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, where teen-age 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 effort 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 colonists 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 18th century witnessed the height of the British Empire, but the rough band of colonial freedom fighters discovered the power of the Minuteman, the average American gun owner. These Minutemen, so named because they would pick up their personal guns and jump to the defense of their country on a minute’s notice, served a major part in winning the American Revolution. The founding fathers of this country understood that an armed populace was instrumental in fighting off oppression, and they made the right to keep and bear arms a constitutionally guaranteed right.

Over the years, some of the reasons for owning firearms have changed. As our country grew into a strong nation, we expanded westward, exploring the wilderness, and building new towns on the frontier. Typically, these new towns were far away from the centers of civilization, and the only law they had was dispensed by townsfolk through the barrel of a gun. Crime existed, but could be minimized when the townspeople fought back against the criminals. Eventually, these organized townspeople developed police forces as their towns grew in size. Fewer people carried their firearms on the street, but the firearms were always there, ready to be used in self-defense.

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It was after the Civil War that the first gun-control advocates came into existence. These were southern leaders who were afraid that the newly freed black slaves would assert their newfound political rights, and these leaders wanted to make it easier to oppress the free blacks. This oppression was accomplished by passing laws making it illegal in many places for black people to own firearms. With that effort, they assured themselves that the black population would be subject to their control, and would not have the ability to fight back. At the same time, the people who were most intent on denying black people their basic rights walked around with their firearms, making it impossible to resist their efforts. An unarmed man stands little chance against an armed one, and these armed men saw their plans work completely. It was a full century before the civil rights activists of the 1960s were able to restore the constitutional freedoms that blacks in this country were granted in the 1860s.

Today’s gun control activists are a slightly different breed. They claim that gun violence in this country has gotten to a point where something must be done to stop it. They would like to see criminals disarmed, and they want the random violence to stop. I agree with their sentiments. However, they are going about it in the wrong way. While claiming that they want to take guns out of the hands of criminals, they work to pass legislation that would take the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens instead. For this reason the efforts at gun control do not address the real problem of crime.

The simple definition of a criminal is someone who does not obey the law. The simple definition of a law-abiding citizen is someone who does obey the law. 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. By their very nature, the 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. The situation is similar to that of the disarmed blacks a century ago. Innocent people are turned into victims when new laws make it impossible for them to fight back. An unarmed man stands little chance against an armed one. An interesting recent development has been the backlash against the gun-control advocates. 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 1980s, 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. 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 shoot outs on every street corner. These gun control advocates were wrong. Over 200,000 concealed carry permits have been issued so far, with only 36 of these permits revoked for improper use of a firearm. 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. Th e 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.

Criminals will always find ways to get guns. In this country we have criminalized the use, possession, sale, and transportation of many kinds of narcotics, but it’s still easy for someone to take a ride and purchase the drugs of their choice at street corner vendors. Firearms and ammunition would be just as easy for these black-market entrepreneurs to deliver to their customers. 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. And when they are caught, the courts regularly dismiss these lesser weapons charges when prosecuting for the more serious charges 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 slyly 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? And why are crime rates dropping in states such as Florida where private ownership of firearms is encouraged? Simply stated, legal ownership of a gun does not cause crime.

The most recent efforts of the gun control lobby has been to claim that certain types of guns and ammunition are inherently evil. They assign emotional catch phrases such as “assault weapons” and “cop killer bullets” to broad categories of firearms and ammunition in the hopes that people will believe that some guns have an evil nature. Most people who are unfamiliar with firearms do not fully understand what these phrases mean, and they accept the terms being used without question. What people do not often understand is that the term “assault weapon” has been defined to include all semi- automatic rifles, and “cop killer” has been defined to include any bullet that can penetrate type two body armor. It comes as a surprise to most people that a large number of simple hunting rifles can do both. Does ownership of one of these weapons cause people to become mass murderers? It does not, and we must not fall into the trap of blaming the sword for the hand that wields it.

So I’ve shown that 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. And 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. It is obvious that 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.


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Do you ever worry when you wake up in morning that you might not live to see the next day? That giving someone the wrong look or cutting someone off on our dangerous roadways would take you to your grave. The problem that would cause this worry is guns. The focus of this paper is to inform you about gun control, how much it is needed and that it guns need to be much more difficult to obtain. A fact in the United States is that of the two hundred and seventy million people there are two hundred million guns. Murder is not the only form of death caused by guns; suicide is also an immense problem.
Accessibility to guns has grown over the years and causes such things as school shootings. For instance the Columbine High School shootings. The massacre at the Columbine High School in the Denver suburb of Littleton was by far the worst in a series of school shootings in the U.S. The generation of teenagers has changed over the years and little thing such as making fun of the way someone dresses or what the person looks like can result in things like this. Guns should not be available to any under the age of twenty-one. This is something that will probably never happen because of the black market, but it sure would save a lot of lives.
I also strongly believe that safety locks should also be put on every gun that is in existence. I also believe that since there are many guns out there that do not have locks on them because of when they were made or the manufacturer just did not put locks on the guns, those guns should be made illegal. Also there has been a proposed debate on whether or not electronic key pad devices be used as locks, by doing this the only way to use the weapon is by punching in the pin number. There have been too many instances where young and old children at home have got hold of a gun, simply unlocked the weapon and devastation occurs.
According to the April 21, 1999, Houston Chronicle, Republican Governor George W. Bush for the first time voiced support for a bill requiring background checks of people purchasing weapons at gun shows. The main proposal, HB 1199, which was supported by law enforcement across the state, was strongly opposed by the NRA and the Texas State Rifle Association. In 1998, Texas hosted 472 gun shows, far more than any other state in the nation. HB 1199 was killed in the House Public Safety committee the night before Bush’s comments. April 20 was also the day of the Littleton shooting. According to legislators, with the governor’s support, there would have been a chance of resurrecting the bill, or moving similar legislation in the Senate. However, the April 28 Dallas Morning News reported that Bush did not think there was time to close the loophole before the legislature adjourned on May 28. Instead, he called on the federal government to solve the problem. The Texas legislature adjourned without taking any action on closing the gun show loophole. Both the House and Senate passed NRA proposed legislation to preempt city lawsuits against the gun industry, despite the fact that no Texas City even planned to file a lawsuit. Governor Bush signed the bill on June 18, 1999. This year, Texas received a D- on Handgun Control Kids and Guns Report Card. Texas received a lower grade in 1999, falling from a D to a D- because it does not have a juvenile possession law, does not regulate secondary sales, does not allow cities and counties to enact ordinances to
prevent gun violence and does allow the carrying of concealed weapons. Governor George W. Bush failed to push the legislature to close the gun show loophole, while promoting and signing a bill that gives immunity from civil prosecution to the gun industry. The state does have reasonable restrictions on juvenile sales and a child access prevention law.
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