Gun Control Essay, Research Paper
Statistics on an issue such as gun control are not hard to come by. The numbers seem to sway in the favor of gun control being ineffective against the epidemic of gun violence that is facing this nation today. There is evidence to support that many guns used for illegal activities are obtained by illegal means anyway, making laws to restrict the purchase of said guns ineffective at keeping firearms out of criminals hands. Evidence also supports the statements that guns are used in defense more often than not, that the age old statistic that ?13? children die each day by guns is inaccurate, and that there are numbers that show the direct relationship between the loosening of gun laws and the lowering of the crime rate.
-Crime victims are more than twice as likely to walk away from an assailant unharmed if they use a gun in self defense (source 5)
-Women are 2.5 times less likely to be seriously injured if they resist attack with guns than if they do not resist (source 3)
-Potential victims use guns more than 2 million times a year to stop violent crimes (crimes are stopped by defensive use of guns more than five times as frequently as crimes are committed with guns) (source 2)
- Eighty-eight percent of violent crimes do not involve firearms. (Source 6)
-Most people that die looking down the barrel of a gun are killed by themselves, not by criminals (source 5)
-It is widespread that 13 children die per day from guns when the figure is closer to 1.9 children per day (source 2)
-Accidental deaths, though rumored to be frequent, are in actuality quite rare. 138 children under the age of 15 died from accidental gun deaths in 1996. (However, when you consider the fact that 80 million people own 240 million guns- 138 is really a small number) (source 2)
-Lott** studied crime rates in the 10 states that passed laws during the period of 1977 to 1994 allowing residents to carry concealed handguns. Violent crimes fell in nine out of the ten.
-45% of 4,000 recent arrestees in 11 cities in 1995 reported having obtained their guns through
the illegal firearms market (source 4)
-Despite Chicago?s 1982 ban on every type of gun, except shotguns and rifles, and the fact that it
has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation, it also boasts the highest number of murders in
the country, including New York, with nearly three times the population. (Source 3)
**: refers to John R. Lott Jr., a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law, and author of More Guns, Less Crime? Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.
E.) The anecdotal evidence of this problem make it clear that those in favor of gun control laws are only hurting those who go by the rules, those who abide by the law.
-an 81 year old man named Bruno Kosinski. He was approached and attacked by two teenagers. They shoved him to the ground (pavement), sprayed him with pepper spray, and ripped his wallet from his pants. He rose to his feet, and heard a kid demanding more money. Kosinski ripped open his vest, pulled out a 38.-caliber snub nose revolver and squeezed the trigger. Kosinski escaped harm because he was carrying a concealed weapon, a felony in his home of Chicago. Nevertheless, it seems understandable that the local police commended Kosinski as a hero. Asked what a gun does for him, Kosinski replies this way: ?I?m equal.? (source 3)
- George Hennard crashed a pickup truck through the front of a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on October 16, 1991, got out with two semiautomatic pistols and methodically killed 23 people in 10 minutes before police finally arrived and killed him.
Dr. Suzanna Gratia, who watched as her mother and father were shot to death by Hennard, said later that she had left a pistol in her car outside the cafeteria because Texas law forbade carrying a weapon. From where she lay, she said, she had a clear shot at Hennard early on – and would have taken it. “We were sitting ducks and that just makes me so blasted mad,” said Dr. Gratia, a chiropractor. “I’ve got a right to protect myself.” (Source 6)
- Two armed robbers herded 20 customers and employees in an Anniston, Ala., Shoney’s restaurant into a walk-in cooler and held the manager outside at gunpoint. Then they spotted Thomas Glen Terry, a customer, hiding under a table and began shooting at him. Unlike the situation in Texas, Terry, who had a permit, was carrying a .45 caliber automatic handgun. He shot back, killing one robber and wounding the other. The manager and the hostages were released. unharmed. (Source 6)
1. The first alternative we came up with was to teach children to take guns seriously. Some possible negative consequences would be that the children wouldn?t listen, and would use guns anyway. Some possible positive consequences of such an idea would include the possibility that they (children) would use guns in a safe and responsible manner, or choose not to use them at all.
The possibility of success on any issue is hard to determine, but we feel that success is probable. The criteria needed for such success? Parents who take time to talk to their kids for a while, practice what they preach, and tell their kids the correct information.
2. One of the alternatives we came up with was to have metal detectors put in places that have a history of gun violence, such as in buildings in major cities, malls, airports, and maybe even schools.
This would help reduce the amount of gun violence by cutting down on the opportunities a shooter would have to commit a crime. However, there are also some negative
consequences. For example, it would increase tax dollars, they could be vandalized, and the other issues of privacy. I think the possibility of success by implementing these metal detectors around in specific places would be very high in decreasing the amount of guns in public places.
3. The second alternative proposed would include having people lock up their guns in their homes. This would make for more difficult access to the guns both for criminals and for the owners wishing to do something rash in the heat of the moment. A negative effect of such a plan would include the fact that while it makes it more difficult for those trying to get the gun for bad reasons, it also makes it more difficult for those trying to get the gun for self-protection. The possibility of success? Low. There is virtually no way to ensure that people would lock up their guns.
4. The third alternative proposed would consist of receiving a gun-ownership certificate in order to purchase your first gun. The fact that someone had such a certificate would then be entered into a national database, so that easy reference could be made to ensure that when a person goes out to purchase a gun, the owner of the shop can check to make sure that person is certified to make such a purchase. To receive a certificate an adult would go through a half-day course; a minor through a more extensive series of courses. This plan would have a good possibility of success because it would be similar to a driving permit: easy to check on, and relatively easy to receive (provided the person has no history of violent crime).
We chose the alternative that includes certification by class for gun ownership. We chose this because it seemed the most likely, cheapest way to ensure safety knowledge among gun owners. The other alternatives would be time and/cost consuming, both which the government is unlikely to give up. There would be no way to enforce the others, making them unrealistic.
We chose the alternative that proposed to require both children and adults to be certified for gun ownership, as opposed to limiting guns, putting waiting requirements on them, etc. The course of action for receiving such a certificate would include the following: an adult wishing to purchase their first gun would be required to go to a half-day crash course on gun ownership. This would include: how to use a gun, what to do and what not to do with it, their responsibility if anyone should misuse the gun, safety features, basic laws on transportation, etc. The course a minor would have to go through would be more extensive. It would ideally consist of a series of shorter courses, designed to keep the attention of the minor, and give them time to cool down if their reason for wishing to own a gun was less than chivalrous. Upon completion of these course(s), the minor or adult would be presented with a certificate saying that they are approved for gun ownership, and could then go purchase a gun with no problem. However, there would be a clause for those citizens wishing to purchase a gun who have a history of violent crime. Those individuals would, if already certified, lose their certification upon any violent crimes, any parole violations, or other acts against the law. Those who had been behaving and wished to purchase a gun would have to go to a special half-day class for ex-cons wishing to purchase weapons.
The likelihood of implementation for this proposed solution would be great. It would somewhat resemble the process for getting a permit to drive, and implementing that is not a problem. The cost? That?s another story. The class would most likely have to cost money, since the chance of the government coughing up money for a program like this that doesn?t help the masses in some way or another is slim to none. This would be, I believe, a successful alternative to constrictive gun control laws. The certificate would ensure that before a person be allowed to own their own gun the following would occur: they would be exposed to guns, learn basic laws about guns, and also learn simple safety features, also their rights and responsibilities as gun-owning citizens.