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Guns Essay, Research Paper

Gun Control, a term that refers to the management of firearms in an effort to reduce the criminal use of these weapons. (MICROSOFT (R) ENCARTA 1995) In the early 1990s there were more than 200 million privately owned guns in the United States, which makes it plain to see why there are arguments for and against even the smallest amount of gun control. The Second Admendment to the Constitution of the United States, guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

In the 1930s a law passed by the federal government that required people wishing to own or possess a fully automatic or sawed-off barrel firearm to pay a $200 registration fee. This law was amended in 1986 to ban the manufacture of fully automatic firearms. (MICROSOFT (R) ENCARTA 1995) Some of the U.S. cities, such as Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York City, place restrictions on handgun ownership. A few cities across the U.S. have banned handguns entirely. A federal law restricts handgun amuntion capable of piercing body armor, and also requires that guns with plastic parts to contain enough enough metal in the gun to be detectable amount of metal. Law enforcement groups are among the most influential supports for a stricter gun control laws.

Efforts to pass national gun control laws have met fierce opposition from gun lobbiest. However in 1993, after a seven year battle, the congress of the United States passed the Brady bill, which requires prospective gun buyers to wait five working days before actually taking possession of their firearms. The bill was named after former White House press secretary James Brady, who became a proponet of gun control after being shot and seriously wounded during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Bill Clinton heads the most anti-Second Amendment Administration in our history, and he is very proud of it. He has signed into law two of the most restrictive / contriviersal law on federal gun control in our nations history. (http://www.nra.org/) The 1996 election came together with mixed results for American Gun oweners. The 105 th congress will come back together with pro gun majorities, with the most anti-gun president the United States has ever seen. (http://www.nra.org/pub/ila/96-11-14_grassfire_2nd_ admendment_ congress_ majority) In four years, we will see who will be the controlling force in our new government, many wonder if it will be Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, and Charles Schumer, or will it be our new 105th pro gun Congress.

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) claims to be: First and Foremost, is its membership–Millions of Americans representing a diverse contrast from age, sex, race, religion. Americans have joined us from every state in the union, from every kind of economic background, from ever

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kind of politcal affiliation. What members share with every other member is an apprecation of shooting sports, belief in our constitu tional right to keep and bear arms and, most of all, a commitment to safety, responsibilty and freedom. The NRA was incorporated in 1871 to provide firearm training and encourage inter- est in shooting sports.

(http://www.NRA.org/NRA- Precis. html)

Here are some very simple facts, of some major cities that have gun control, and have had it since the mid 1960s-1970s:

Washington D.C. Homocide Numbers/PerCapita Rates, 20-Year Trend

1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985

268 277 235 188 192 189 180 200 223 294 183 175 147

35.9 38.3 32.8 26.8a 27.8 28.0 27.4 31.5 35.1 30.7 29.4 28.1 23.5

1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994

194 225 369 434 472b 482c 443e 454f 399g

31.0 36.2 59.5 71.9 77.8 80.6d 75.2 78.5 70.0

a. From 1974-1976, before law took effect, the homocide rate dropped 30%

b. 380 of the city s 382 firearm-related homocides were commited with handguns

c. 383 of the city s 382 firearm-related homocides were commited with handguns

d. D.C. s homocide tripled between 1976 (the last year before the ban took effect, and 1991, when the homocide peaked

e. All of the city s 368 firearm related homocides were commited with handguns

g. 304 of the city s 309 firearm related homocides were commited with handguns

(source Washington D.C. Police)

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago imposed a handgun registration requirement in 1968, the restriction had no effect on the total homocide rate percentages:

1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974

158 212 262 274 334 409 390 398 459 464

40% 42% 47% 42% 47% 51% 47% 56% 53% 48%

After homocides peaked in 1974, they declined until the 1980s. In April 1982, a law prohibiting possesion of handguns not previously registered with the Chicago police department took effect. The total annual handgun homocide murders fluctuated for several years, then sharply rose:

1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993

254 290 289 261 285 260 371 417 513 542 534 551

28% 40% 39% 39% 38% 38% 56% 56% 60% 58% 57% 65%

Oak Park Illinois

A Chicago suburb, despite burglary and other violent crimes trends in other suburbs rates rose sharply in the Oak Park after the ban on handgun sales in 1977. Between 1997-1984 (all facts and figures from Chicago city and county police)


