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Gun Control

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Gun Control in America

Instructor: Henrietta N. Shirk

University of Phoenix

Comp 125

The constitution of the United States gives ever American the right to bear arms, or does it? That is the million-dollar question on the table regarding gun control right now. In recent decades, there have been movements from grass roots organizations that have taken hold and become much larger than their origin on the issue of gun control. While the nation divides itself firmly for or against gun control, the attention turns to statistics, constitutional rights, and constituent pressure in the political arena.

Each year statistics printed detail the number of deaths caused by guns in America. Each year both sides of the gun control issue point to the statistics and declare their win. Gun control is an interesting battle based in perceptions, with desires and goals. However, while the battle rages on in Washington the camps continue to grow in the foxholes of American regarding the right or wrong of gun ownership.

As shown in the graph each year Homicides, Robberies, and Aggravated assault has risen and will keep rising if we do not do something about it. Should we allow citizens to arm themselves?

graph1

On April 12, 1994, 14 students and 1 teacher were killed when two students dressed in black trench coats unloaded a duffle bag full of shotguns and semi-automatic weapons and began firing at random. This shooting was the worst disaster our country's high schools had ever witnessed. Since then school shootings have become an epidemic. Is our passion for firearms so exceptional that we will sacrifice our children to gain easier access to them? When young Americans go to school in many cities, often the first familiar face they meet is not their teacher, principal, or librarian, but rather the guard who monitors the metal detector at the entrance. The guard is searching for weapons - principally guns - that students may be illegally carrying. The idea of placing a metal detector at a school entrance is a strange thought for many parents to accept. They remember that when they were students, school was a safe haven for learning. Now, parents willingly welcome the metal detectors because they know that guns can turn a school into a dangerous place for their children. Parental fear for the safety of children based on the harsh cruelty of everyday life is a reality. A teenage boy shot a classmate in a dispute about a girlfriend or because the boy wanted the sports jacket one of his classmate's is wearing. A young drug pusher carries a gun to school for his own protection. A gang member settles a problem with a gang member of rival group by shooting him. A boy removes a gun from his home and takes the weapon to school to impress his friends. Even Private schools are not a refuge from violence. The many incidents of gun use produce grim statistics for America's youth.

According to a United State Department of Justice report, it is indicate that a gun kills a child every two hours in the United States. In addition, 100,000 students carry a gun to school each day.

Gun violence takes a heavy toll both in the lives of its victim and in the quality of life of the victim's relatives and friends, many of the stories of the victim do not capture the headlines on Page 1 of the daily newspaper, but each violent statistic is a page 1 story to the loved ones of the victims. Of the 25,000 homicides in the United States last year, an estimated 70% were committed with firearms. In addition, thousands of other Americans are wounded from gunshots, often with long-term effects on their health. To put statistics into a context, every two years more Americans die from firearms injuries in the United States then were killed in the entire Vietnam War. Criminal activity, then takes a heavy toll in human life. However, guns kill and maim not only because of crime but because suicides and accidents. In firearm fatalities, more people die from suicides than from homicides. In addition, firearms cause fatalities unintentionally through accidents, either by misfiring a weapon, inaccurate shooting, carelessness, or recklessness. Although Americans use firearms in ways that are criminal or sinister, they employ guns in the ways that are often regarded as law-abiding and good.

As a society, we put our safety into the hands of the government by employing police officers and firefighters, and by trusting the men and women of the military. We should therefore, trust the lawmakers, by allowing them to make stiffer gun control laws. Laws that are presently in effect are mostly at state and local level; however, many other are waiting to be passed by Congress. There are 'place and manner' laws, which prohibit the firing of a gun in certain places, such as within city limits, and some state restricts carrying a concealed weapon anywhere in public.

There are also 'Restricted ownership' laws that prohibit the sale of any typed of gun to convicted felons, aliens, minors, alcoholics, drug users, and mentally or emotionally disturbed people. In most states, buyers must fill out an application, which has a five-day waiting period, while a background checked through the NCIS before they may purchase a firearm. These laws are helpful but they are not in effect everywhere and they do not always fulfill the purpose. One of the most prudent gun control laws has been idling in Congress for the past two years. This law requires a person before purchasing a gun to take classes on the proper ways to store and handle a firearm and it requires the consumer to take this course to renew his or her firearm registration every year. By pressuring our local congressional representatives, we can set in motion some of these laws. Where children are concerned, parents need to put guns out of reach, and to teach there child the dangers of firearms. Guns should not be a taboo subject that is not to be discussed. Minors should be one group that guns are illegal to possess at any age. A person cannot drink until he or she reaches the age of 21. If the law states that liquor could be harmful to an adolescent who may not be equipped to deal with its effects. Should that also be true for a deadly weapon? However, it is easier to obtain a firearm from a pawnshop, a dealer who ignores the laws, or even stolen from a relative.

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