Gun Control Essay, Research Paper
It is being argued that gun control violates our constitutional rights stated in the second amendment. The second amendment states that ?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 (Harris,1998).? Pro-gunners believe that the second amendment gives them the right to have any and all typed of firearms. But, the second amendment was written during a time when the nation was at war. Ordinary citizens were serving as part time soldiers and it was necessary for them to have a gun to fight in the Revolutionary War. Each state had it?s own militia. These militias were ?well regulated,? meaning the members were required to train, supply their own gun, and engage in military exercises away from home. The gun lobby will often claim that ?militia? was simply another word for the populace at large. This is not the case, however. Eventually, the militias were viewed as a counterbalance to the federal army and the Second amendment was written to prevent the government from disarming them.
Gun control would help minimize the number of homicides and other gun related crimes. Each year, guns kill thousands of Americans. In 1989, 60 % of all murder victims in the United Stated were killed with firearms. In addition to this, 70,000 people were injured by firearms, many permanently disabled (Curtice, 1999). The reason for these high numbers is that the presence of a gun makes a crime more potentially lethal. In a robbery, victims are far more likely to die when the perpetrator has a gun rather than any other weapon. Guns also make it easier to kill. A killer can shoot someone without thinking about it rationally and a person?s life can be taken away in an instant.
Also, by closing the gun show loopholes, people who might be forbidden to purchase a gun could not do so at a gun show. Today anyone can purchase a gun at these events with no questions asked. Felons, ex-cons and under aged people attend these gun shows to buy guns from private dealers. This is possible because the law states that anyone who wants to sell guns from his or her ?private collection? doesn?t need to conduct a background check or keep any records of the sale. Even assault weapons can be purchased at gun shows. This is legal because any weapons made before the 1994 ban on assault weapons can be sold. A study by the ATF found that about 10% of guns used in crimes by juveniles and children were sold at gun shows and flea markets. In addition, according to the ATF, all four of the guns used in the Littleton, Colorado school shooting had passed through the hands of un-licensed dealers at gun shows (Curtice, 1999).
Finally, gun control would reduce the amount of violence in schools. In one year firearms killed 5,285 children in the U.S. while in the same year none were killed in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, and 57 in Germany (Harris,1998). In 10 years the firearm death rate for teens increased 222%. It is projected that within 5 years, firearms will overtake motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among American children. Parents often do not store their firearms properly. Their children find the loaded weapons and accidentally fire them causing injury or death. Their teens find them and use them for suicide, crime and to intimidate peers. The Columbine and Jonesboro massacres are just 2 examples of how kids use guns to kill. More than 800 American die each year from guns shot by children under the age of 19 (Harris,1998). There is not many laws preventing children?s easy access to guns. The Brady Laws make it illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase handguns from licensed dealers but the gun show loophole allows them to purchase guns through private dealers. New gun control laws, such as mandatory trigger locks, would prevent children from firing guns.