Guns 4 Essay, Research Paper
Books related to guns
Mass homicides and numerous suicides should be evidence enough that this country needs stronger gun control laws. The articles that I m using for this paper both focus on guns. One article gives details of the high number of suicides that are assisted by the use of guns. The other describes our countries unsuccessful attempts at new restrictions on gun ownership.
More people are killing themselves with guns, than those being killed by other people using guns. Using the most recent statistics available, guns were used in 17,566 suicides, compared with 13,522 homicides in 1997. If this isn t a wake-up call for gun control then what is? Studies also show that there is a high risk of gun suicide during the first week of owning a gun. What does this tell us about the mental and emotional stability of a high number if people buying guns today? A test may be needed to determine the mental stability of the person trying to purchase the gun. This is just one idea. Could this be a key point to look at while developing gun control regulations? A senate committee is holding the first congressional hearings on suicide this month. Lets all hope that something good will come from those hearings.
As of now, Congress can t agree on new regulations. Recent mass homicides and shootings at schools and churches have caused this issue to climb the ladder of importance in Congress. The republicans and democrats just don t seem to be able to agree on new regulations. Their disagreement is caused by their differing views. The Republicans believe that we should create more of an effort to enforce the laws that already exist. The Democrats want to create new laws that would prevent criminals from getting guns.
Will preventing criminals from getting guns lower our suicide rate? My guess is, probably not. Some regulations need to focus on violent crime while others focus on suicide. While negotiations are under way for regulation in both cases, results probably won t be seen for some time. Congress will have to agree on new regulations before we see anything change for the better. It would be great to see a step in the right direction in either case. While one case focuses on suicide and the other on violent crime, they are both being assisted by the same problem, the availability of guns. If Congress can agree on regulations that would prevent criminals from having guns, half of the problem would be on its way to being solved.
I ve described some similarities and differences of these articles throughout this paper. These articles had similarities in that they were about the misuse of guns and what our country is trying to do to correct the problem. The difference is that these are two separate problems involving guns. Lets all hope that our law makers will come up with some new laws that will spare anymore innocent lives that might be lost if we can t get a handle on these problems.
Gun Control in the U.S.-
Gun control, as we know it, consists of the government
restricting the ability of individual citizens to purchase weapons.
The different types of gun control vary from waiting periods between
when you purchase the gun and when you actually get it, background
checks so that high-risk people can’t purchase guns through legal
channels, and completely banning certain types of guns. There are
countless ways for criminals to avoid these government regulations,
causing them to only render the ability of innocent citizens
protecting their home and family’s ability to purchase guns.
The “waiting period” method of gun control is basically a
two-step process. The first step in the procedure is that the person
wanting a gun goes to his local shop (or calls a reputable mail order
outlet) to place the initial order. Then, he must wait one to two
weeks while the government performs a small background check for past
criminal activities, disorderly conduct, or lack of mental/emotional
stability. During this time, if the purchaser of the gun wanted the
gun for impulse reasons (out of rage), it is hoped that they will not
still want to cause bodily harm after a couple weeks.
The problem with this method of gun control is that it stops
the ordinary citizen from purchasing a gun on the whim, but it
actually protects the common criminal. Underage buyers and other
delinquents can purchase mass quantities of weapons through “dummy
buyers” that have clean backgrounds. So if a burglar enters a house
with full intention to maim or kill, the innocent victim (who can’t
get a gun to protect his family because he was arrested for drunk
driving seven years ago) is simply a victim of a law that supports
black market trade. There are over 200 million registered guns in
circulation (Larson), and they are the ones that will not be killing
our children. The unregistered ones are owned by murderers, rapists,
Another practiced technique of preventing dangerous firearms
from killing honest people is to ban an entire type of weapon. The
AK-47 is a commonly-used example of that. Again, the criminals still
have limited access to the weapon through underground channels, but
these banned weapons are so powerful that there is really is not
practical purpose for them in the home (or in hunting).
This can easily be adverted by the common criminal who knows
anything about the way guns are assembled. A semi-automatic machine
gun can be converted into a fully-automatic gun with a little
handcraft. A shotgun can become a bloody powerful weapon by
sawing-off the tip of it. Obviously, new methods of gun control are
needed to produce desired results. In the first half of 1991, fifty
children under the age of seventeen had been shot to death. If we
continue to monitor the sale of firearms, there must be new techniques
that can watch where the guns end up. And if we decide that we
can/will not go down that track, we must make that judgement
earnestly, and without haste, because it will decide the future of The
United State of America as we know it.
Larson, Erik. “The Story of a Gun”, The Atlantic Monthly. January 1993
Pooley, Eric. “Kids with Guns.” , New York. August 5, 1991.