The Control To Kill Essay, Research Paper
The Control to Kill
Guns are designed to kill. Some may say they are to protect, hunt, or even scare prospective thieves, but otherwise are designed to maim or kill either an animal or even worse a human being. Gun control is the starting point to eliminating dangerous and unnecessary firearms designed only to kill. However, strives are being taken to prevent the safety measures being put on gun control regulations. The constitution of the United States of America allows American citizens to own guns, but does this 200 year old standard allow for the senseless killing of innocent people by such military designed weapons such as an AK-47 or machine gun?
One of the main things that has been done to regulate the amount of guns being put into the hands of children was the signing of the Brady Bill. On November 30, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Bill into action. The bill was initiated after James Brady, press secretary for President Ronald Reagan, was shot and paralyzed in an assassination attempt on the president. Sarah Brady, Brady s wife, became an active voice in the fight for gun control which eventually to the Brady Bill ( Gun Control ).
The Brady Bill law requires prospective gun buyers to wait five business days before they can purchase a gun. Under the law, local law-enforcement agents are required to give a background check on all prospective buyers of guns. This is to ensure that guns are not bought by people who are not allowed to carry firearms such as people who have been, convicted of felons, minors, drug users and illegal immigrants ( Gun Control ).
The effect of the Brady Bill has worked to some degree. More than 300,000 people have been barred the chance to buy guns. According to a survey conducted by the Justice Department it has been reported that somewhere in the proximity of 57 convicted felons are denied the chance to purchase firearms each day ( Gun Control ). In 1995 1,400 people were found dead due to firearm accidents. This is a 15% decrease from a decade earlier. Only 3% of fatal childhood incidents come from a result of firearms, which is roughly 200 deaths per year ( Gun Control ). Although these statistics are low something must still be done about these absurd fatal accidents.
If people who think that gun control is nothing but a strike against Americans constitutional right then they might think differently if they see the effects of firearms. The Brady Bill was designed to stop the rate at which handguns are being distributed onto the streets. In 1995 about 86% of gun homicides, approximately 13,600 were committed by people who had handguns (Jost).
What happens when children get their hand on guns? Death is the inevitable answer. One will certainly remember the tragedy that beset the American society in May of 1998. A 15-year-old boy in Springfield, Oregon opened fire on hundreds of students during lunch at a high school. Together, four people were killed and twenty-two others were injured during the shooting. The young boy had a handgun, pistol, and a rifle ( Gun Control ).
Since October 1997, similar incidents have occurred in five other
small towns Jonesboro, Ark., Fayetteville, Tenn., Edinboro, Pa.,
West Paducah, Ky., and Pearl, Miss. In each case, the assailants were young boys and in each case the weapons of choice were guns. All told, 16 people were killed and 47 others wounded in the five separate shootings ( Gun Control ).
These shooting characterize what is being done with these weapons. If grown adults cannot handle dangerous weapons properly what makes a child or young adult so capable? Why are these children learning to fire guns and become excellent sharpshooters before they can drive a vehicle? Something must be done to prevent these shootings from happening in the future. More and more young people today are left home by themselves with weapons that kill. They are becoming fantasized with the glorification that the gun is something that will get you notice and celebrity status. It might just do that, but it also will get you 15 to 20 years without parole.
There is always two sides to arguments. The opponents of gun control have many issues on which they stand. Their main argument is that possessing guns is a constitutional right. The second amendment says that citizens have the right to bear arms. With gun control laws in action that require background checks on all people seeking to purchase a gun, lobbyists argue that the government is limiting the people s freedom. Another point they stress is that banning military style weapons will put people out of jobs since most of these slaughtering types of weapons are made in the U.S.A. They also emphasize that it is not the gun that kills but the criminal. People who own guns should not suffer the legality consequences of wrong doers. They also conclude that the government is in the lives of Americans too much and that they should not bother with them anymore.
Groups like the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) have every right to uphold the constitution. However, one must remember that the constitution was written over 200 years ago and times have changed. The right to bear arms was meant to imply that an individual can have a hunting gun. If people know their patriotic history one will know that the British kept American colonists from having guns prior to the Revolutionary War while the colonies were still under English rule. When the framers of the constitution wrote the 2nd amendment they meant as a way to have a hunting weapon and when called upon for militia duty, a military weapon.
There are ways to prevent children from using dangerous firearms. Handgun Control Inc., a leading group of advocates for gun control, lobby that, mandatory trigger locks for handguns and criminal liability for careless parents who let their weapons turn small children into accidental killers, (Greider) should be put into action. There are also prototypes of guns that won t shoot while not in the owner s hand. This smart gun is being manufactured by Colt s Manufacturing Co. The Smart Gun will not shoot while in the hands of a child, a teenager contemplating suicide, or a thief who stole the gun (Greider).
This is not all that can be done though. People should realize that military style firearms have no need to be on a commercial market. People do have the right too own hunting guns, or they might collect firearms as a hobby. Gun control is a way, but not the only way to keep firearms from hurting society. The firearms should be limited and controlled, and not disorganized to the point that small children can obtain these weapons. There should be a mandatory safety and inspection class for consumers wanting to purchase a gun. If people want to own a gun they should be licensed, because most certainly, the individual who lives down the street that owns a 9mm Beretta handgun does not know how to use it. And that will eventually led to someone getting hurt or quite possibly killed.
Greider, William. Will the Smart Gun Save Lives? Rolling Stone. 6 August
1998: 36-38. Texshare. 2 Dec. 1998.
Gun Control. Issues and Controversies on File. 3.11 (1998): 225-34.
Jost, Kenneth. Gun Control Standoff. CQ Researcher. 7.47 (1997): 1105-28.