Gun Control Essay
Failure of Gun Control LawsAmericans are faced with an ever-growing problem of violence.
Our streets have become a battleground where the elderly arebeaten for their social security checks, where terrified women areviciously attacked and raped, where teen-age gangstersshoot it out for a patch of turf to sell their illegal drugs, andwhere innocent children are caught daily in the crossfire of drive-byshootings. We cannot ignore the damage that these criminals are doingto our society, and we must take actions to stop thesehorrors. However, the effort by some misguided individuals toeliminate the legal ownership of firearms does not address thereal problem at hand, and simply disarms the innocent law-abidingcitizens who are most in need of a form of self-defense.
To fully understand the reasons behind the gun controlefforts, we must look at the history of our country, and the rolefirearms have played in it. The second amendment to the Constitutionof the United States makes firearm ownership legal in this country.
There were good reasons for this freedom, reasons which persist today.
Firearms in the new world were used initially for hunting, andoccasionally for self-defense. However, when the colonists felt thatthe burden of British oppression was too much for them to bear, theypicked up their personal firearms and went to war. Standing againstthe British armies, these rebels found themselves opposed by thegreatest military force in the world at that time. The 18th centurywitnessed the height of the British Empire, but the rough band ofcolonial freedom fighters discovered the power of the Minuteman, theaverage American gun owner. These Minutemen, so named because theywould pick up their personal guns and jump to the defense of theircountry on a minute’s notice, served a major part in winning theAmerican Revolution. The founding fathers of this country understoodthat an armed populace was instrumental in fighting off oppression,and they made the right to keep and bear arms a constitutionallyguaranteed right.
Over the years, some of the reasons for owning firearms havechanged. As our country grew into a strong nation, we expandedwestward, exploring the wilderness, and building new towns on thefrontier. Typically, these new towns were far away from the centers ofcivilization, and the only law they had was dispensed by townsfolkthrough the barrel of a gun. Crime existed, but could be minimizedwhen the townspeople fought back against the criminals. Eventually,these organized townspeople developed police forces as their townsgrew in size. Fewer people carried their firearms on the street, butthe firearms were always there, ready to be used in self-defense.
It was after the Civil War that the first gun-controladvocates came into existence. These were southern leaders who wereafraid that the newly freed black slaves would assert their newfoundpolitical rights, and these leaders wanted to make it easier tooppress the free blacks. This oppression was accomplished by passinglaws making it illegal in many places for black people to ownfirearms. With that effort, they assured themselves that the blackpopulation would be subject to their control, and would not have theability to fight back. At the same time, the people who were mostintent on denying black people their basic rights walked around withtheir firearms, making it impossible to resist their efforts. Anunarmed man stands little chance against an armed one, and these armedmen saw their plans work completely. It was a full century before thecivil rights activists of the 1960s were able to restore theconstitutional freedoms that blacks in this country were granted inthe 1860s.
Today’s gun control activists are a slightly different breed.
They claim that gun violence in this country has gotten to a pointwhere something must be done to stop it. They would like to seecriminals disarmed, and they want the random violence to stop. I agreewith their sentiments. However, they are going about it in the wrongway. While claiming that they want to take guns out of the hands ofcriminals, they work to pass legislation that would take the guns outof the hands of law-abiding citizens instead. For this reason theefforts at gun control do not address the real problem of crime.
The simple definition of a criminal is someone who does notobey the law. The simple definition of a law-abiding citizen issomeone who does obey the law. Therefore, if we pass laws restrictingownership of firearms, which category of people does it affect? Thesimple answer is that gun control laws affect law-abiding citizensonly. By their very nature, the criminals will continue to violatethese new laws, they will continue to carry their firearms, and theywill find their efforts at crime much easier when they know that theirvictims will be unarmed. The situation is similar to that of thedisarmed blacks a century ago. Innocent people are turned into victimswhen new laws make it impossible for them to fight back. An unarmedman stands little chance against an armed one.
