3. Gun Control in America: How We Got Here – CNN Politics

The good thing about this article is that it can be used by both who are writing for and against gun control. Written by Gregory Krieg, the article begins with a shootout on protestors against violence in Dallas in which police officers too lost their lives. It then goes on to observe how gun laws have gone through various reforms through the last 80 years, starting Roosevelt’s presidency to Bill Clinton’s signing of the Assault Weapons Ban.

Suggestion for your playlist: Can there be a better song than ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ by Eric Clapton for a scenario in which police officers get killed. Give this one a try.

4. Why Banning Assault Rifles Won’t Reduce Gun Violence – Los Angeles Times

Adam Winkler, the author of this article, observes how putting a ban on assault rifles is not going to make a difference in the death toll numbers that are attributed to gun violence. He explains how the nomenclature ‘assault weapons’ confuses the average American and gives off the idea of machine guns rather than the semi-automatics that are largely sold in the American market. If you’re against gun control, make use of this article to make a strong point in your essay.

Suggestion for your playlist: ‘Time To Get A Gun’ by Fred Eaglesmith presents the how getting a gun becomes a necessity in violent towns where crimes are common. You can even check out the Miranda Lambert cover if you want.

5. The New Politics of Gun Control – The Time Magazine

An analysis of how the political stance on gun control is changing due to the rising anti-gun sentiments among the general public, the author of this article presents ample statistics that state that not only the general public but even presidential elects are now in favor of gun control. It also tries to show that we’ve come a long way since the days of Al Gore’s campaign and that those running for the presidency are no longer afraid to make gun control a part of their campaign.

Suggestion for your playlist: Greenday’s rather mournful as well as melancholic ’21 Guns’ very aptly describes the common sentiment that Americans share regarding the futility of gun wars on the streets.

6. Rifles: 99 Percent of the Gun Control debate, 2 Percent of Murders- Washington Examiner

This article promulgates a rather interesting study, which indicates that despite the focus of most of the political debates in the US on banning assault weapons, these rifles are only responsible for just 2% of the deaths that place in the country due to gun violence. It further goes on to present some informative stats that reveal that handguns are mainly the culprit and that banning them may not be feasible as they can be the best weapon for self-defense due to their compact size.

Suggestion for your playlist: Justin Moore’s song ‘Guns’ is a good ol’ fashioned tribute to some good gun-lovin’. Hence, this is our choice for a pro-gun article and essay.

7. Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? – ProCon.org

No matter which side you are on in your argumentative essay, you can make use of this article to take help in essay writing. The article very expertly presents both sides of the coin and provides readers with a lengthy list of both pros as well as cons of gun control. Statistics and cases are also presented both in favor of and against gun control. This article is very rich in information, but it’s important that you use it wisely. Don’t treat this article as your only reference and do not just lift matter from here. Be sure to interpret the data presented and to give your own views as well.

Suggestion for your playlist: Since this article is balanced in its views, we’ve chosen a rather neutral number for it. ‘Big Iron’ by Marty Robbins just paints a very vivid picture of a pistol showdown.

8. The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control) – The Atlantic

Author Jeffrey Goldberg offers a unique solution to the increasing gun violence in the US – giving Americans more guns. While he does put forward other ways through which gun control can be implemented, he also says that the entire activity would be pointless since it’s apparently too late. He attributes this to the number of Americans who have guns in their possession, legally. He also says that the number of gun owners in America seems to be rising each year. It supports claims in favor of gun ownership, arguing that the same gun can be used to disarm or kill attackers who start shootouts.

Suggestion for your playlist: Rodney Atkins’ ‘Cleaning This Gun’ echoes the protective attitude presented in the above article, where having a revolver is a necessity for protecting your family.

9. Why Gun Control is Such a Losing Proposition – The Washington Post

Despite the name of this article, don’t take it to an article that is against gun control. This one is a just examination of the reasons why gun control doesn’t seem to work in America. The article is an accumulation of various other articles and their authors’ views on why gun control just isn’t working out in the country. Some argue in favor it, while some argue against it. So even this resource can be used by you to back up whichever standpoint you take in your essay.

Suggestion for your playlist: The poetic ‘Grandaddy’s Gun’ by Aaron Lewis is our choice for this one. The song is a description of an old, useless gun that sits on the mantelpiece, much like the old and useless gun control laws of the nation.

