Gun Controll Essay, Research Paper
With the growing number of reports, on television, about violent crimes at school, it is no wonder that President Clinton is pushing for more gun control. Although the number of violent crimes committed in schools is far less than the number committed at home, the president feels that stricter gun laws need to be in effect. In the light of the recent shootings at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, there have been serious increases in the number of proposals to help regulate gun use. I do not think that it is the guns that we need to control, but the people.
In the last several years there have been major legislative proposals to try and regulate the sale, purchase, transportation, and ammunition for guns. Perhaps the best known is the Brady Bill.
On November 30, 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was enacted, amending the Gun Control Act of 1968. The Brady Law imposed as an interim measure a waiting period of 5 days before a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer may sell, deliver, or transfer a handgun to an unlicensed individual. The waiting period applies only in states without an acceptable alternate system of conducting background checks on handgun purchasers. The interim provisions of the Brady Law became effective on February 28, 1994, and cease to apply on November 30, 1998. While the interim provisions of the Brady Law apply only to handguns, the permanent provisions of the Brady Law apply to all firearms.
The Brady Bill requires a five-day wait for the purchase of a handgun. During that time a background check is done in order to make sure that the purchaser does not have a history of violent crimes. Although this bill is intended to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people it has not had a drastic impact in the number of deaths due to guns. The bill itself does not bother me, nor do I think that it will bother most law-abiding citizens. However, what does bother me is the final sentence in Resnick?s paper, ? While the interim provisions of the Brady Law apply only to handguns, the permanent provisions of the Brady Law apply to all firearms.? This bothers me, as well as many other American hunters. Although a hunting rifle is just as deadly as a handgun, I don?t feel that many people will be using them in order to commit murder. The law is interfering with my ability to hunt. If I am going to purchase a new rifle I do not want to wait five days for them to do a background check, just so that I can go hunting.
Other advocates of gun control are asking that legislation be passed that will make it illegal for any gun to be sold without a trigger lock. My question is how is this going to help? What good is it going to do to require all guns sold to come with this device? How many innocent lives are going to be saved? The answer to those questions is not many. The trigger lock has been compared to the child proof medicine lid. After the invention of the childproof cap there were more reports of children overdosing on medicines. Why is that? When people feel that there is no way for a child to get into the medicine, they will be less likely to put it in a hard to reach area. However all they are doing is leaving prescription drugs where children can get to them, and assuming that the lid will keep them out. By using this scenario it is easy to see how mandatory trigger locks might help to increase the number of accidents in the home. People will feel much better about leaving a gun in the open if they feel there is no way for there children to get hurt. This proves to be just the opposite when you look at how a gun is actually made.
Guns have been designed to resist accidental firings when dropped. However when a trigger lock is in place a gun is more prone to accidental discharge from being droped. This happens because of how close the guard comes to the trigger. This information should clearly show that trigger locks may not be the answer to accidental shootings.
Although the gun lock has good intentions and may serve to be very useful when used in gun stores, it will not help prevent the deaths of school children.
Of 20 million middle school and high-school students, fewer than a dozen have killed at school this year. Of 20000 secondary schools nationwide, only about 10 have reported a murder on campus.
It is a very tragic situation whenever some one looses a life, especially children. When something such as the Columbine massacre happens one cannot help but feel sorry for the families who lost children. After an incident such as this, people begin to start screaming for more gun control, but is this really what is needed? One person walks into a school and kills some one and all of a sudden we need to ban guns. By looking at the statistics we can see that most children are not killed by gun wheeling psychos, but their own parents. Recent studies estimate that gunplay at school kills 20 to 30 youths a year?.by contrast studies show that 2,000 to 3,000 children and youths are murdered each year by parents or caretakers, a toll that is clearly on the rise.
Coming from a state such as Montana, I have grown up around guns my entire life. I know how to properly use, clean, store, transport, as well as safe gun handling techniques. My father and mother instilled this in me from a very young age. This leads me to my next argument, education. If children are taught how to use guns in a safe manor and how respect what a gun can do, they can be a safe part of our lives. Many benefits come from guns, although some are not as apparent as others, they do exist.
When my father and I would go hunting, it wasn?t always about killing something, it was more about going out and spending the day with someone I love and tobe away from the cities. Guns can be a way for people, who normally wouldn?t to spend time together. Weather it is going to a trap club, or a rifle range, sportsmen of all ages enjoy the thrill of shooting a gun. Owning a gun is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution, and is a responsibility that many people enjoy. I feel that as long as people are educated about guns and learn how to properly use them, we can help to reduce the number of accidental deaths in the country. I am not completely against gun control laws. Many of them are set up for the good of the people, however I do not want to see the government completely controlling firearms. I would like to be able know that my children will be able to have the same abilities that I had when I was younger, the enjoyment of shooting.
Sherman, Ralph D., Trigger locks are Dangerous, The Hartford Courant september12, 1998
Violence, and Discipline Problems in US Public Schools; 1996-97, March 1998, National Center for Education Statistics.
Study no major upswing in school shooting deaths, July 29,1998 CNN Interactive. www.Cnn.com.