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Gun Control Essay, Research Paper

Do We Need Tougher Gun Control Laws?

What does the sound of amendment mean? In its entirety it reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Does this confer an unqualified right to bear arms? Or is it a right conditioned by the clause preceding the statement of right? Does the militia refer to the pe9ople generally, or does it specifically relate to the organized (”well regulated”) military bodies of state and national guards and the armed forces?

Gun control is one of many major topics of debate on Capitol Hill these days, but does it get the due attention that it needs? Gun related crimes are a major problem in the United States today. May believe that gun control laws need to become stricter, others believe that gun control does not work and may actually increase the incidence of robbery and other gun related crimes.

Carl T. Bogus and Daniel D. Polsby believe in the opposite views on gun control. Carl T. Bogus argues that even in small amounts, gun control will reduce the number of gun related crimes. Mr. Bogus presents facts suggesting that, along with other demographic factors held nearly the same, there is much less gun related crime in areas that have gun control. Mr. Bogus uses evidence of a (1980-1986) study of Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia to support his opinions and reasons for suggestions that gun control works even on a national level. With Seattle and Vancouver only 140 miles apart these two cities are remarkably alike despite being located on opposite sides of an international border. These two cities being similar in size, median household income, unemployment rate, and racial difference one would expect that the crime rate would also fall close together. Well, not exactly during the seven years of the study, there were two hundred and four homicides in Vancouver and three hundred and eighty-eight in Seattle-an enormous difference for two cities with comparable populations. The murder rate with knives and all other weapons excluding firearms- were virtually identical, but the rate of murders involving guns was five times greater in Seattle. (Carl T. Bogus, “The Strong Case for Gun Control,” Summer1992)

What Mr. Bogus tries to show with this study is that it is not the population or any other physical factor that plays into the enormous use of handguns to case crime, but the single law that Vancouver had that Seattle didn’t. A gun control law. Vancouver requires a permit for handgun purchases and issues them only to applicants who have a lawful reason to own a handgun and who, after an intensive investigation into ones background are found to have no criminal record and to be sane. The reason of self-defense is not a valid reason either. Those people wanting handguns for recreational uses are strictly regulated.

Mr. Bogus does great work on showing how a little gun control could help stop the rising problem of gun-related crimes in the U.S. Imagine what could be done with an even larger gun-control law. While Mr. Bogus pushes for more and stricter gun control Daniel D. Polsby a Professor of la contends that gun control does not work and adds that it may even entice more criminals to commit more crimes. Mr. Polsby leans more towards gun control being a false promise to the public. Mr. Polsby states that “the class of people we wish to deprive of guns, then is the very class with the most inelastic demand for them -criminals- whereas the people most likely to comply with gun control laws don’t value guns in the first place.” What Mr. Polsby states is true but contradicts his entire editorial. What this statement says is exactly why we need gun control laws passed. The high demand people are the ones that are causing the increasing rate of murders in the United States today. The people that do not care particularly about guns could care less about a gun law.

Mr. Polsby brings up the question “Do guns drive up crime rates?” Well, first thing you have to ask yourself is which promise is true – do guns increase crime or does the fear of crime cause people to obtain guns? Mr. Polsby does a great job of answering these questions in his side of the argument. He uses an article published by Arthur Kellermann and several associates to present his beliefs. In Mr. Killermann’s article he studied fifteen behavioral and fifteen environmental variables that applied to three-hundred and eighty eight member set of homicide victims, then found a “matching” control group of three-hundred and eighty eight non-homicide victims, and then ascertained how the two groups differed in gun ownership. The results were different, but the evidence, in my view, could not persuade someone to say that there is no need for a gun control policy.

Gun violence is a plague of such major proportions that only wars and epidemics rival its destructive power. While reading opinions and facts from both sides of a major topic, it brought great thought of myself into this topic. Gun control is something America needs greatly. There are, by far, more positive points in having gun control than negative ones. Mr. Polsby’s thoughts and opinions on why there should not be gun control are almost completely ridiculous. America as a majority wants gun control but not enough to make it a priority in the voting booth. America needs more proof that gun control will work. Once America learns that real gun control works is when America will learn of the murder rate falling.

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