An interesting recent development has been the backlashagainst the gun-control advocates. In many states, including Floridaand Texas, citizens have stated that they want to preserve their rightto carry firearms for self-defense. Since the late 1980s, Florida hasbeen issuing concealed weapons permits to law-abiding citizens, andthese citizens have been carrying their firearms to defend themselvesfrom rampant crime. The result is that the incidence of violent crimehas actually dropped in contrast to the national average. Previously,Florida had been leading the nation in this category, and the citizensof that state have welcomed the change. Gun control advocates tried toclaim that there would be bloodshed in the streets when these citizenswere given the right to carry. They tried to claim that the cities ofFlorida would become like Dodge City with shootouts on every streetcorner. These gun control advocates were wrong. Over 200,000 concealedcarry permits have been issued so far, with only 36 of these permitsrevoked for improper use of a firearm. This statistic is easy tounderstand. It is the law-abiding citizens who are going through theprocess of getting concealed carry permits so that they may legallycarry a firearm. The people who go through this legal process do notwant to break the law, and they do not intend to break the law. Thepeople who do intend to break the law will carry their guns whether ornot the law allows them to do so.
Criminals will always find ways to get guns. In this countrywe have criminalized the use, possession, sale, and transportation ofmany kinds of narcotics, but it’s still easy for someone to take aride and purchase the drugs of their choice at street corner vendors.
Firearms and ammunition would be just as easy for these black-marketentrepreneurs to deliver to their customers. Today, criminals oftencarry illegal weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, andhomemade zip-guns, clearly showing their disregard for the currentlaws which make these items illegal. And when they are caught, thecourts regularly dismiss these lesser weapons charges when prosecutingfor the more serious charges that are being committed with theweapons.
The gun control advocates have argued their case by demonizingthe gun itself, rather than addressing the people who commit violentcrimes. This is the main fallacy in their argument. They slyly attemptto claim that possession of a gun turns average citizens intobloodthirsty lunatics. This theory falls apart under close scrutiny.
If legal possession of a firearm caused this sort of attitude, thenwhy are crime rates highest in areas such as Washington, D.C. and NewYork City which have strict gun control laws? And why are crime ratesdropping in states such as Florida where private ownership of firearmsis encouraged? Simply stated, legal ownership of a gun does not causecrime.
The most recent efforts of the gun control lobby has been toclaim that certain types of guns and ammunition are inherently evil.
They assign emotional catch phrases such as assault weapons and copkiller bullets to broad categories of firearms and ammunition in thehopes that people will believe that some guns have an evil nature.
Most people who are unfamiliar with firearms do not fully understandwhat these phrases mean, and they accept the terms being used withoutquestion. What people do not often understand is that the termassault weapon has been defined to include all semi- automaticrifles, and cop killer has been defined to include any bullet thatcan penetrate type two body armor. It comes as a surprise to mostpeople that a large number of simple hunting rifles can do both. Doesownership of one of these weapons cause people to become massmurderers? It does not, and we must not fall into the trap of blamingthe sword for the hand that wields it.
So I’ve shown that the act of making it illegal to ownfirearms does little to prevent criminals from getting guns. Theselaws only restrict people who respect the law itself, the people whowould only use firearms for legal purposes anyway. And when we givepeople the right to defend themselves, we find that criminals startlooking for other victims out of fear that they will become thevictims themselves. We must work to reduce crime in America, but weshould look at the problem realistically, and develop plans that wouldbe effective. It is obvious that gun control laws are neitherrealistic, nor effective in reducing crime. Therefore, we must directour efforts toward controlling crime, not controlling legal ownershipof firearms.
What gun control laws currently exist Essay
Gun Control Is a hot topic, It Is seen or heard almost everywhere you go, According to Nugent, (2013), “If guns cause crime, all of mine are defective. ” America sure does love their guns! A recent survey explains in the united States for every 100 people 88. 9 of them have firearms. Many would argue, the more guns the better; hence, the safer we are. Does this mean, the more gun ownership rises, the fewer people will want to be Involved in a confrontation? Is there a correlation suggesting fewer fights will break out due to everyone being armed?
As Americans, the right to bear arms Is a right that protects us as citizens against other Americans that are bear arms, although it was originally intended for a different purpose. It is every Americans right to own weapons to protect themselves; however, ordinary people do not need military style weapons and magazines without limitations capacity, because this will undeniably help prevent future tragedies. Military Assault Weapons Truly, the most recent tragedies that have occurred have been horrific yet preventable.