10. Gun Rights v. Gun Control – OpenSecrets.org

Brianna Gurciullo and Viveca Novak wrote this article together presenting the reality of the gun situation in American politics. It reveals how the government’s stance keeps on changing, how the Democrats seem to be divided in their views and how the Republicans are openly pro-gun. It also puts on display some very interesting statistics regarding the amounts of funds that flow into government from gun rights groups as well as gun control groups, pitting them against each other and seeing who emerges as the winner.

Suggestion for your playlist: ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ can be termed as a misnomer for the Boomtown Rats’ song that actually tells the story of a teenage girl who goes on a solo gun rampage.

11. Gun Ownership is Not a Human Right- The Guardian

SE Smith very passionately states his opinion that the government cannot just term gun ownership as a human right. He defines what human rights are and what the qualification criterion is for a human right, saying that owning firearms doesn’t really fit the bill. The author also states that possession of a pistol cannot even be termed as a civil right, let alone a human right. Guns, according to him are not necessary items for survival and hence, the law shouldn’t permit a citizen to own one so easily.

Suggestion for your playlist: ‘Machine Gun’ by Jimi Hendrix perfectly sums up the spirit of this article as well as the animosity many American citizens have in their heart for the horror and violence these weapons represent.

12. ‘It Represents My Liberty’: America and the Gun, Then and Now – The Guardian

On the other side of the grass, this article represents the views of real life people as well as shootout survivors who actively support gun ownership and see nothing wrong with it, citing it a necessity to feeling safe and powerful at the same time. Quite a few in the article are also against gun rights and voice their opinion in equal passion as those in favor. This article can prove to be helpful for you if you want to know what the real opinion of the real America is over the hot-button issue of guns.

Suggestion for your playlist: Randy Rogers Band’s ‘Shotgun’ is what we think describes this article best. The song is on keeping your gun with you, just in case, even though the bad times are over.

In conclusion, these gun supporting articles can help you write the perfect argumentative essay on this issue. If you’re a feminist, or would like to add a feminist spin to your paper, concentrate on how urban women own more guns than any due to safety issues. And if you still get stuck, you have the songs for inspiration. Happy writing!

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Gun control is a hot button issue, especially in the wake of so many recent, tragic mass shootings. It is also a polarizing issue, which means that it tends to divide people.

When you’re writing an argumentative essay, it generally doesn’t matter what side of an issue you take. What matters is that you take a side and support whichever position you choose.

In the case of the gun control issue, you could plausibly—and defensibly—take either side: strict regulation up to and including an outright ban on firearms or complete legalization of individual gun ownership.

Either way, you’re going to need strong evidence.

With this in mind, I’ve sourced 12 gun control articles from online publications that illustrate both sides of the debate, plus two articles that can help you understand the background of the issue.

For each article, I’ve included the author’s basic point and why the article is a worthwhile resource, as well as citations for APA and MLA 7th and MLA 8th editions.

No matter what side you argue, this post will point you to some credible sources for your argumentative gun control essay.

6 Supporting Gun Control Articles

Pro-gun control article #1: Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?

This article discusses what is perhaps the greatest source of contention in the entire debate: the Second Amendment’s wording.

The author quotes former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who advocates changing the Second Amendment’s confusing language to clarify that it only applies to those serving in a militia.

Formerly called BusinessWeek until 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek has been around since 1929 and has earned numerous industry publication awards.

APA Citation

Barrett, P. M. (2014, February 10). Gun control and the Constitution: Should we amend the Second Amendment? Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-20/gun-control-and-the-constitution-should-we-amend-the-second-amendment

7th Edition MLA Citation

Barrett, Paul M. “Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?” Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Barrett, Paul M. “Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?” Bloomberg Businessweek, 20 Feb. 2014, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-20/gun-control-and-the-constitution-should-we-amend-the-second-amendment. Accessed 10 July 2016.

A quick note about citations. I’ve included both MLA 7th edition and MLA 8th edition, as well as APA, citations for each article that you can use if you decide to reference the source in your gun control essay.

Because the MLA 8th edition went into effect in early 2016, not all professors/schools will require the use of the new format. Check with your professor to see which edition he or she prefers.

