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Guns in America

Get started with your research on the issues of gun violence, gun safety, and gun legislation

Key Search Words

Use the words below to search for useful information in books and articles.

  • gun control
  • gun safety
  • gun rights
  • gun violence
  • Second Amendment
  • handguns
  • assault weapons
  • firearms
  • school shootings

Pro Con Arguments

Pro Argument

Brady Campaign to Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers

Con Argument

National Rifle Association's position on universal background checks


Start Learning About Your Topic

Background Reading:

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

This step is important so that you will:

  • Begin building your core knowledge about your topic
  • Be able to put your topic in context
  • Create research questions that drive your search for information
  • Create a list of search terms that will help you find relevant information
  • Know if the information you’re finding is relevant and useful

If you're working from off campus, you'll need to sign in if you aren't already logged into your MJC email or Canvas. If you are prompted to sign in, use the same credentials you use with email and Canvas. 


All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff. 

Create Research Questions to Focus Your Topic

The issues surrounding gun violence, gun safety, and gun legislation are complex. You could concentrate on one issue and do in-depth research on that, or use several of the questions below to focus more generally on the topic of guns.

  • Is gun violence a serious problem in America?
  • Does limiting access to guns reduce gun violence?
  • What laws exist to control gun ownership?
  • How are guns purchased and transferred in America?
  • How do other countries regulate gun ownership?
  • Should gun rights be controlled by states or by the federal government?
  • What are the arguments for regulating gun ownership?
  • What are the arguments against regulating gun ownership?

Find books in the MJC library catalog

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. You can also use books to find primary sources, which are often published together in collections.

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Find Articles in Library Databases

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

Find Web Resources

Search Google Scholar:

Google Scholar Search

Browse Featured Web Sites:

Cite Your Sources

Your instructor should tell you which citation style they want you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.