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Gun Control 4 Essay, Research Paper

Gun control has been an issue for a long time. Gun control is the government limitation of the purchase and ownership of firearms. The availability of guns is controlled by nations and localities throughout the world. In the U.S. the right of the people to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution, but has been variously interpreted. Some states and localities have enacted strict licensing and other control measures.

The issue is gun control, and the following arguments present the pros and cons of the debate.

PRO- those who are for gun control favor the banning of privately owned guns. They believe the result well be a huge drop in violence and the saving of many lives. Not only would accidents be prevented if there were no legally owned guns, but it would be harder for criminals to get hold of guns. If there are fewer guns in public hands, there are fewer guns to steal. All of society would benefit. Gun control advocates believe that the enormous cost of police, medical, and social services needed to deal with gun-related problems would drop sharply.

CON- those who are against gun control favor the private ownership of guns. They often point out that guns don t kill, people do. They see violent people as the real problem. And they claim that if there were no guns in the hands of the public, such dangerous people would find other weapons. Gun-owner groups feel that banning guns would have no effect on criminal use. Criminals own guns now! They won t change their ways just because the laws change. These groups pint out that if legally owned guns were banned, only the criminals would be unprotected.

In my opinion I think there should in fact be strict laws on purchasing guns so that they don t fall into the wrong hands. I do favor gun control and fell that there should be strict actions in preventing the sales on guns on the streets. Even though there are people who buy guns for protection, they wouldn t have too if there was stricter laws for preventing them from getting into the hands of people who will miss use them. Here are some statistics just to show you how much guns do damage in crimes:

? seventy million people own guns in the U.S

? fifty percent of owners own them for protection

? fifty percent of all criminals have committed at least one gun crime

? criminals who do own guns own an average of 6.6 guns

? seventy percent of convicts stole or purchased guns from family members

? only sixteen percent of convicts bought guns from retail outlets

? thirty-eight percent of gun owners fired a shot during a crime

? thirty thousand Americans die from guns each year

? three out of five deaths are from guns

There are many more statistics about guns and crimes that I will spare you from because the point is there are to many out there and to many crimes occurring because of them. There have been many laws and restrictions trying to control the purchase of guns to people who will use them for purposes such as crimes and murders. Such restrictions include:

? the federal legislation (1968) prohibited the sale of rifles by mail

? congressional passage (1993) of the Brady bill (named for James Brady, the press secretary seriously wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on Pres. Reagan) after years of controversy. It requires a five-day waiting period and background check before a handgun purchase

? no one can privately own automatic weapons, like assault-style weapons, that fire a steady stream of bullets when the trigger is pulled, without a hard-to-get special permit. Other heavy army-type weapons also require a permit

? a person with a serious criminal record or record of mental illness can t legally own a firearm. By law, a person seeking to buy weapons almost always has to undergo a background check. In some places, this involves waiting for several days. In others it is done right in the gun store.

? certain cheaply made handguns and especially damaging bullets, often called cop killers bullets, are outlawed.

? no one under the age of 18 can legally own a gun of any kind.

The key word in most of these phrases is legally. The fact is that most guns used in crimes are not legally owned. So in other words, such restrictions and laws have proved not to work, which has brought up the discussion of stricter laws. The idea of there being stricter laws can easily be proved to be a more successive move because in 1985 the average rate of homicides per one hundred thousand people was 3.14 in the United States. Where as in Japan the rate of homicides per one hundred thousand people was 0.038. What are the Japanese doing that we aren t? Well the laws for gun control in Japan are that no citizen is allowed to own a handgun and only hunters and target shooters are allowed to purchase rifles after severe examinations. Would this work in the United States is a good question.

Another issue concerning gun control in the United States is where do all the criminals get there guns from? We know that only a small percent of criminals get there guns from retail outlets, which means that most guns are illegally used. So how do we stop guns from circulating in the public? It s easy don t sell them to the public. If a person doesn t have a gun he can always steal one because such a large population of the people in this country own them.

Gun violence is a huge issue and should not be taken lightly. One thing that concerns me is that why the toll of gun violence in teenagers and young adults is especially high. Reports show that the amount of people killed by guns under the age of thirty-five has doubled in the last twenty-five years. In 1989, over half (52%) of all victims murdered by firearms were twenty to thirty-four. Slightly over sixty-six percent were between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four. Why are teenagers and young adults so often victims of gun violence? According to the experts, many factors may cause a young person to resort to violence and to pick up a gun if it is available. Some say that unemployment, the use of drugs and alcohol, personal problems, or lack of maturity lead to such violence. Others blame permissive gun laws that have made it easy for young people to acquire guns and to use them for violent purposes.

In conclusion there are many factors concerning gun control such as stricter laws and what would happen if we did this or that. But main the thing is for there to be something done, because by just arguing over the issue it is not improving the chances of gun crimes to decrease. Should we do what other countries do? Should we ban guns from the public? I don t know. But if there is to be any improvement in the decrease of gun crimes it is my belief that there should be gun control laws and that the public should not own guns at all. I also believe that they should do something, anything to stop the circulation of illegal guns and the purchase of illegal guns. But the only question I can ask myself is would it help.

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