The 8th edition of MLA also suggests that you include the URL in each entry. Including the date you accessed an online source is now optional. I’ve included both pieces of information in my examples.

(Again, check with your professor to see what he or she prefers.)

Pro-gun control article #2: It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.

Bovy tackles the gun issue by arguing that the debate should not be about closing loopholes in gun control. She doesn’t argue that specific types of guns should be banned, but argues that all guns should be banned.

This article is published by New Republic, which “…was founded in 1914 as a journal of opinion which seeks to meet the challenge of a new time” (NewRepublic.com). “Today, the New Republic is the voice of creative thinkers, united by a collective desire to challenge the status quo” (NewRepublic.com).

APA Citation

Bovey, P. M. (2015, December 10). It’s time to ban guns. Yes, all of them. New Republic. Retrieved from http://www.newrepublic.com/article/125498/its-time-ban-guns-yes-them

7th Edition MLA Citation

Bovey, Phoebe, M. “It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.” New Republic. New Republic, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Bovey, Phoebe, M. “It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.” New Republic, 10 Dec. 2015, newrepublic.com/article/125498/its-time-ban-guns-yes-them. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #3: Battleground America

This well-researched article was written in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting. It covers three main areas:

  • An in-depth discussion of the meaning of existing gun laws and the Second Amendment.
  • The difference between now and the time in which the Amendment was drafted.
  • How the drastically increased killing power of modern firearms makes any reference to the laws crafted two centuries ago obsolete.

LePore is a frequent contributor to TheNew Yorker, as well as many other national news magazines.

APA Citation

LePore, J. (2012, April 23). Battleground America. The New Yorker. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/23/battleground-america

7th Edition MLA Citation

LePore, Jill. “Battleground America.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

LePore, Jill. “Battleground America.” The New Yorker, 23 Apr. 2012, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/23/battleground-america. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #4: Why We Can’t Talk About Gun Control

Hamblin discusses one of the most problematic aspects of the gun control debate: the fact that it is so politicized.

Here, the author explains his opinion by framing it in his own experiences. He states that he lost his job when he published a column arguing that it’s possible to regulate guns without infringing on individuals’ rights.

Hamblin is a frequent contributor and senior editor at TheAtlantic.

APA Citation

Hamblin, J. (2014, June 29). Why we can’t talk about gun control. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive /2014/06/how-to-interpret-the-second-amendment/373664

7th Edition MLA Citation

Hamblin, James. “Why We Can’t Talk About Gun Control.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 29 June 2014. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Hamblin, James. “Why We Can’t Talk About Gun Control.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group, 29 June 2014, www.theatlantic.com/politics /archive/2014/06/how-to-interpret-the-second-amendment/373664. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #5: California’s proposed gun laws won’t change our culture of violence, but they will make us safer

This editorial by the the LA Times Editorial Board explains that, even though California has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, there are still many loopholes. The editorial board argues that stricter regulations for purchasing guns and ammunition need to be in place to stop gun violence.

The Los Angeles Times is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper that has been in publication for more than 134 years.

APA Citation

Times Editorial Board. (2016, April 22). California’s proposed gun laws won’t change our culture of violence, but they will make us safer. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-adv-california-guns-20160422-story

7th Edition MLA Citation

Times Editorial Board. “California’s Proposed Gun Laws Won’t Change Our Culture of Violence, but They Will Make Us Safer.” LATimes.comLos Angeles Times Media Group, 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Times Editorial Board. “California’s Proposed Gun Laws Won’t Change Our Culture of Violence, but They Will Make Us Safer.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Media Group, 22 Apr. 2016, www.latimes.com/opinion/ editorials/la-ed-adv-california-guns-20160422-story. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Pro-gun control article #6: 4 Pro-Gun Arguments We’re Sick of Hearing

Though you might not automatically think hard-hitting news when you think of Rolling Stone magazine, the author of this brief article succinctly sums up four common pro-gun arguments and explains why she doesn’t feel they’re effective.

Rolling Stone covers a variety of cultural, music, social, and political news and is a well-established magazine.