Homocide Robbery Assualt Burglary

Oak Park +58% +83% +113% +109%

U.S. Suburbs -13% -5% +5% -19% U.S. -9% +8% +17% -12%

Kennesaw, Georigia

in 1982, Kennesaw passed an ordinance to provide for the civil defense of the city of Kennesaw, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants. The ordinance states that, every head of the household residing in the city limits of Kennesaw is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition for it, except criminals, persons with moral or religious objections, and those mentally or physically incapacitated.(Code of Ordinances, Chapter 8: Civil Defense and Disaster Relief, Section 8-10, enacted March 15, 1982-Http://www.NRA.org/) People of the city were not excpected to go out and purchase handguns after the passing of the ordinace, it was pursumed that most households had arms and ammunition, and that the people of the city of Kennesaw were capable of protecting themselves and would do so inside the law. Needless to say between 1981-1985 violents crimes and burglaries dropped. Violent crim!

es in Kennesaw dropped 71%, burglaries dropped 65%. Between 1981-1993, the population in this small town doubled, and yet burglaries still dropped a signifacntly 16%. (Police in the village of Kennesaw)

Wisconsin: The right to bear arms?

Prediction by the media with a heavy percentage of anti-gun activists were suppose to have a ban on all handguns. With a surprising outcome voters in

the city of Madison rejected a handgun bill in April of 1993, by a slim margin of 51% – 49%. On November 8,1994; the people of Milwaukee voters rejected a another handgun ban by an embarrasing 67%-33%, and in Kenosha progun supporters won another gun ban proposal by a landslide of 73%-27%.


In Texas members of the NRA helped Suzanna Gratia Hupp be relected in District 54, who will be a very powerfull voice in right to self defense in Austin. Suzanna was is a survivor of a tragedy in Killeen, Texas, wher she sat and watched helplessly as her parents were murded in cold blood.

James Madison, of Virgina:

The constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every nation.. (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. -The Federalist, No. 46


The United States far surpasses every other industrialized nation on the face of the Earth. Just the murder rate in Washington D.C. alone is 15 times greater than that of Northern Ireland which in known for in terrorism. (coalition to stop gun violence {CSGV} at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/welcome.htm & Harper s index, Harpers Magazine, January 1994, p. 15)

In other nations close to our greatness this sensless violence does not occur, in 1990, handguns were used to murder 22 people in Great Britain, 68 in Canada, 87 in Japan, and 11,719 in the United States. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & {NCHS} National Center for Health care Statistics) The number of young mem killed int United States versus the rest of the world is alomst unbelievable. In 1990 alone, the homocide rate per 100,000 people for males ages 15-24 was as follows: (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & NCHS) One of the reasons there is such a large descripency between nations is because in Germany, France, Canada, Britian, and Japan, handguns and assualt weapons are virtually banned from the general public.

One study done by Arthur Kellerman comparing the rates of handgun violence in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver Canada, demostrates that a ban on handgun would decrease violence. These two cities are two hours apart by car, and very similar. Vancouver strictly regulates handguns, the two cities are similar in burglary, robbery, and assault, but in Seattle, there is almost five times greater risk of being shot or injured with a handgun than in Vancouver (John Henry Sloan, a tale of two cities, The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 319, November 10, 1988, p.1256 & CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/)

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) was founded in 1974 to combat the growing gun violence in the United States. Like the NRA this group is made up of more than forty religious, professional, labor, medical educational, and civic organizations. The primary goal of the CSGV is to stop the private sale of handguns, in the United States. CSGV not only wants to ban the sale of, but they also want to ban assault weapons/handguns from importation, manufacture, sale, and transfer by the general American public, with reasonable expectations for police departments. Hunting rifles such as shot guns and rifles would be unaffected by these bans, because of no significantly large threat as the smaller more dangerous handguns/assualt weapons.

This group also supports any efforts to limit the availability of gun dealers licenses, increasing gun dealers license fees, restricting gun owners, increasing handgun and ammunition taxes to offset health care costs, imposing strict liability for gun manufactures and dealers, regulating firearms as consumer products, banning Saturday Night Specials, and establishing a national group for one handgun a month purchase limit.

