Gun Control

Gun Control Americans are faced with an ever-growing problem of violence. Our streets have become a battleground where the elderly are beaten for their social security checks, where terrified women are viciously attacked and raped. Each day teenage gangsters shoot it out for a patch of turf to sell their illegal drugs, and where innocent children are caught daily in the crossfire of drive-by shootings. We cannot ignore the damage that these criminals are doing to our society, and we must take actions to stop these horrors. However, the efforts by some misguided individuals to eliminate the legal ownership of firearms does not address the real problem at hand, and simply disarms the innocent law-abiding citizens who are most in need of a form of self-defense. To fully understand the reasons behind the gun control efforts, we must look at the history of our country, and the role firearms have played in it. The second amendment to the Constitution of 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, and occasionally for self-defense. However, when the colonist felt that the burden of British oppression was too much for them to bear, they picked up their personal firearms and went to war. Standing against the British armies, these rebels found themselves opposed by the greatest military force in the world at that time. The founding fathers of the country understood that an armed populace aided in fighting off oppression. They made the right to keep and bear arms a constitutionally guaranteed right.

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Thomas Jefferson said in the draft of the Virginia Constitution No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms(n. pag.). To day Congress, claiming that they want to take guns out of the hands of criminals, have worked to pass legislation that would take the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens instead. The question is the efforts of gun control do not address the real problem of crime. Therefore, if we pass laws restricting ownership of firearms, which category of people does it affect? The simple answer is that gun control laws affect law- abiding citizens only.

Criminals will continue to violate these new laws, they will continue to carry their firearms, and they will find their efforts at crime much easier when they know that their victims will be unarmed. An unarmed man stands little chance against an armed one. In many states, including Florida and Texas, citizens have stated that they want to preserve their right to carry firearms for self- defense. Since the late 1980’s, Florida has been issuing concealed weapons permits to law-abiding citizens, and these citizens have been carrying their firearms to defend themselves from rampant crime. The result is that the incidence of violent crime has actually dropped in contrast to the national average.

Previously, Florida had been leading the nation in this category, and the citizens of that state have welcomed the change (Florida State Firearm Laws n. pag.). Gun control advocates tried to claim that there would be bloodshed in the streets when these citizens were given the right to carry. They tried to claim that the cities of Florida would become like Dodge City with shootouts on every street corner, and duels over simple disagreements. These gun control advocates were wrong.

More than 200,000 concealed carry permits have been issued so far, with only 36 of these permits revoked for improper use of a firearm (Facts You Can Use n.pag.). This statistic is easy to understand. It is the law-abiding citizens who are going through the process of getting concealed carry permits so that they may legally carry a firearm. The people who go through this legal process do not want to break the law, and they do not intend to break the law. The people who do intend to break the law will carry their guns whether or not the law allows them to do so.

Today, criminals often carry illegal weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, and homemade zip-guns, clearly showing their disregard for the current laws which make these items illegal. When they are caught, the courts regularly dismiss these lesser weapons charges prosecute for the more serious charges, like murder, that are being committed with the weapons. The gun control advocates have argued their case by demonizing the gun itself, rather than addressing the people who commit violent crimes. This is the main fallacy in their argument. They attempt to claim that possession of a gun turns average citizens into bloodthirsty lunatics. This theory falls apart under close scrutiny. If legal possession of a firearm caused this sort of attitude, then why are crime rates highest in areas such as Washington, D.C.

and New York City which have strict gun control laws? Why are crime rates dropping in sates such as Florida where private ownership of firearms is encourage? Simply stated, legal ownership of a gun does not cause crime. The act of making it illegal to own firearms does little to prevent criminals from getting guns. These laws only restrict people who respect the law itself, the people who would only use firearms for legal purposes anyway. When we give people the right to defend themselves, we find that criminals start looking for other victims out of fear that they will become the victims themselves. We must work to reduce crime in America, but we should look at the problem realistically, and develop plans that would be effective.

Obviously, gun control laws are neither realistic, nor effective in reducing crime. Therefore, we must direct our efforts toward controlling crime, not controlling legal ownership of firearms. Bibliography Facts You Can Use. Webcrawler. 5 March 2000. Florida State Firearm Laws. Webcrawler.

5 March 2000. Thomas Jefferson. Draft Virginia Constitution. 1776. Webcrawler. 5 March 2000.

Gun Control

Gun Control “In order to reduce gun vilolence in the U.S., there should be stricter gun regulation.” By Don Sunberg U.S. Politics and Government Dr. M. Anderson September 13, 1999 Violence and crime in today’s society is inevitable. Human nature is full of hatred, jealousy, and chaos.