APA Citation

Marcotte, A. (2015, October 1). 4 pro-gun arguments we’re sick of hearing. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/ politics/news/4-pro-gun-arguments-were-sick-of-hearing-20151001

7th Edition MLA Citation

Marcotte, Amanda. “4 Pro-Gun Arguments We’re Sick of Hearing.” Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Marcotte, Amanda. “4 Pro-Gun Arguments We’re Sick of Hearing.” Rolling Stone, 1 Oct. 2015, www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/4-pro-gun-arguments-were-sick-of-hearing-20151001. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Now that we’ve examined articles in favor of gun control, let’s take a look at a few articles that are against gun control.

6 Opposing Gun Control Articles

Anti-gun control article #1: 5 arguments against gun control — and why they are all wrong

Published in the LA Times, this op-ed piece is written by Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes, who are the founders of the gun violence prevention site Armed With Reason.

The authors argue that gun control laws don’t deter criminals and cannot prevent mass shootings.

APA Citation

DeFillipis, E., & Hughes, D. (2016). 5 arguments against gun control—and why they are all wrong. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/ opinion/op-ed/la-oe-defilippis-hughes-gun-myths-debunked-20160708-snap-story

7th Edition MLA Citation

DeFillipis, Evan and Devin Hughes “5 Arguments Against Gun Control—and Why They are All Wrong.” LATimes.com. Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

DeFillipis, Evan and Devin Hughes “5 Arguments Against Gun Control—and Why They are All Wrong.” Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2016, www.latimes.com/ opinion/op-ed/la-oe-defilippis-hughes-gun-myths-debunked-20160708-snap-story. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #2: Gun control isn’t the answer

Wilson, an author of several books about crime and a teaching fellow at Pepperdine University, asks an interesting question: how could or would we ever get rid of the hundreds of millions of guns that already exist in the United States?

He takes the stance that banning firearms is pointless, that “the genie is out of the bottle.” He discounts the debate—driven by the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred just before he wrote the article—as being driven by election politics and, therefore, insincere. Though this source is a bit older, it still raises a valid question.

APA Citation

Wilson, J. Q. (2007, April 20). Gun control isn’t the answer. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved fromhttp://www.latimes.com/la-oe-wilson20apr20-story.html

7th Edition MLA Citation

Wilson, James Q. “Gun Control Isn’t the Answer.” LATimes.com. Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2007. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Wilson, James Q. “Gun Control Isn’t the Answer.” Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2007, www.latimes.com/la-oe-wilson20apr20-story.html. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #3: Why Gun Owners are Right to Fight Against Gun Control

Hardy argues that sweeping gun control legislation proposed by the anti-gun lobby leaves no room for compromise. He then does a U-turn and complains about the slippery-slope nature of bans on one kind of weapon, such as assault weapons or sniper rifles, leading slowly but surely to total prohibition.

Hardy fears that the gun control lobby is on a crusade to wipe out individual gun ownership altogether.

Hardy is an Arizona attorney and a Second Amendment scholar and writer.

APA Citation

Hardy, D. T. (2013, July 18). Why gun owners are right to fight against gun control. Reason.com. Retrieved from http://www.reason.com/archives/ 2013/07/18/why-second-amendment-supporters-are-righ

7th Edition MLA Citation

Hardy, David T. “Why Gun Owners are Right to Fight Against Gun Control.” Reason.com. Reason Foundation, 18 July 2013. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Hardy, David T. “Why Gun Owners are Right to Fight Against Gun Control.” Reason.com, Reason Foundation, 18 July 2013, reason.com/ archives/2013/07/18/why-second-amendment-supporters-are-righ. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #4: ‘American Sniper’ widow: Gun control won’t protect us

This opinion piece discusses one woman’s experience with gun violence and why she believes gun control is not the answer.

Taya Kyle, the writer of this article, is also the author of American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal. The movie American Sniper was based on her late husband, Chris Kyle.

APA Citation

Kyle, T. (2013, July 18). ‘American Sniper’ widow: Gun control won’t protect us. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/opinions/taya-kyle-gun-control

7th Edition MLA Citation

Kyle, Taya. “‘American Sniper’ Widow: Gun Control Won’t Protect Us.” CNN.com. Cable News Network, 18 July 2013. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Kyle, Taya. “‘American Sniper’ Widow: Gun Control Won’t Protect Us.” CNN, 18 July 2013, www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/opinions/taya-kyle-gun-control. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #5: A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control

This article includes an interview with James Jacobs, director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University School of Law. He is also a professor of constitutional law and the author of Can Gun Control Work?

