Battle For Gun Control Essay

Battle For Gun Control Essay

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The Battle for Gun Control Jason Reifschneider March 8, 1999 The Battle for Gun Control The United States of America has the highest rate of gun-related deaths of any nations in the world, and yet has some of the most liberal policies of gun control. Very few laws exist that limit the sale, or trade of guns. Controversy surrounds this issue, with both sides touting statistics and surveys to support their case. However, the issue of gun-control regulations has not been resolved. Gun-control laws have regulated gun buying power, and yet has not provided clear proof of any kind of crime reduction. Americans have the right to bear arms as the Second Amendment states. This is a right, an undeniable privilege. When the constitution was created it was a symbolic gesture. The amendments created were to be the foundations of a great society they were the desires, and wants of this new country. The Second Amendment was one of these desires. It states that all Americans have the right to bear arms, a right to own guns. It says nothing about how this right should be hindered by control laws. A group that declares itself a defender of this amendment is the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA drapes itself with the Second Amendment, using it as a cover-all for their beliefs. The NRA is America's biggest opponent of gun control. Their motto: Guns don't kill people, people kill people. They oppose gun control on the basis that it restricts a Constitutional right that every American need protected. Guns are legal, easy to buy and basically quite cheap. They can be bought anywhere. From the neighborhood Wal-Mart to the secondary black-market. Americans love their guns. We have obsession with guns. 71% of Americans own a gun. (National Safety Council, 1995) Guns are a symbol of strength, masculinity an undeniable power. But, does our love and popularity of guns have an affect on gun related crime and deaths? Pro-gun advocates would have us believe not. The National Center for Policy Analysis claims this is the number one myth that gun-control supporters spew. They point to Switzerland as examples of countries with high gun ownership and low crime rates. Switzerland ahs the highest amount of gun ownership in the world, and yet has one of the lowest murder rates in the world. Switzerland relays on this high rate of gun ownership, since there is no active military all males 20-50 years old are required by law to carry a military -issued automatic weapon. However, this fact does little to support the pro gun debate, since many other countries such as Britain and Japan also have low gun related deaths, but also have low gun ownership rates. Whenever a fatal gun accident takes place, particularly when a child is involved if often makes state or national news, such as the cause with the Jonesboro shootings of spring of 1998. The attack and murder of children outrage America, causing a fury of gun-control advocates demanding stricter laws and penalties to protect children from gun violence. The NRA recently lobbied for a defeat in legislation (brought before the senate as an answer to school ground shootings) that would've made trigger locks mandatory. Although the Senate eventually turned down the bill, may believe it would be the definitive gun law to protect children. Unfortunately, others saw differently. Mrs. Tanya Mates, executive director NRA Institute for Legislative Action was quoted as saying "It was a great a day for gun safety in America, thanks to the U.S Senate."( Issue Library Gun Violence and Children) This law could have protected children but at what price? When children are violent, will gun laws prevent them killing? Americans will have peace of mind, but the power of the Second Amendment will be diluted. Unfortunately, Americans cannot find a common ground. How can Americans protect both the rights of gun owners, and potential victims of gun violence? Unfortunately, it takes death or a great injury for laws to be established, and then be brought up for legislation. The Brady Bill, passed February 28, 1994 established a law that required that individual might buy all licensed firearms purchases subject on instant criminal background check before the gun. This bill established by Jim Brady as a preventive measure that would restrict criminals from purchasing a gun. Jim Brady was shot while protecting the president Ronald Regan in 1980 by a man with a past criminal record. Advocates of gun control claim this law has decreased gun-related crime in America. While crime has decreased by 7% in ten years, it has not been proven that this law is the cause. And yet, violence in teens and children has accelerated. Why the recent violence? Many point to our grim environment. Television, movies and videogames as main culprits for breeding these violent thoughts in Americas children. However, the facts remain: a child can play guns, and still not harbor deadly intentions. The cause is far greater than that. The cause is accessibility. Guns are tempting, and easy for children to get a hold of. 88% of children are injured or killed in shooting are
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