Gun Control Essay, Research Paper
Pro Gun Control
It is a Friday afternoon in Charlesbay High School. Students are piling into the lunch lines awaiting hot pizza, fresh French fries and ice-cold sodas. As the students discuss what they are going to do after the football game and how their 1st hour test was, a gunshot is heard not far away. The students are ordered to stay low to the ground by school security guards. None of the students know what is happening outside the lunch lines. What is going on is a 17-year old frenetic boy who attends Charlesbay, got upset with a couple students. He was sick of hearing them call him ?dumb? or ?butterball? and pushing him around the hallways. Robby, we?ll call him, took matters into his own hands and decided to do something about his bullies. The way Robby obtained his gun was by a friend, an older friend. This lethal weapon caused the death of 3 students and 5 injuries. What was just explained seems to be a typical storyline heard on the news daily.
The debate over firearms has been polarized for too long. Gun law is a never-ending issue because there hardly is any true debate. Americans (and even gun owners) do support the governments efforts to make sure guns are less dangerous in violent hands, but that is the main problem-the guns getting in the wrong human hands. Millions of law-abiding Americans do own and do enjoy their guns. But criminals and sometimes-disconcerted kids often use firearms to kill. The use of firearms has increased tremendously. An average day in Los Angeles is four people dying in a gun related crime and the United States faces approximately 87 deaths a day. There are more than 200 million guns in circulation in the United States and if you don?t own a firearm, chances are that your neighbor or friend does (Fineman 27). Sure, the Founding Fathers incorporated the Second Amendment as ?the right to keep and bear arms,? but it did not give the distinction of using guns to kill more children and people than anywhere in the world.
I. It is happening all over the country: kids are dying from guns. (Restatement)
A. According to the governments statistics, 4, 223 children were killed by firearms in 1997, while many of these deaths occurred while playing at a friends? home or even in their own neighborhood (Bai 32).
1.It is mostly due because their parents or other gun owners do not store their firearms properly, and children find loaded guns and use them unintentionally on themselves or other children.
B. Additionally, guns injure thousands of children each year. Some experts believe that gun-related deaths/injuries could replace car crashes as the leading death for youths. So what can be done to protect kids and guns? (Rhetorical question)
1. Childproof trigger locks could be a beneficial solution. In having this on each and every gun could reduce a child?s death by 67% (Fineman 34). With poor trigger resistance, a gun can be fired by a three-year old, while many guns can fire when dropped on the floor.
2. Many popular semi-automatic handguns lack magazine safety disconnects or loads indicators. This means that many children have no way of knowing that a gun appears unloaded actually has a bullet in the chamber, ready for a fire.
3. Child safety locks. A prohibition on the possession assault weapons by minors. A ban on importation of large-capacity ammunition clips. It is ludicrous to see the gutting of the Second Amendment in any of these. We register cars in this country, why not guns? (Aphorism).
C. The horrible massacre in Colorado shows just how gun control works in the real world-which is safe to say that is doesn?t. Under the laws of Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were able to own rifles and shotguns, but were too young to buy them. They found a way though by having their 18-year-old friend Robyn Anderson buy the firearm and while buying them, he also picked up two shotguns and a 9mm-HiPoint carbine for their attack. They also were able to get a TEC-DC9 (Murr 34).
D. Somebody of legal age sold this particular handgun to him or her, but that person could face prosecution. The sickening part is, their sentence could only be 2-6 years in prison. A light sentence with such a serious crime committed and the outcome of that crime of 15 dead. (Anecdote).
E. It should not take a Columbine, Jonesboro or another pre-school incident (allusion) to make the people realize that children are more at risk from fire arms than any other country. Yes, cars do kill children: so do poorly made toys and swimming pools and dozens of household products. But out of all the thousands of products with which children have contact, only one-firearms-are completely exempt from consumer protection regulations. Why does our government recall and ban hundreds of products when even few children are killed or injured by these flawed designs? (Rhetorical question)
1. Recently, some schools have created ?peanut-free zones? in their cafeteria because of the tiny number of children who are highly allergic to peanut products. In 1999 major car manufacturers have installed inside-trunk latches on new cars because of the 11 children who died last year by suffocating in locked cars. They aren?t looking at the 6,000 students who were suspended at school for carrying guns to school or the 1, 300 children aged 10-19 who committed suicide with firearms (Fineman 24). 2. Instead, the gun industry is making their products more and more lethal, instead of devoting their profits to the development of a childproof gun, and the industry is absolutely immune to the government intervention for their actions.
II. What to do to protect?
A. Require background checks on all sales and transfers.
1. The Brady bill requires an instant background check when somebody purchases a firearm from a licensed dealer. This law has kept thousands of felons and other prohibited purchasers (fugitives, those formally charges with domestic abuse) from buying guns at a legitimate source. More still can be done. The country needs to build a secure, reliable database that won?t let felons slip through the system. Keeping record of when guns change hands because the selling of firearms in the secondary market is 40%. All sales and transfers of guns should require a check. Will this keep one guy from swapping or selling without the books? Probably not, but will make it more difficult for the nefarious to obtain guns overtly.
2. Enforce what?s on the books. This encourages police and prosecutors to enforce federal gun laws. By following just 1 simple rule for 1 year: arresting someone for carrying a gun while in possession of drugs. In Richmond, police seized 512 guns and sent 215 violators to jail (Fineman 25).
3. Ban assault weapons. With assault weapons having folding stocks and pistol gripes, it allows the killer to lay down a lot of ammunition very quickly, plowing down anybody in their field. There is a law that passes, but manufacturers are still finding ways to modify it. This time, make it real.
4. License owners and register all guns. Licensing could operate similar to the DMV: to drive a car you need to pass a test (Analogy). There should be risks, authorities might be distant, or abusive, or inattentive. But licensing could improve gun safety, particularly for beginners. All sales should be logged. Why? Well, if a typical gun owner gets his firearm legitimately, then he knows the government has record of his acquirement. He may then be more careful about what happens to that gun for fear that crimes committed with it would bring the police knocking on his door.
Madmen will always do mad things (Aphorism). People do kill with broomsticks and their bare hands. Yet the facts are inescapable, there are more than 200 million guns in circulation and more than 1/3 of American households owns a firearm (Fineman 32) (Restatement). Products are something we need to regulate, be they cars, lawnmowers or pharmaceuticals. It is time to apply this consumer-product safety standard to firearms. Perhaps it will take another school shooting to get the Americans and political leaders thinking. Perhaps it will take one more school shooting to move us from people who support for gun control to people who actually vote for it. Perhaps it will take one more shooting to make the Americans more powerful than the NRA. Perhaps it will take our school to be the chosen school to have a rampage, to finally open up our eyes to see how dangerous guns really is (Repetition).
Matt Bai, ?Searching for Answers? Newsweek 10 May 1999 31:36
Howard Fineman, ?The Gun War Comes Home? Newsweek 23 May 1999 22:32
Andrew Murr, ?Follow the Firearms? Newsweek 10 May 1999 34
Anna Quindlen, ?The Widows and the Wounded? Newsweek 1 Nov. 1999 98