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Gun Control Essay Essay, Research Paper
Gun control has been a controversial issue for years. A vast majority of citizens believe that if gun control is strictly enforced it would quickly reduce the threat of crime. Many innocent people feel they have the right to bear arms for protection, or even for the pleasure of hunting. These people are penalized for protecting their lives, or even for enjoying a common, innocent sport. To enforce gun control throughout the nation, means violating a persons Constitutional rights. Although some people feel that the issue of gun control will limit crime, the issue should not exist due to the fact that guns are necessary for self-defense against crime, and by enforcing gun control is violating a citizen s second amendment right to bear arms.
The modern day anti-gun advocate cries out that if guns were outlawed, then the violent crime rate would drop dramatically. Were this true, I would agree with them, however, this is the true myth in the situation. Were guns still outlawed, the criminal with a desire to attain a gun would still be able to get them. In the first place, most violent criminals do not buy guns legally in the first place, they usually buy them from black market dealers. (Pitman p.17) Second, the crime rate does not come from the availability of firearms but from the lack respect in today s society for other people s lives and property. Were guns make illegal, the same affect as de-legalizing narcotics and, in the 20 s, alcohol had, absolutely nothing. Those individuals that wanted to get these things, would still get them without any trouble at all.
The “waiting period” method of gun control is basically a two-step process. The first step in the procedure is that the person wanting a gun goes to his local shop (or calls a reputable mail order outlet) to place the initial order. Then, he must wait one to two weeks while the government performs a small background check for past criminal activities, disorderly conduct, or lack of mental/emotional stability. During this time, if the purchaser of the gun wanted the gun for impulse reasons, it is hoped that they will not still want to cause bodily harm after a couple weeks. (Larson p.34) The problem with this method of gun control is that it stops the ordinary citizen from purchasing a gun on the whim, but it actually protects the common criminal. Underage buyers and other delinquents can purchase mass quantities of weapons through “dummy buyers” that have clean backgrounds. So if a burglar enters a house with full intention to maim or kill, the innocent victim (who can’t get a gun to protect his family because he was arrested for drunk driving seven years ago) is simply a victim of a law that supports black market trade. There are over 200 million registered guns in circulation, and they are the ones that will not be killing our children.
Guns are evil to some, because of the violence that they create. People express guns as weapons of homicide. They insist that, the more guns with which our society equips itself, the greater the likelihood for accidents or violent acts involving fire arms to occur. (Pitman p17) It is a proven fact that handguns have been the murder weapon of choice. Guns are involved in half of all homicide cases. People believe that society has relied on weapons that create harm and criminals. Therefore, these weapons should be outlawed. However, law-abiding citizens have the right to protect themselves against danger. Due to the ownership of guns, burglaries have reduced considerably. A gun is a tool. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. The matter depends on who is using the gun, and what situation it is involved in.
When our fore fathers first came onto this land they were oppressed by their rulers. These wise men decided to stage a revolt against their government and start up a new government, with a set of rules, laws and rights. They did not stage this massive revolt by negotiation, or arbitration but with blood shed on both sides. When the revolt was over, the fore fathers had risen to victory through the use of warfare and guns. They then decided to make a bill stating the basic rights that every man in the country could have. There were ten of these basic rights, among them were the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the right of free speech, and most importantly, the right too keep and bear arms in order to protect their families, gather food, and preserve their rights from all threats.
During a 1974 police strike in Albuquerque armed citizens patrolled their neighborhoods and shop owners publicly armed themselves; felonies dropped notably. In March 1982 Kennesaw, Georgia, enacted a law requiring members of each household to keep a gun at home; house burglaries fell from 65 per year to 26, and to 11 the following year. Comparable publicized training programs for gun-toting merchants distinctly reduced store robberies in Highland Park, Michigan, and New Orleans; a grocer s organization’s gun clinics produced the same result in Detroit. Perhaps we should look beyond guns as the cause of violence. The fact is violence and crime are perplexedly linked with collapsing educational standards, increasing delinquency and a deteriorating society worldwide. In Australia, a 1989 Parliamentary Inquiry into literacy found that more than one million citizens are functionally illiterate and some 32 percent had problems completing job histories. Corresponding with this is a crime rate that parallels other countries. Between 1973-1974 and 1991-1992 the number of serious assaults has risen 391 percent and the robbery rate increased by 190 percent. (Singlton p.26)
Another interesting recent development has been the backlash against the gun-control advocates. In many states, including Florida and Texas, citizens have stated that they want to preserve their right to carry firearms for self-defense. Since the late 1980s, Florida has been issuing concealed weapons permits to law-abiding citizens, and these citizens have been carrying their firearms to defend themselves from rampant crime. The result is that the incidence of violent crime has actually dropped in contrast to the national average. (Pooley p.12) Previously, Florida had been leading the nation in this category, and the citizens of that state have welcomed the change. Gun control advocates tried to claim that there would be bloodshed in the streets when these citizens were given the right to carry. They tried to claim that the cities of Florida would become like Dodge City with shootouts on every street corner. These gun control advocates were wrong. Over 200,000 concealed carry permits have been issued so far, with only 36 of these permits revoked for improper use of a firearm. This statistic is easy to understand. It is the law-abiding citizens who are going through the process of getting concealed carry permits so that they may legally carry a firearm. The people who go through this legal process do not want to break the law, and they do not intend to break the law. The people who do intend to break the law will carry their guns whether or not the law allows them to do so.
The most recent efforts of the gun control lobby have been to claim that certain types of guns and ammunition are inherently evil. They assign emotional catch phrases such as “assault weapons” and “cop killer bullets” to broad categories of firearms and ammunition in the hopes that people will believe that some guns have an evil nature.
Most people who are unfamiliar with firearms do not fully understand what these phrases mean, and they accept the terms being used without question. What people do not often understand is that the term “assault weapon” has been defined to include all semi automatic rifles, and “cop killer” has been defined to include any bullet that can penetrate type-two body armor. It comes as a surprise to most people that a large number of simple hunting rifles can do both. Does ownership of one of these weapons cause people to become mass murderers? It does not, and we must not fall into the trap of blaming the sword for the hand that wields it.
The second amendment states the citizen s right to own and bear firearms. Freedom to poses arms is a guaranteed citizen right. If the constitutional rights of a citizen are violated, it can be a complex issue. In the case of US vs. Miller during the year of 1939, The Supreme Court voted against individual rights to bear arms. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws. This is why all citizens should be aware of all of their constitutional rights. Forcing gun control is not going to have an effect on the crime rate, because it will not keep criminals from purchasing weapons. If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. If a person is willing to pay a price they will get what they want. Gun owners have to protect themselves from these criminals, and all gun owners must be informed of their second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
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