In this article, Jacobs examines misunderstandings about gun control and examines the effectiveness of various gun control strategies.

APA Citation

Davidson, J. (2015, December 1). A criminologist’s case against gun control. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/4100408/a-criminologists-case-against-gun-control

7th Edition MLA Citation

Davidson, Jacob. “‘A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control.” Time.com. Time Inc., 1 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Davidson, Jacob. “‘A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control.” Time, 1 Dec. 2015, time.com/4100408/a-criminologists-case-against-gun-control. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Anti-gun control article #6: How Gun Control Kills

The author gives examples of incidents of gun violence that were stopped by people carrying guns, arguing that had such people not been on the scene, the results would have been worse.

Hunter is an aide to conservative senator Rand Paul.

APA Citation

Hunter, J. (2012, December 27). How gun control kills. The American Conservative. Retrieved from http://www.theamericanconservative.com/ articles/how-gun-control-kills

7th Edition MLA Citation

Hunter, Jack. “How Gun Control Kills.” The American Conservative. Burr Media Group, 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Hunter, Jack. “How Gun Control Kills.” The American Conservative, Burr Media Group, 27 Dec. 2012, www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-gun-control-kills. Accessed 10 July 2016.

2 Resources About the Gun Control Debate

If you’re looking for articles with more background on the subject, check out these two resources that provide an overview of gun control and a variety of discussions about the topic.

Resource #1: Guns in America

In 2015–2016, the well-respected news source CNN aired a series of programming titled Guns in America. This resource contains both articles and videos about a wide array of gun-related topics, including town-hall meetings, an interview with President Obama, gun violence statistics, interviews with the NRA, a discussion of the gun industry, and segments about guns and police.

The articles and videos are too numerous to cite in this post, but I’ve included one sample to help illustrate how you might cite these resources.

APA Citation

Simon, M., & Sanchez, R. (2015, December 4). U.S. gun violence: The story in charts and graphs. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/ 04/us/gun-violence-graphics/index.html

7th Edition MLA Citation

Simon, Mallory and Ray Sanchez. “U.S. Gun Violence: The Story in Charts and Graphs.” CNN.com. Cable News Network,4 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Simon, Mallory and Ray Sanchez. “U.S. Gun Violence: The Story in Charts and Graphs.” CNN, 4 Dec. 2015, cnn.com/2015/12/04/us/gun-violence-graphics/index.html. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Resource #2: Gun Control Explained

This article, published by the The New York Times, provides broad definitions of gun control, includes arguments both for and against gun control, and even speculates as to why it’s so difficult to solve the debate.

APA Citation

Perez-Pena, R. (2015, October 7). Gun control explained. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/ 07/us/gun-control-explained.html?_r=0

7th Edition MLA Citation

Perez-Pena, Richard. “Gun Control Explained.” NYTimes.com. The New York Times Company,7 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 July 2016.

8th Edition MLA Citation

Perez-Pena, Richard. “Gun Control Explained.” The New York Times, 7 Oct. 2015, nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/07/us/gun-control-explained.html?_r=0. Accessed 10 July 2016.

Putting it All Together

You can cite these or any of thousands of other gun control articles to buttress your argument. (Read 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper if you need assistance researching more scholarly sources.)

Whichever side of the issue you take, make sure to mention the source, cite it properly (in-text and in your Works Cited or References list), and format direct quotations, summaries, and paraphrases per MLA 7th edition, MLA 8th edition, or APA guidelines.

If you copy the APA or MLA citations I created above, be sure to update the accessed date (10 July 2016) to the date that you accessed the article.

Keep in mind that there will be very, very few sources (including the ones I used above) that are totally objective. Most writers—and most websites—will be catering to an audience. For a fuller list of issues on both sides of the debate, check out these Top Pro & Con Arguments on gun control.

Your job is to filter out the bias and see what value a given person’s argument really has. Some of the most rabid commentators on both sides of the issue actually make good points—you just have to get past all the screaming.

Once you’re ready to start writing, check out these sample essays on gun control for some ideas on how to put your paper together.

If you need help with writing your essay, read How to Write a Research Paper: a Step-by-Step Guide. Need help with overall formatting according to the style guide you’re using? Give these resources a try:

When you’re finished drafting your argument, don’t forget to have an editor proofread your essay for you.

Good luck!

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