Thesis: Congress should uphold the ban on assault-type weapons.
I.Introduction of the history and background information.
- A.Important statistics concerning assault weapon facts.
- B.The problem with assault weapons on the streets.
- C.Assault weapons use in war situations and law enforcement.
II.Defending the debate of upholding the ban on gun control.
- A.The deadly stories and statistics on assault weapons.
- B.The opposition of the National Rifle Association, and the needed restrictions.
- C.Guns direct correlation with crime in America.
III.The opposing view on gun control.
- A.The Constitutional debate on assault weapons.
- B.The National Rifle Association and their impact.
IV.The conclusion to the debate, and the policy position.
- A.The need for upholding the ban on assault weapons.
- B.Rationalizing the framers intent to the constitution.
Summary: The ban on assault weapons must be up held so that the crime rate caused by assault weapons will decrease. To have a full understanding of this we must examine the constitutional fathers true intent of the right to bear arms. If we combine this with what the Bible says then we must support a ban on assault weapons. Supporting the Ban on Assault WeaponsThis year tragedy will strike over 30,000 American citizens, because America will have over 30,000 homicides this year. A statistic in which America leads the world in. There are up to one million crimes committed involving guns in general (Lamar, 1990). Every fourteen minutes another person is shot in this country (Levintion&Reiley, 1989).
In fact within the last two months assault weapons have killed innocent elementary school children in two different incidents. What is happening in our society? Have we lost all sense of morals and structure? American cities are becoming war zones following the concept, which states only the strong, will survive. The only problem with this theory is that the average citizen has an unfair disadvantage if they do not own their own assault weapon. A study found that one out of every five high school students entered the classroom carrying a weapon. They do this strictly out of fear for their own lives.
Is this the country that is the land of the free and home of the brave? In Los Angeles schools alone last year, 405 guns were confiscated (Witkin, 1990). This is an amazing statistic but even more amazing is that twenty-eight of them were found in elementary schools. Guns and violence are not just found in schools. In the state of Louisiana and Texas, more people now die from gunshot wounds than from car accidents. Since 1980 the citys homicide rate has doubled. These violent outrages are spurred on by deadly convergence of gangs, drugs, and even more assault weaponry.
Juvenile arrests in our nation for homicides climbed from six to over one hundred in one year alone (Hull, 1993). Police have complained about being outgunned by drug dealers with Uzis and AR-15s (Lamar, 1989). The idea of having a gun has now moved from the drug scene, and currently infects a large segment of young people. Law enforcement officials would also like more restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons like the TEC-9 and the MAC-10. Though these guns are inaccurate, they are also very cheap, and easy to conceal and are fully automatic operation.
If the United States were losing this many people to a deadly virus or to a war, there would be a public outcry. Yet more Americans die of a gunshot wounds every two years than have died to date of AIDS. The government has many programs to deal with the AIDS epidemic, and yet no permanent solution has conquered the problem of access to assault weapons. Similarly, guns have taken more American lives in two years than the entire Vietnam War. Only automobile accident surpass shooting as the leading cause of injury induced fatalities (Davison, 1990).
While auto safety is a continuing public preoccupation, most Americans seem indifferent to guns or unwilling to do much about them. Assault weapons having the sole purpose to kill with little effort were created for war situations. Machine guns were created as early as the First World War. Infantry soldiers for their efficiency used them in both of the world wars. They were lightweight guns, and could hold many bullets at one time. These guns were designed to spray multiple bullets to an area in a very short amount of time. This type of gun is exactly what you would want for war, and now we see forms of this gun all over the streets of America.
The assault type weapon was modeled after the French fire arm, the gattling gun and was developed from there to be an anti aircraft gun. It could be also used portably by infantry soldiers. A gun that can fire fourteen to sixteen bullets per minute is not classified as a sportsmans gun (Skinner, 1998). These guns have taken so many peoples lives in just a few seconds and a couple pulls of a trigger. These weapons should only be used in war situations and by law enforcement officials protecting citizens who cross the country. On the other hand, trusting young kids on the street to be using these types of guns is unheard of. Nor would it be safe to have a mentally disturbed person who is angry at the world owing such guns.
That is why the restrictions on assault weapons should be severe. The ease availability of assault weapons means that a single flash of anger can lead to another deadly statistic. Some will argue that it is the person, not the gun who kills people. This slogan is true but it does not explain the full picture.Without easy access to all kinds of guns could it be possible for Americans to go on killing one another at such drastic rates. While the country is numb, the families and friends the dead leaves behind are not. The perseverance of gun ownership in America, one in every other household, is relevant.
A gun assault is far more likely to prove fatal then an attack with a knife. For this reason, the band on assault weapons should be upheld for America to survive. How can America think of itself as a civilized society when day after day the death toll rises through gun firing across the land? Firearms caused 26,442 deaths among California residents throughout a seven-year span. This accounted for two percent of all the deaths in the population. This percentage seems to be a small amount, but the reality of the 26, 442 deaths overshadow the two- percent. In Stockton, Ca. A crazed gunman opened fire in a schoolyard with a semi automatic AK-47. A few minutes later 106 rounds were fired, five children were left dead and twenty-nine wounded.
New Jersey and California are the only states where assault weapons are outlawed. In this case, the law did not stop the gunman from firing bullets in a schoolyard full of children. In the face of strong national riffle association opposition, the Georgia senate voted down a bill that would make it unlawful for an adult to keep a loaded fire arm within reach of a child (Witkin, 1990). President Clinton has declared support for a federal law limiting the sale of assault weapons.
