Untitled Essay Research Paper Regulation of guns

Untitled Essay, Research Paper

Regulation of guns is a necessary action that needs to be taken in order

to save lives. A good definition of gun control is needed to understand the

sides and issues. Gun control is an effort to stop the rise in violent crime

by strengthening laws on the ownership of firearms. Persons in the group

against gun control believe that gun control is wrong, and that it is a violation

of constitutional rights.

Those in favor of gun control believe that gun control is good, that the

Second Amendment does not apply to regular citizens, and that guns should

be taken out of the hands of criminals. There are several major anti-gun

control groups. These groups include the National Rifle Association (NRA),

and the Gun Owners of America (GOA) . The NRA is a national group dedicated

to the upholding of the Second amendment of the Constitution (See Appendix).

In their magazines, American Hunter and American Rifleman, they say “The

NRA, . . . believes that every law-abiding citizen is entitled to the ownership

and legal use of firearms, . . . ” The NRA does many things to help display

their beliefs and persuade others to their beliefs. This association also

has a strong pull on legislation, because it has many lobbyists and supporters

in government. This group has many members in Congress, and former presidents

George Bush and Ronald Reagan are NRA members. The NRA lobbies for several

types of legislation. For example, the NRA is currently tryingto repeal the

ban on assault weapons. A lot of money is spent each year on legislation

(See Appendix for figures).

The Gun Owners of America is another group that is against gun control. The

GOA preserves and defends the rights of gun owners through legislation. They

publish books, articles, and videos on gun issues and how those issues affect

people. They also conduct seminars for the press and Congress about issues

on the Second Amendment, and gun issues. The GOA opposes bans on semiautomatic

weapons, armor piercing ammunition, and handguns.

There are also many groups that are pro gun control in the United States.

The major group for gun control is Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI), which is

headed by Sarah Brady. Mrs. Brady is the wife of James Brady, who was shot

during an attempt on president Reagan’s life in 1981. Another major group

is the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), which was formerly known as

the National Coalition to Ban Handguns. The CSGV believes that handguns should

be outlawed completely, with a few exceptions, such as the military, police

and sportsmen who keep their guns locked up together in a gun club.

Some accomplishments of HCI are laws prohibiting the interstate sale of handguns,

and laws prohibiting the sale of “assault weapons.” The main goal of this

organization was to pass the Brady Bill. Some of its other goals are to ban

multiple sales of handguns, to create gun-free zones around all of the schools,

and to establish control over who can manufacture and sell weapons. HCI is

working very hard to achieve these goals.

The CSGV is dedicated to the total removal of guns from the hands of citizens,

with a few exceptions. The CSGV is trying very hard to put gun banning

legislation in the law. They believe that if there are fewer guns out on

the streets, then there will be fewer gun crimes committed.

The anti-gun control people believe in several major ideas. They believe

that the second amendment rights apply only to militia, which they define

as a group such as the National Guard and not regular citizens. These people

also believe that by controlling numbers of guns on the streets gun violence

can be reduced. The national government doing working with the issue of gun

control. There have been several bills passed in the last ten years that

have to do with gun control. First, there was the Gun Control Act of 1986,

which banned all fully-automatic weapons from the hands of citizens. Then

in 1988 there was the Brady Bill, which made a seven-day waiting period mandatory

for all handgun purposes, this law passed the House of Representatives in

1991, but part of it was ruled unconstitutional in 1994. Most recently there

was the ban on assault weapons, which bans the sale and manufacture of what

the government considers assault weapons. Both the NRA and HCI have fought

very hard against one another to pass some bills, and to keep some bills

from becoming law.

Both sides of this argument present very strong cases. They have many facts

and statistics to use as weapons (see Appendix for data of both sides). The

stronger case being presented by the pro-gun control groups. The NRA has

several good points, but HCI has points that are more relevant to the society

we live in. Pro-gun control groups can prove that crime can be reduced with

more gun control laws by showing death statistics in countries with stricter

gun control laws (Figure 1.1). The NRA argues differently, but does not have

the extremely convincing evidence to back their ideas up.

To save more lives from death by firearms, some compromise must be made between

these groups. Losing some time or money to buy a gun could save many lives.

The NRA argues that people areguaranteed the right to own guns in the Second

Amendment (See Appendix for the text of thisamendment), but anti-gun control

groups say that the law applies only to militia, not individuals. Thepro-gun

control groups have the stronger case because they can prove that lives will

be saved. Take away the guns, and there will be no gun violence, it makes



Figure 1.1

Handgun Control, Inc.

“In 1988, handguns killed 7 people in Great Britain, 19 in Sweden, 53 in

Switzerland, 25 in Israel, 13 in Australia, 8 in Canada, and 8,915 in the

United States.”

Figure 1.2

1989 Federal Lobbying Reports

This figure shows the amount of money spent by both pro and anti gun control

groups in 1989

lobbying for legislation

(1st Half Gross Receipts)

Handgun Control, Inc. $3,287,020

National Coalition to Ban Handguns 265,719

ANTI-GUN TOTAL $4,092,739

Citizens for the Right to Keep and

Bear Arms $1,158,572

NRA/Institute for Legislative Action 915,603

Gun Owners of America 361,715

PRO-GUN TOTAL $2,435,890


Figure 2.1

The Second Amendment to the Constitution

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,

the right of

the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”


Ammunition. The shells or cartridges fired from a gun.

Anti-gun control. Favoring no restrictions on the access of law-abiding citizens

to firearm ownership.

Armor-piercing bullets. A type of bullet that can penetrate protective vests

or other gear sometimes worn by law-enforcement officers.

Background check. A type of gun control requiring review of the background

of a potential gun owner to check for a criminal record or history of drug

or alcohol abuse.

Ban. A law or act that prohibits the acquisition or sale of a particular

item, such as a gun.

Firearm. A device for storing, and firing of ammunition.

Fully-automatic weapon. A gun that can fire many rounds with one pull of

the trigger,

such as a machine gun.

Gun-control law. Any law that restricts the ownership or sale of firearms.

Handgun. A short, thick-barreled firearm that can be handheld.

Lobby. An organization that uses its political power to promote causes supported

by its membership.

Militia. 1. As defined by the Constitution it includes all able-bodied men

between 18 and 45 2. Defined by the pro-gun control groups, it means the

members of groups such as

the National Guard and the armed forces

Pro-gun control. Favoring restrictions on the access of citizens to firearm


Rifle. A long, thick-barreled firearm with a handle that fits to the shoulder.

Semiautomatic. A firearm with a removable magazine and a trigger that must

be pulled

once to fire each shot.


Works Cited

Alba, John. “Outspoken Lawman.” American Survival Guide Jan. 1996: 88-90.

Gun Control. Ed. Bruno Leone. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1992.

Little, Christopher. “The Disarming President.” American Survival Guide May

1995: 46-49.

McClure, Sashai A. “An Analysis of Handgun Control, Inc.”;downloaded from

the Combat Arms BBS, Castro Valley, 3-5-96.

Newton, David E. Gun Control: An Issue for the 90’s. Hillside: Enslow Publishers,

Inc., 1992.

Strahinich, Helen. Think About Guns in America. New York: Walker and Company,


United States.Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.Your Guide to Firearms



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