Gun Control Essay, Research Paper
Regulation of guns is a necessary action that needs to be taken in order to save lives. A gooddefinition of gun control is needed to understand the sides and issues. Gun control is an effort to stopthe rise in violent crime by strengthening laws on the ownership of firearms. Persons in the groupagainst 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 notapply 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 RifleAssociation (NRA), and the Gun Owners of America (GOA) . The NRA is a national groupdedicated to the upholding of the Second amendment of the Constitution (See Appendix). In theirmagazines, American Hunter and American Rifleman, they say “The NRA, . . . believes that everylaw-abiding citizen is entitled to the ownership and legal use of firearms, . . . ” The NRA does manythings to help display their beliefs and persuade others to their beliefs. This association also has astrong pull on legislation, because it has many lobbyists and supporters in government. This grouphas many members in Congress, and former presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan are NRAmembers. 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 Appendixfor 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, andvideos on gun issues and how those issues affect people. They also conduct seminars for the pressand Congress about issues on the Second Amendment, and gun issues. The GOA opposes bans onsemiautomatic weapons, armor piercing ammunition, and handguns.There are also many groups that are pro gun control in the United States. The major group forgun control is Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI), which is headed by Sarah Brady. Mrs. Brady is the wifeof James Brady, who was shot during an attempt on president Reagan’s life in 1981. Another majorgroup is the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), which was formerly known as the NationalCoalition to Ban Handguns. The CSGV believes that handguns should be outlawed completely, witha few exceptions, such as the military, police and sportsmen who keep their guns locked up togetherin a gun club. Some accomplishments of HCI are laws prohibiting the interstate sale of handguns, and lawsprohibiting 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 aroundall of the schools, and to establish control over who can manufacture and sell weapons. HCI isworking very hard to achieve these goals. The CSGV is dedicated to the total removal of guns from the hands of citizens, with a fewexceptions. The CSGV is trying very hard to put gun banning legislation in the law. They believethat 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 secondamendment rights apply only to militia, which they define as a group such as the National Guard andnot regular citizens. These people also believe that by controlling numbers of guns on the streets gunviolence can be reduced.The national government doing working with the issue of gun control. There have beenseveral bills passed in the last ten years that have to do with gun control. First, there was the GunControl Act of 1986, which banned all fully-automatic weapons from the hands of citizens. Then in1988 there was the Brady Bill, which made a seven-day waiting period mandatory for all handgunpurposes, this law passed the House of Representatives in 1991, but part of it was ruledunconstitutional in 1994. Most recently there was the ban on assault weapons, which bans the saleand manufacture of what the government considers assault weapons. Both the NRA and HCI havefought 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 statisticsto use as weapons (see Appendix for data of both sides). The stronger case being presented by thepro-gun control groups. The NRA has several good points, but HCI has points that are more relevantto the society we live in. Pro-gun control groups can prove that crime can be reduced with more guncontrol laws by showing death statistics in countries with stricter gun control laws (Figure 1.1). TheNRA 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. Takeaway the guns, and there will be no gun violence, it makes sense.