To try to persuade congress into helping in resricting some gun laws, they participate in several programs in lobbying congress and the state legislatures. The CSGV is in the process of building the Cease-fire Action Network, a national network of grassroots activists dedicated to stopping gun violence. CSGV maintains a library on the gun industry and violence research. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) reports indicates there were over 211,000,000 firearms privately owned in the United States in 1991, and approximately 70,666,000 were handguns.(http://www.ustreas.gov/treasury/bureaus/atf/atf.html) Since 1989 gun manufactures/importers introduced an average of 3.5 million new guns into the United States market alone. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & ATF June 29, 1994; U.S. Firearms Production, American Firearms industry, March 1994 p.41; ATF, February 23,1993; and U.S. Firearms Production 1993, American Firearms Industry, January 1995, p.74) According to those records there is approximately one gun for each adult and half the children in America.(CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census) Every 10 seconds a gun is manufactured in the United States and every 11 seconds a gun is imported into the U.S..(CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ page 5

www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & ATF, Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report, 1993, cited in Mother Jones pullout, Jan/Feb 1994)

The three big pushes that the gun lobbist use to justify firearms is:

1. Gun Control Won t Stop Gun Violence or Crime Comtrol, Not Gun Control

Out of all the inmates surveyed, only 27% of them admitted to buying a handgun on the black market, while a shocking 69% acquired their handguns from family, friends, private owners, amd/or retail outlets. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & Criminal Justice Reaserch) Another survey conducted on juvenile inmates revealed that 43% of them received guns from the black market, but 55% of them obtained gun from family, friends, or even a gun shop. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & Sheley and J. Wright, Gun Acquisition and possession in Selected Juvenile Samples, Research in Brief, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC., 1993)

2.Firearm Ownership Is A Constitutional Right

A well regulated Milita

being necessary to the security of a free state,

the right of the people to keep and bear arms,

shall not be infringed

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

In 1939 the Supreme Court decided in the case, U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, that possession of a firearm is not protected by the Second Amendment unless it has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia. The Supreme Court has also ruled that todays organized militia is the National Guard. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & Burton v. Sills, 248 A.2d 521 (N.J. 1968) appeal dismissed 394 U.S. 812 (1969) In U.S. v. Toner, 728 F.2d 115,128 (second Cir. 1984), the court states that gun possesssion is clearly not a fundamental right. Lower federal courts consistently follow the Miller decsion that the Second Amendment does not protect and give individuals the right to bear arms. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/ & United States v. Miller, 307 US 174 (1939); Lewis v. United States, 445 US 55 (1980); and Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, 532 F Supp 1169 (ND Ill 1981), aff d, 695 F2d 261 (7th Cir 1982) cert denie!

d, 464 US 863 (1983)

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3 Handguns are a great means of self defense

Reaserch shows that residents with families, that live in a home were a gun is present are 5 times more likely to experience a suicide or accidental death,(CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; Federick P. Rivara, MD, MPH; Grant Somes, PhD; Donald T. Reay, MD; Jerry Francisco, MD; Joyce Gillentine Banton, MS; Janice Prodzinski, BA; Corinne Flinger, MD; and Bela B. Hackman, MD, Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 327, No. 7, August 13,1992 pp.467-472) these families are also 3 times more likely to experience a homcide (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH; Norman B. Rushforth, PhD; Joyce G. Banton, MS; Donald Treay, MD; Jerry T. Fransico, MD; Ana B. Locci, PhD; Janice Prodzinski, BA; Bela B. Hackman, MD; and Grant Somes, PhD, Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home, New England Jou!

nrnal of Medicine, vol. 329, No. 15, October 7, 1993, pp.1084-1001) A gun that is kept unloaded in a house hold is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household, or a friend, than an it is to kill a intruder. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Arthur Kellerman and Donald Reay. Proection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home. The New England Journal of Medicine, vol 314, no. 24 June 1986 pp. 1557-60)

The reasearch indicates that if someone was to use a firearm to resest a violent assault than it actually increases the victims risk of injury and even death. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & FE Zimring, Firearms, violence and public policy, Scientific American, vol. 265, 1991, p.48)

In the citing above there are several names that I wish to talk about. The names are Dr. Arthur Kellermann and Dr. Donald Reay, these two distinguished doctors were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, for their work in firearm accidents and homicides. These two did a study on 743 gunshot deaths, and found that 398 deaths occured in the home where handgun was kept. Their findings also concluded that, residents were shot 89% of the time by a family member, spouse, roommate, or themselves not by a criminal or a stranger. A total of 84% of the homocides occurred during arguments or disputes at home. Only 2 out of the 743 gunshot deaths occuring at home involved a intruder, and 9 out of the 743 deaths were determinded by the courts to be justified. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Ibid) Justifiable homocide is pretty narrowly defined as the use of deadly force in defense of ones life or against

serious bodily harm. Which means in laymens terms, that a person must have reason to believe that their life is in danger. Here is a example, if someone is trying to steal your car, and you come outside and shoot them, that would not be a justifiable homicide. In most states that the use of deadly force is only to be used after all other options have failed. Which means if someone has a back door and is able to run out of it instead of shooting the perpetrator, that is what the victim should do.

