Gun Control Essay, Research Paper
A REPORT ON GUN CONTROL
As stated in court records on Kitchen vs K-Mart Corp., On the night of December 14, 1987, petitioner Deborah Kitchen was shot by her ex-boyfriend, Thomas Knapp, and rendered a permanent quadriplegic, shortly after Knapp purchased a .22 caliber bolt-action rifle from a local K-Mart retail store. Knapp testified that he had consumed a fifth of whiskey and case of beer beginning that morning and up until he left a local bar. He returned to the bar and, after observing Kitchen leave in an automobile with friends, followed in his truck. He subsequently rammed their car, forcing if off the road, and shot Kitchen at the base of her neck (Henderson 76). On April 20, 1999 two students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, opened fire in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 15 people (including themselves) with several guns and many homemade bombs. The tragedy immediately spurred a demand for new gun control measures (Henderson 97) . These two incidents, recently generated a renewed wave on the issue of gun control.
Today in American society there have been various perspectives about the issues of gun control. These various perspectives lead to opposing ideas on gun laws and beliefs on gun use. It s important to be aware of these various perspectives on the issues of gun control, and the related issues of legislature and the use of guns, so an individual can decide for themselves what actions to takt to build their own perspective on gun control.
Gun control advocates want to increase the effort of keeping guns away from people who are likely to use them in an irresponsible matter (Henderson 5). They believe gun ownership as a right and not a privilege. Gun advocates prefer to restrict and extend the laws. They tend to see each gun restriction as an issue that will be resolved politically on its own merits (Henderson 7). The gun control advocates argue that the Second Amendment applies only to the bearing arms as a part of an organized militia (Henderson 17). They focus on the inexpensive, often poorly made handguns. They argue that these cheap guns provide criminals with an easy access of a supply of weapons. According to the FBI 56% (out of 60%) of the murders are done with handguns (Henderson 225). Gun control advocates feel that the problem is an armed citizen. They persist and push for proposals for stricter sentencing for all people convicted of using a gun in a crime. These advocates want the existing gun laws to be enforced rather than passing new ones (Henderson 21). Gun control advocates argue that assault weapons have no place or use in hunting and aren t needed for self-defense. They believe that a gun is a weapon of impulse (Henderson 25).
Gun rights advocates want to combine education and law enforcement to prevent gun abuse (Henderson 5). Gun rights advocates want gun ownership to be a right. They believe if a citizen doesn t have a criminal or mental health record that they are able to own and carry a gun of his or her choice with minimal restrictions. Any proposal that is passed for gun restrictions and ban, gun rights advocates see it as a way of leading a total ban on gun ownership (Henderson 7). The gun rights advocates argue that if Congress had wanted to only protect the rights of the states to have militias, it would have said so on the Second Amendment (Henderson 17). They also believe that banning cheap guns would deprive the poor people who live in crime neighborhoods with little police protection to defend themselves (Henderson 20). Gun advocates believe that the Second Amendment isn t just about hunting, but that weapons can be needed for community defense (Henderson 22). Gun rights advocates see the gun as a tool that have legitimate uses in self-defense. They believe that people who use a gun for self-defense are perceived as helpless, passive victims of their own actions, and not responsible for their actions (Henderson 25).
Citizens today feel that the rate of injuries and deaths from firearms continue to increase. There are approximately 200 million firearms in the US, of which 60 million are handguns (Kassirer 25). They believe that handguns should remain available, but that there should be a period for background checking (Kassirer 28). They feel that the old gun laws should be strengthened and that new laws should be issued (Kassirer 30). Some citizens argue that the gun laws today aren t being enforced as much as they wanted them to be. They also feel that a person should be allowed to carry a handgun in case danger comes up. As long as the person is using it as self defense then they see no problem with it. Citizens want their children and family to be protected by criminals, but that if a person isn t going to be responsible then it shouldn t be issued to them (Kassirer 36).
Today in society different perspectives have risen about the issue of gun control. These perspectives show a variety of views on gun laws and beliefs on gun use. With citizens being aware about these various perspectives they re able to build their own belief and perspective on gun control. With citizens and proponents dealing on the issue of gun control who knows when guns will stop being a threat.