He recently told a New jersey audience that protecting the right to bare arms for sport or self defense does not mean, that everybody in America need to be able to buy a semiautomatic or automatic weapon built for the only purpose of killing people. (Witkin, 1990) Why do Americans kill one another in such appalling numbers? In 1991 gunfire rang through the streets of Washington as residents unloaded their guns into the sky to hail the New Year. Some turned their guns on neighbors, and three people were killed when their vehicles were sprayed with bullets.
Ninety nine percent of those who legally own fire arms never commit any crime with their weapons, but it is that one percent that account for more than 30,000 deaths annually by fire arms (Kleck, 1993). There must be some form of restriction on these deadly guns. The sole purpose of assault type weapons is to kill in war situations. Where you have guns you have deaths. A cut back in the availability would cause crime to go down it these troublesome areas. It ht e past thirty years, 60 percent of all deaths in our nation were from firearms. The United States homicide rate is the highest in the western world. The average in America is about ten killings for every 100,000 citizens. Where as, in Japan it is 1.3 and 5.5 in Britain forevery100, 000. These statistics show how serious the matter is. There is an immediate need to respond and let our voice be heard about this downward cycle of our society.
Guns have a direct correlation to crime, In 1964 crime with guns was at fifty eight percent. Through the next ten years as guns became more accessible it rose to sixty-nine percent. Recently, over the past ten years it has decreased slightly with some of the laws. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been reported with a large amount of gun circulation there has been 10,000 cold-blooded murders over the last ten years. Trying to keep these widely circulated guns out of hands of criminals is almost impossible, but laws have greatly reduced availability (Nesbit, 1990). If some restrictions are not put on guns there will be reoccurring stories like the one that follows. A gunman recently released from a mental institution opened fire in a food court of a suburban shopping mall. He killed one and wound four others before walking calmly to surrender (Nesbit, 1990). The cities of America are becoming easy accessed for mentally insane gunmen.
The other side of the heated debate on gun control is the constitutional right of owning a gun. Many believe that it is a constitutional right to own a gun. The Second Amendment states as follows, A well regarded militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. In pre-revolution America, the threats posted by standing British army hung over the minds of the colonists. Resistance was widespread, and in response to the disagreement, the British increased their military presence. Two years later, in 1990, unarmed citizens were shot and killed in the streets of Boston, in what became known as the Boston Massacre (LaPierre, 1994).
Much of todays debate is over what the writers of the constitution intended. The Controversy arose over two centuries ago with the Federalists and Anti-federalists. The Anti-federalist greatest fear was the power of a commanding army making the government centralized and over bearing to the states. The strong central government and the independent states battle back and forth to see who could obtain the most possible power. To neutralize the two sides James Madison added the Second Amendment to give states more power. Another side to the Constitution debate states that the Second Amendment applies only to build a well-regulated militia. It gives the right to bear arms to people dealing with the military department of this country. Their job is to defend and protect our country and the people who reside in it.
The National Rifle Association stands firmly behind this debate pointing out that gun ownership is plainly protected in the Constitution. Their 2.8 million members can launch a flood of letters towards any legislator who ventures a word in support of gun control. In a nation of seventy million gun owners, the National Rifle Association speaks towards the attachment to fire arms. Lawmakers consider the National Rifle Association the most powerful lobbing group in the country. Their members make their presence felt when the situation arises for a proposal on banning assault weapons. They flood the offices of Senators and Congressmen, and voice their opinion on the topics being voted on.
If the assault weapon ban were truly upheld then truly a majority of these tragic deaths mention could have been prevented. The crime rate would drastically be reduced if these types of weapons were not easily accessible. A less severe type of weapon would greatly increase the victims chance of survival in instance s of attack. With these types of weapons being out of the picture, elf-defense would be more of an issue allowing the victim to possibly to retaliate. Reducing the crime rate and lowering the number of annual deaths involving guns is the most important reason for upholding the ban on assault type weapons. Looking at the statistics and the upsetting stories the conclusion only makes logical sense to the average citizen.
We must rationalize the framers intent, and the situations being dealt with the time the constitution was being written. This applies to formed militia groups to fight against tyranny. This was in an era that war was an immediate threat. The framers of the Constitution had the sole purpose of protecting and defending rather than rightful gun possession and offense.
A Justice Department survey of state-prison inmates found that just 27 percent had purchased their guns legally. The rest of them got them from family or friends bought them on the black market or stole them. If restrictions on these guns could be more sever we could increase the legality of purchasing a gun. A CBS News poll found that 73 present of Americans favored a nationwide ban on semiautomatic weapons. A statewide poll showed that 80 percent in New Jersey favored the ban. Voters are wondering how many of the nations 200 million guns are going to be a threat to them or their children?
Throughout the Bible there is a reoccurring theme of loving your neighbors as yourself. It states to put other s before you, and to be a servant as Christ was a servant. We are to love as Christ loved the church. People committing irrational and senseless crimes are not following the commands that God has placed upon their lives. The Ten Commandments state, Thou shall not murder, and, throughout the Bible it speaks on how we are to obey the authority that God has ordained and put above us. Clearly America as a nation has fallen away from these spiritual principals. For America to succeed our society must get back to the basics of life, we need morals that are firmly rooted in Christ.
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