The Argument For Stricter Gun Control Laws Essay
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I am writing a persuasive argument in favor of stricter gun control laws.
I am very passionate about this topic because the use of firearms in the wrong hands is a deadly prophecy. It can be in the form of children getting a hold of a gun and hurting themselves or others, an adult with violent propensities mishandling a weapon, or someone who wants the use of a firearm in aiding suicide. When one looks at the increased incident of injury to children, homicide, and suicide, it is clear there is a need for stricter gun control laws. This paper argues that firearms continue to play a dominant role in violence both criminal and accidental regardless of laws such as the five-day waiting period and the Brady Law. I will show how easier access to guns, rather than preventing crime, creates more of it through the use of examples and statistics Those whom are opposed to gun control laws do not like to admit there is a link between access to guns and violence. The NRA says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” They will claim that the right to bear arms for self-defense and civil rights would be diminished.
However, this view is only one sided and it fails to address the link between the ownership of guns and the violence that occurs because of it. Almost everyday we can open up a newspaper or turn on a national news broadcast on the television and discover a new case of someone being killed by the use of a gun. Perhaps it was a child whom had access to his/her parents gun they keep in the house for self defensive purposes, an adult whom was an innocent bystander during a workplace massacre or robbery, a shooting at a school by a disturbed kid, or a domestic dispute turned deadly. Unfortunately, it is rare that a day goes by that we do not hear about one of the above events. Whatever the case may be, it is apparent that too many people have access to firearms and that access must be restricted. The Brady Campaign is one that enforces gun control laws, elects pro gun control public officials, and informs the public about gun violence.
It was enacted in 1994 and because of it, all 50 states must do background checks on anyone wishing to purchase a firearm. While this has helped quell some gun violence that may have occurred otherwise, there are still too many who are falling through the cracks. These background checks are targeting the wrong people and criminals are still able to obtain guns from illegal sources. Take a look at the Virginia Tech massacre last spring. This reopened the legislative debate over gun control that was never resolved from the Columbine high school shootings eight years earlier. Many wonder how Cho-Seung Hui was able to get his hands on powerful automatic weaponry that killed thirty two of his classmates. This proves that the background checks performed are insufficient and need to be more thorough.
More than fifty survivors and family members of this tragedy signed a letter to Congress with one simple message- finish work on legislation that could prevent future tragedies. The notion of more complete background checks leads me to another issue that is the abolition of handguns. More handguns are used in criminal acts than any other type of firearm. The FBI reports that more than 60 percent of murders are caused by guns and handguns account for 70 percent of these. Lets look at some scenarios that stem from the lack of access to handguns: Sure, anyone with a penchant for killing could pull out a knife or a baseball bat but the victim has much better chance of survival. The likelihood of injury and not death are much greater as the victim may be able to get away. The next scenario are home burglaries. Most of these occur with the occupants are out of the house so the need for a gun inside the home is unnecessary. If there is a gun inside of the home, the perpetrator will confiscate it along with other valuables, thus placing it in the hands of criminal for future misuse. Approximately 40 percent of handguns used in crimes are stolen out of homes of law abiding citizens whom had guns for their own protection.
If handgun manufacturers were stringently restricted and only allowed to sell to police, our environment would be much safer. Fewer criminals would have access to them if the sale of handguns to ordinary citizens were outlawed. They could not obtain them by way of stealing and their illegal underground network would be hampered. If this were to occur, those dangerous people would not have the opportunity to slip through the cracks and get a hold of a weapon. The end result would be fewer violent crimes and fewer injuries and/or deaths related to these crimes. Many states in the United States have right to carry laws that allow citizens to carry concealed handguns if they are qualified. Qualification includes a clean criminal history, age restrictions, and completing a firearms safety course. In 1986 only nine states had that law and as of 1998, 31 states have right-to-carry laws. Half of the citizens of the U.S. live in those states. This will engender only more violence as journalist Philip Cook states “if you introduce a gun into a violent encounter, it increases the chances that someone will die.”
In the end, the notion of violence in self-defense will only create more violence. It is for that reason that not only should handguns themselves be eradicated from the hands of the general public, but they should never be allowed to carry out in public. It is a fact that the Constitution guarantees us the “right to bear arms.” The Second Amendment in 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 shall not be infringed.” Our founding fathers who authored the Constitution were certainly aware of the British efforts to disarm the colonists and believed a militia was necessary to defend democracy. However, in the present day, owners of handguns are not members of a militia attempting to fight a tyrannical power or oppression.
Any type of gun that can be concealed should be abolished from the hands of ordinary citizens and only placed in the hands of the men and women of our police force whom are trained professionals. This will de-emphasize the use of another slogan “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” It simply will not be the case as long as only those who are legitimate protectors of society are the only people who have access to them.
Agresti, James D. “Gun Control.” Just Facts Foundation. 10 June 1999. 20 October 2007. www.justfacts.com. Desuka, Nan. Why Handguns Must Be Outlawed.. Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Boston: Bedford, 1993. Cassidy, J. Warren. The Case For Firearms. Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Boston: Bedford, 1993. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Families of Virginia Tech Victims and Survivors Call on U.S. Senate to Strengthen Brady Background Checks. 21 October 2007. www.handguncontrol.org