Throwing guns into the equation adds security for some, and vulnerability for others. Gun regulation is a topic of debate that has been going on for years and looks to be going on for many more to come. Although, each side of the issue seems to have a possibility of security for all, a healthy median of both sides proves to be hard to come by. On the side of no gun regulation, advocates explain that a concealed handgun provides safety, and that people who defend themselves (with guns) may indirectly benefit other citizens. Cab drivers and drug dealers who carry guns produce a benefit for cab drivers and drug dealers without guns (Lott 18). This theory seems like it could be quite effective, but it brings questions of whether drug dealers would even obey gun regulation laws if imposed, since they are already braking the law by dealing drugs.

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One might ask why do drug dealers need guns? The answer is quite simple, most violent acts are due to drug and alcohol abuse (Write 313). The ability to carry a concealed weapon provides safety to the insecure and vulnerable. Erika Schwartz (the first runner-up in the 1997 Miss America pageant) made her decision to carry a gun after becoming a victim of a carjacking. Other women carry a weapon due to their fear of rape. Laurence Rockefeller’s reason to pack heat is because he carries large sums of money and feels that a gun will protect him from becoming a victim of a mugging (Lott 23). Advocates of no gun control say that the current gun regulation of a waiting period to help potential murders time to “cool off” is a total waste of time.

Any one who leaves the scene of an argument, drives to a gun shop, buys a weapon, loads it with ammunition, and returns to kill the awaiting victim can hardly be said to be acting in the heat of the moment (Sullum). Gun regulation only prevents the innocent from having the right to protect himself or herself. Felons and criminals will go to all costs to get a weapon to kill, gun regulation or not. Stricter gun regulation, in theory, will get the guns off the streets and into the hands of those deserving and qualified. Sending a message to society that guns are not acceptable and will not be tolerated as a viable source to end an argument, is gun regulation’s main goal.

A recent effort in our nations capital, Washington D.C., to get guns off the street brought in over 2,300 guns that were turned over as part of a successful buy-back program. A program that has become fairly popular in America, such cities a New York and Minneapolis are looking into a similar program as well (Thurman). In an ideal world, there isn’t any violence, guns, or worry. Unfortunately, America isn’t that world. Therefore, actions must be taken to achieve that ideal world.

Gun regulation doesn’t mean absolutely any guns and safety for all, but rather it puts guns in the hands of those qualified to use them. Looking at society today, the problem with gun violence is out of control. Causing gun control activists to emphasize that change must occur. Phillip Cook, and economist at Duke University argues that if you introduce a gun into a violent encounter, it increases the chance that someone will die (Lott 20). This outlook on gun control favors the idea of stricter regulation. Even if someone legally purchases a concealed weapon and three months later goes and gets in an argument, who is to say that that person will not lose control and start repelling rounds? This is a situation that must be addressed and recognized as something that is extremely possible.

By allowing random people to carry a concealed weapon is placing a lot of trust into the American society. On the idea of stricter gun control, one needs not to worry about whether gun control actually works of whether it is needed. The important thing is the message it sends. As the issue of gun control heats-up, advocates for both sides of the issue must realize that no matter how many guns we buy-back or how many permits we give out, gun violence will always be prevalent in our society until we attack the issue from another angle. That angle is education. Peggy Noonan writes: “There ought to be more gun control-in families that keep guns.

Parents should teach their children that guns are fearsome, that they should be respected and feared for their power to destroy. Guns kill.” Teaching children at a young age that guns and violence isn’t the answer to resolving a disagreement should be expected from their role models. Children are our future; we must communicate with them to ensure a bright and vibrant future for all. Stricter gun regulation may keep felons from buying guns, but it won’t keep them from committing violent acts and stealing guns from someone else. Programs such as gun buy-back are good.

They work to get guns out of circulation, but we must realize that that program is not the answer. The Concealed Weapons Prohibition Act, which was introduced last year into legislation, would override the laws of 31 states that allow citizens who meet certain objective criteria-typically, passing criminal background checks and completing a training course-to carry hand guns. The legislation recognizes a few privileged categories including police officers and security guards; anyone else seeking a carry permit would have to demonstrate “compelling circumstances”(Sullum). This act would prove useful granted how liberal the “compelling circumstances” are. One should be in favor of the businessmen the right to be able to protect themselves from the wrath of those seeking to large amounts of money they carry with them.

Women like the Miss America runner-up should have the right to protect herself from rape and other crimes. As a society, America must realize that the time is now that we must stop the madness. We must talk to the youth, educate those seeking a carry permit, and realize that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Works Cited Bibliography Lott Jr., John R. “Will more guns mean less crime?” Consumers’ Research Magazine Dec.

1998: 18-23. Noonan, Peggy. “Looking Forward.” Good Housekeeping July 1998: 178. Sullum, Jacob. “Can’t Bear It.” Reason Magazine 05 Aug. 1998.

7 Sept. 1999 Thurman, James N. “As more carry hidden guns, who’s safer?” The Christian Science Monitor 01 Sept. 1999.

7 Sept. 1999 /01/pls3.html. Write, James D., Peter H. Rossi, and Kathleen Daly. Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America.

New York: Aldine Publishing Company, 1983: 313-315.