Evidence which was revealed in the Kellermann study is consistent with the data that was reported by the FBI. In 1993 alone, there were 24,526 people murdered, 13,980 with handguns, and there were only 251 justifiable homicides by civilians using handguns.(CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & FBI, Crime in the United States:Uniform Crime Reports 1994, 1995

In Australia there are four million privately owned firearms, out numbering police guns by more than ten to one. The average number of Australians killed each year is 600-700.

1 In 1984 alone there were 522 Australians killed by handguns, approximately 80% of these were suicides; 16% were homicides, and only 4% were unintentional injuries.

2 In the past decade, 116 people have been killed in Australia and New Zealand in 14 incidents there were more than 4 victims were shot. There were 15 criminals in 14 incidents (one had two gunmen). There were 55 wounded survivors in these accidents.

3 A military style semi-automatic weapon was used by six of the criminals, yet those event accounted for 74 (64%) out of the 116 people.

4 Out of the 15 criminals, 13 of them had no previous convictions for violent crimes

5 11 out of the 15 were not know to have any kind of mental illness

6 10 out of the 15 criminals, either had valid gun licenses or had been licensed shortly before the shootings took place.

(CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info)

Now that I have given you the facts and figures for the shooting deaths in Australia, lets take into fact the population difference. Australia has a grand total of 18,322,231, which 12,199,249 is between the ages of 15-64. The United States has a grand total of 263,814,032, which 171,928,417 is between the ages of 15-64 years old. The total number of these figures were done in July of 1995 (all the population totals were retrieved at CIA Fact book; http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/95fact/index.html#r245) Which this is very true for a lot of nations that were mentioned in this report, the U.S. does have a lot more accidental homicides than most other countries, but look at the population/size of the United States compared to any other industrialized nation on this planet.

A 1994 poll of Americans shows that for the first time fighting, violence, and gangs moved to the top of the list to tie with lack of discipline as the largest problem facing our public schools today. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Gallup Organization and Phi Delta Kappa, 26th annual Gallup Poll of the Publics attitude towards the Public Schools)

Another freighting discovery by Lou Harris is that only 1 out 5 students would tell a teacher if another student was carrying a weapon.(CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Louis Harris Research, Inc. A survey of the Violence in American Schools: The Family Perspective)

There are many different theories on were kids get there guns from. Law enforcement and schools believe that 80% of the kids get the guns they bring from home. While students estimate that 40% of there fellow class mates buy the guns the bring on the streets. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Harrington-Keuker, Donna Blown Away, The American School Board Journal May 1992 p. 22) A Chicago based Institute conducted a poll and found that only 43% of the parents who had children under the age of 18 years old, kept a gun safely locked (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Louis Harris Research, INC. A survey of the American People on Guns as a Childrens Health Issue, p. 20)

A estimated 1.2 million elementary aged, latchkey children have access to guns in their homes. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Lee, RK, Sacks, JJ. Latchkey Children and Guns at Home, JAMA, Vol 264, 1990) By the date October 1995, 47 states have adopted new school policies of mandatory suspension for any students who bring guns to school, preliminary findings reveal there has been a decrease in the number of guns since such policies have been established. (CSGV at http://www.gunfree.internect/csgv/basic info & Maria Newman, Some Progress Is Seen on Federal Initiative for Gun Free Schools, New York Times, October page 9


I. Gun Control

A. Definition

B. Gun Control

1 NRA standpoint

2 government standpoint

II. Stats

A. Stats against Gun control

1 Washington D.C. homocide rates

2 Chicago Handgun restriction

3 Oak Park IL

4 Kennesaw GA

B. Country Rate

III. Admenmants

A. Admenmants and court decisions pertaining too

B. Doctors and New England Jounral of Medicine

IV. American vrs. Foriegn County stats

A. Americans stats

B. Aulstrailia Stats


A. Scarry School Stats

B. Handguns and or kids

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