Gun Control Synthsis Paper Essay, Research Paper
When you mention gun control, many things come to mind. School shooting, the Brady Law, second amendment rights, and kids killing kids, these issues have prompted a controversy over guns and whether they are a menace to society. There are many types of guns and each contributes to crime differently. The smaller more easily concealed weapons, like handguns and sawed off shotguns are most likely to be used in crime. While the larger firearms, rifles, have a slightly lower reported incidence of crime. Crimes reported that involve an assault weapon such as the Uzi is virtually unheard of. Views on the subject of gun control range from one extreme, all guns are bad, to the other extreme that all existing laws should be revoked and every person should own a gun. In the discussion on gun control there are a few points that everyone argues about. Two of the most popular topics on gun control seem to be, do guns contribute to crime, and would tougher gun laws prevent gun fatalities?
With all the different subjects discussed within the gun control controversy, the topic of how tougher laws would affect the death rate, associated with firearms, seems to be most common. Dennis Henigan believes that the laws need to be redirected toward better safety features on guns, to prevent some accidental shootings. Henigan also believes that the gun manufacturers should be liable for the lack of safety devices that could prevent accidental shootings. Morgan O. Reynolds and W.W. Caruth III believe, that the laws, proposed for the control of gun crime, would rase the price for purchasing a gun; but do little for preventing crime from being committed with them. According to Woody West, guns are responsible for the deaths of many people, some of which are innocent, but before we make new laws we should try enforcing the scores of laws already enacted, but not enforced. On the far end of the argument against controlling crime through banning guns sits David B. Kopel with his opinion that “banning guns to reduce crime makes as much sense as banning alcohol to reduce drunk driving.” Moving from one extreme to the other, the Associated Press released an article that sites the Brady Law with saving more than nine thousand lives, and urges more stringent regulation of firearms.
Many others such as Reynolds, Caruth, Kopel, and West, disagree that the Brady law saves any lives, or is of much good. Reynolds, Caruth disagree with the argument that laws such as the Brady Law, named for the late Jim Brady, is the answer to the onslaught of these violent crimes. “The Brady Bill would not have saved Jim Brady.” As with other similar shootings, “the predator still could have legally obtained the weapon he used, because he had no previous felony record.” According to Woody West, to find a story of a shooting tragedy, you don’t have to look very long to find “television covering each as luridly as if it were the end of civilization as we know it.”
Dennis Henigan seems to express his own very strong opinion when he wrote, “the gun industry has a choice: It can continue business as usual, but only if it pays its fair share of the costs, or it can take the necessary and feasible steps to reduce the misuse of its products.” While Henigan takes a very firm stand on the subject of how guns contribute to crime, Kopel takes a more haphazard approach, saying that there could be a relationship between guns and crime, but more studies are needed. The Associated Press also has a strong opinion of guns in relation to crime. “Statistics for the first five years of the Brady Law presents compelling evidence that the lives of more than 9,000 people were saved because guns were less available to criminals.” Woody West seems to be the most confused and unsure of the impact of guns on our modern society, this is evident in his faint brush with the subject, in which he says that yes people are getting killed because someone has a gun, yes it is tragic, but the shootings are not of epidemic proportions. Research mentioned by Reynolds and Caruth in thier opinion proves conclusively that guns do not and have not increased crime rates, if anything citizens with guns deter crime.
While the battle rages over how much control the government should have over our second amendment right to bear arms, I can’t help but be amazed at how varied two reports of the same study can be. I am not however amazed at all the different opinions can will be encountered when gun control is mentioned even just in public. But, there is a very distinct difference between the evidence and personal opinion. In attempting determine the best route for gun control, I discovered that with all the conflicting results, it is impossible for me to make an informed choice on the subject. So if it is impossible to make an informed decision on such an important topic, what are we left with? In my mind guns are a good thing, not because I own one but because I was raised with one and saw it as security. Guns to me are not only reassuring as personal protection, but for the procurement of food every year, during the hunting season.
Associated Press. CRIME – GUNS = LIVES SAVED. July 27, 2000. October 2, 2000. www.handguncontrol.org/press/release.asp?Record=5
Caruth, W.W. and Reynolds, Morgan. Myths About Gun Control. NCPA Policy Report No. 176,
ISBN 0-943802-99-7. December 1992. October 4, 2000. www.ncpa.org/studies/s176/s176.html
Henigan, Dennis. Whether Citites Should be Allowed to Sue Firearms Manufacturers. Insight on the News. April 26, 1999. October 2, 2000. www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1571/15_15/54451075/p1/article.jhtmlZ
Kopel, David. TRUST THE PEOPLE: THE CASE AGAINST GUN CONTROL. Policty Analysis 109. July 11, 1998. September 12, 2000 www.x76.deja.com/=infoseej/getdoc.xp?AN=66810151431&CONTENXT=96876313697568897&hitnun=32
West, Woody. Gun Control Still Is Not Thug Control. Insight on the News. January 24, 2000. September 23, 2000.