GUN CONTROL OR NOT?
Imagine today, somebody or government came into your town and started taking possession of all your personal fire
arms. Just so they could keep you under their control. What would you think or do about this? In the summer of
1768, the British army tried to disarm the new residents of Boston. This process went on until the end of 1775. This
took place so that the King of England would not have his invincible army revolted against in the new land to the
West. The bostonians of the new west were resisting taxation and other various grievances resulting in riots.
(Halbrook, 1) Therefore causing the disarming of the residents of boston. In 1791 the adoption of the Second
Amendment to the Bill of Rights was ratified by all of the 13 colonies after the Constitution ratification. (HalBrook,
XI) This Second Amendment gave all citizens of the colonies to bear arms. Wether you are for or against gun
control this is a long on going battle that has no end in the near future.
In the Second Article to the Bill of Rights states; “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
(HalBrook, VIII) In lamen terms it basically says that all citizens have the right to purchase and have a gun in their
possession providing certain restrictions.
An arm could be a pistol, revolver, shotgun, and rifle, which are classified as firearms or dangerous weapons and
require the purchaser of the weapon to be at least eighteen years of age for rifles and shotguns. Purchasers’ of pistols
or revolvers must be at least twenty-one years age. and are required to have a county certified permit on record. (SIG
ARMS, 12) All these above mentioned hand guns are dangerous weapons but, if you use them correctly and for the
right purpose, they fully justify there means–to protect or to hunt for food. There will always be the misuser’s of
hand guns; but is taking away our protection the answer? Many believe it is. They think that taking away the guns
will eliminate crime and deaths completely. It is true that taking peoples right to bear arms, will probably increase
all these crimes because it leaves the innocent people sitting ducks. If the criminal commits one crime and gets away
with it easily, they will keep on committing crime!
s against society. This situation would be bad for us all.
Most of those opposed against handguns, or other pistols think it is to easy to get a gun, and that anybody can get
one. The qualification to purchase a handgun are: You must be a legal resident of the state for a least six months
prior to applying, applicant must be 21 years of age, Can not have been convicted of a felony, Cannot be a fugitive
from justice, must not be chemically dependent, and finally must be of sound mind. ( Section 2, 1, Internet)
All of these are required just to purchase a handgun. To carry a concealed handgun it is much harder. For a
concealed handgun permit: you must have a completed purchase permit, have two recent valid color passports
photographs, certified copy of applicants birth certificate, proof of in state residency, to complete sets of legibly
classifiable finger prints of applicant by law enforcement agency (Section 3, 3, Internet).
Lately laws have changed. In 1995 the “Brady Act” passed. It required a seven day waiting period, to purchase a
firearm. In that waiting period it allows for police notification and a background check on all handgun purchasers. It
does help out a little in allowing law enforcement to weed out some of the people that might cause trouble with their
newly purchased firearm. Also a second law was passed it was a “Assault Weapon Ban” it banned production of
military look guns. ( mostly which are not used in crimes) Some example of those gun would be the MAC10, TEC9
and the COLT AR-15. A provision in the act banned all over ten shot magazines. (Knox, 2)
These acts have made some input into todays gun control war. However if everybody looked at this through the
Utilitarian view I believe they could see guns would be justified
I will now analyze how the utilitarian would have view this law . Utilitarianism by def…..inition says that, ” An act is
right (moral) if it is useful in bringing about a desirable or good end.” Or everyone should perform that act or follow
that moral rule or law that will Bring about the greatest good. For happiness for everyone concerned.” (Thiroux, 48).
One of the Utilitarian founder was Jeremy Bentham. He thought legislation must be acknowledged as the typical
way of exercising power and social control, and law making must be recognized as a continual process in response
to diverse and changing desires that require adjustment. and must be done in interest of the greatest good.
(Rosenblum, 9) Bentham said, the principle of utility would transform public happens and welfare into concrete
task. (Rosenblum, 10) How this all applies to the Right to Bear arms is kind of confusing. To create the happiness
for the greatest number, would I guess be, to take all firearms away!
from all people in the world ands that way there would be be no crime no deaths to people accidentally getting hurt
Unfortunately with things today, this is impossible. People no matter what restrictions we put on them but find away
to get a gun. I believe that allowing someone to purchase a hand gun is probably the best thing we can do now
considering the circumstances we live with. By allowing someone to have a gun, We give them a sense of safety,
control and even sometime power. Though some of these feelings can back fire. This is the down side if people start
getting that feeling of power they might start to cause trouble, And this is were the Anti-Gun lobbyist start their
complaining. I still believe that having a hand gun will cause the greater good for all. If people feel safe, they feel
good. If they are safe there loved ones will feel good, and that therefore creates the greater good for all involved.
In Bentham’s view, in that legislation should be exercised to demonstrate power and social control. I believe he is
saying that we should make laws for the good of the people. Even if it controls them to a certain extent. That is why
there are so many restrictions on purchasing a hand gun. But we still have to give the right of choice to the people
for the over all good. If we let just anybody purchase a firearm there would be no control; but in turn if the other
people could not purchase a firearm it would take all that control away.
In conclusion we have seen a issue that really can never be solved; there will always be the pros and the cons. There
will always be the Anti-Gun controllers and those that are for handguns. Even through all this mess we should be
able to find our own view. If we all apply the Utilitarian we can develop our own views, because the good we see for
ourselves is the good we think others will have too. Even if we choose to be for or against we can never be right or
wrong the truth is we are all wrong; the truth is we are all right. We all have one common goal and that is to
preserve human life even if it takes guns to do that, so be it. It may have seemed like I have taken a pro firearm view
in the paper, The fact is I have taken a side in this war that I believe is the right side. So I think our rights to bear
arms should be preserved, and no one or government should be able to take that away from us. So what is wrong
with that. The fact that crime will always be here is!
a given. We can never be sure if anything will be done to solve the problem of crime; so I say if all are armed, it will
make people respect each other and there for it will make crime eliminate itself. It is a drastic view but it could
Halbrook, Stephen P. A Right to Bear Arms. New York: Greenwood Press 1989
Rosenblum, Nancy L. Bentham’s Theory of the Modern State. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press 1978
Knox, Neal. Handguns ’96 Gun Law Report ’95 Illinois: DBI Books Inc.1996
Section 2 Concealed Handgun Law. http://corrections.tjn.com/fastlaw/sec2.html
Section 3 Concealed Handgun Law http://corrections.tjn.com/fastlaw/sec2.html
Thiroux, Jacques. Ethics: Theory and Practice 5th edt. New Jersey: Bakersfield College 1990
SIG ARMS. SIG SAUER Instruction Manual New Hampshier: SIG ARMS INC 1994