To Illustrate, James Holmes was the shooter In the Aurora Colorado vie theatre shooting; the weapon Holmes used was an AR-1 5 assault rifle. This fearsome weapon is made to kill as many people as possible in a minimal amount of time, it’s so powerful it shoots 50 shots a minute (Klein, 2012). Let’s envision, if military assault rifles would have been banned years ago and Holmes had to go in the movie theatre with a semi-automatic handgun. He would have killed half or maybe less people then he did using the AR-1 5. The next example is about a shooter who used an assault rifle In the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
One weapon that shooter Adam Lana used was a Bushmaster . 23 caliber semiautomatic rifle. According to Feral, (2013), “This rifle is a modified civilian version of the military’s WI 6, it’s Just as deadly because what makes it dangerous is the ability to take almost unlimited amounts of ammunition and a pistol grip. ” Sit and think for a moment what was Just read, why would the government allow a replica of a military weapon become legal to make and buy? This is a huge mistake the government is making and with the examples provided above It truly Is a big mistake and we the people have to pay by losing our loved ones slowly but surely.
With that being said, citizens should not be allowed to own weapons used for war and should only allow magazines that have a limited capacity. If a law was passed banning military assault weapons and limited magazine capacity, it is clear that less would have been killed in both Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora shooting. Violent Gun Crime gangs, robberies and revenge. Crime is an on going issue that happens almost everyday; the majority of the time firearms are either used to scare, get revenge or kill.
According to the National Factorization survey, between 2005-2011 there were ,955,185 firearm incidents and 2,049,961 firearm victims. Data collected by the FBI show that firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 41 percent of robbery and 21 percent of aggravated assaults. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011). The law that the government is trying to pass is for a thorough background check when buying a gun. As mentioned above James Holmes had no criminal background but yet he was able to purchase the weapons, which then lead to murdering x amount of people.
It varies from state to state but between the ages 18 and 21 civilians could buy a gun forever, does that mean they are going to use the gun to protect ones self or to commit a crime? The majority of the times criminals know they are not allowed to buy a gun due to background checks but they will have someone else buy the gun for them. How can we prevent this from happening, is there a way or do we live life in constant fear? Another question to ponder is, do you think age 18 is an appropriate age to allow someone to buy a gun? Repeat that age one more time, eighteen, NO teenager should be thinking about buying guns.
At the age of 18 teenagers are radiating from high school or entering college, the last thing they should be worrying about is buying a gun. This is the age teenagers are drinking and partying, what makes people think they are responsible or mature enough to carry or own a gun? Thus, government needs to raise the age limit to 25 or older, that is a reasonable, mature and responsible age. So, to an extent this may help but it is not the answer to stop crime caused by guns. Another issue that may be a problem is mental health. This is an issue that is talked about often.
Someone may be able to arches a gun with no criminal record buy may have a physiological issue. This individual may be k one day and turn the next. When buying a gun you are not diagnosed with a mental issue, therefore something needs to be done, their needs to be some type of testing and qualifications before buying a gun. If an individual knows he or she has a mental problem how will the person behind the counter know that the individual is sick? Therefore, government needs to pass a law where gun buyers need to pass a physiological test before buying to ensure the safety of other people.
The Second Amendment Additionally, many people argue that any kind of gun control violates the second amendment however the second amendment states, “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. ” The second amendment was originally passed to put down citizen rebels, slave uprisings and Indian attacks. Another reason many think the constitution was drafted is because it was designed to facilitate an armed rebellion against the U. S. Government if the States rights ever became infringed on.
However, in today’s society it is widely accepted that the second amendment was written for regular citizens to own and use any type of weapon of choice. It is arguable that the reasons that caused the second amendment to be written are technically no longer valid in this day in age. We are no longer fighting slaves or militias, and we have created the National Guard, which belongs to the states and not these types of weapons, military style weapons that common citizens are able to buy did not exist in 1791. Another perspective during the first American Revolution armed tizzies fought tyrannical government and gun confiscation.
Any type of gun control can be seen as a slippery slope in which history may be repeated. United States citizens live in a very different time compared to the days of the American Revolution, when weapons were being confiscated. Nevertheless, if citizens still had to protect themselves from the British, Indians, and random militias, then the rationale behind not wanting to repeat history would make perfect sense. The only true need for weapons in society today, is for self-defense against other armed individuals. Not militia and not a tyrannical government.
To an extent yes we do have the right to bear to arms but to a limit. Citizens are already forfeited the right to own weapons the government has; therefore the argument of creating a regulated militia to overthrown the government is unfounded. Equally important, although the United States Constitution does not specifically support it, citizens should be allowed to own only certain types of weapons to protect ones self. The answer can be left up to interpretation or a look at history. In conclusion, the right to bear arms is a right for ones protection but needs its limitations.