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Gun Control Essay Research Paper One of

Gun Control Essay, Research Paper One of the most controversial issues of today is the topic of gun control. It is not only a popular debate, but has now become one of the key reasons people vote for a

Gun Control Essay, Research Paper

One of the most controversial issues of today is the

topic of gun control. It is not only a popular debate, but

has now become one of the key reasons people vote for a

particular candidate. But is gun control the only answer to

help stop crime, or is there another solution? I believe

that if we as a society cannot even control ourselves to

become responsible for our own actions then we are lost.

Gun control isn?t the answer, instead we should concentrate

on training and controlling the people who are using these

firearms. A quote from Charlton Heston, president of the

NRA, ?We teach our children not to play with a hot stove, to

look both ways before crossing the street and to avoid the

dangers of drugs and other harmful substances. And we

should certainly teach our young children how to avoid

tragic accidents with firearms.?

With such groups as the NRA, ACLU, and the MRC many

agree that their has to be another solution. The NRA alone

has over four million people supporting them. The NRA also

supports many programs to better increase the knowledge

about firearms and the safety of the people using them. For

example they agree with the proposition to have mandatory

background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm at a gun

show. They also agree with and help to fund school

education programs for gun safety including their award

winning Eddie Eagle GunSafe Programs, which since 1988 has

been viewed by over 12 million school children in every

state in the country. But the controversy doesn?t arise in

these programs because almost everyone would agree that a

more informed and educated society isn?t a bad thing. The

problem lays within the issue of banning guns, and

registering guns.

Should all guns be registered in a national database?

The NRA says no. Another quote from Charlton Heston. ? In

every jurisdiction where registration has been imposed,

government confiscation and destruction has occurred. Yet,

that is exactly the goal of anti-gun lobbyists.? This was

taken from a debate between NRA president Charlton Heston

and Handgun Control Inc. chair Sarah Brady. Heston

continues on to say ?Sarah Brady, chair of Handgun Control

Inc., told the New York Times on August 15, 1993 that her

ultimate goal is a ?need based? licensing system, with all

guns and gun transfers registered with the federal

government. In her ideal world, an honest citizen would

have to prove to government bureaucrats his or her need to

own a firearm. Think about that for a moment. Can you

satisfy Mrs. Brady?s requirement that you need your shotgun?

Or the handgun you keep for protection in your home?? This

raises an interesting point. If this system were to pass,

how would you judge a person?s need for a firearm,

especially for protection purposes? Another possible

precaution that is being proposed by presidential candidate

Al Gore, is the fingerprinting and photographing of every

gun owner for an identification card. What criminal is

going to stand in line and give his fingerprints and

photograph away to the federal government? So how would

this help reduce gun-related crimes? Simply put, it

wouldn?t, but Al Gore is still pushing for it, much like the

systems that were already introduced to such countries as

Australia, England, and Canada. Shortly after these

countries began confiscating and destroying privately owned

guns. Now I?m not saying that I believe the federal

government is trying to overturn our country by taking away

our firearms, but it is a little suspicious when compared to

the previous history of other countries.

So what does Sarah Brady and the Handgun Control Inc.

think about national registration of firearms? ?Handgun

registration is: a way of ensuring that the police can track

any gun that is used in a crime, do a better job of proving

that a crime gun was indeed purchased by the criminal and

convict those criminals and send them to jail.? Though they

believe in handgun registration, they don?t believe in

registering rifles or shotguns since they are rarely used in

crimes. I agree that justice must be served and that any

possible way of finding these criminals and upholding the

law should be taken, but choosing between confiscation and

registration is a tough choice. I?d rather have the right

to own a gun. Also if the possibility of confiscation arose

think how much easier it would be for the federal government

to track you down and steal your firearm. Although it seems

far fetched that this could ever happen I?d rather not take

any chances.

Another huge controversy of today is between the two

possible presidential candidates Al Gore, and George W.

Bush. Both have very strong views on the topic of gun

control and it is a key element in their campaigns. Gore

believes in the federal licensing of handguns, a limit of

buying one gun per month, a ban on ?Saturday Night

Specials,? and mandatory background checks at gun shows.

Bush believes in many of the same proposals including

mandatory background checks, and trigger locks, but not the

registration of handguns, the limit of one gun per month, or

the banning of ?Saturday Night Specials.? Though both

candidates have strong beliefs on the subject the media has

found many double-standards in Bush?s possible propositions.

For example an incident occurred between Kayne Robinson, the

vice president of the NRA, and a particular comment he made

at a California NRA meeting, ?If we win, we?ll have a

president…where we?ll work out of their office.? Once the

media obtained this, it was plastered all over the evening

news and Bush?s reputation was damaged. With this arose

several other incidents where Bush?s reputation was on the

line. The question is, why is the media so abrupt to point

out Bush?s bad points? This makes you question the media?s

motives, not only Bush?s. Granted he is running for

president and his actions speak more than his words, but

everyone makes mistakes, and I would like to know that the

president does too. Gore on the other hand has done a

complete reversal compared to his actions before he was

running for president. He used to favor many pro-gun bills

and had a mostly pro-gun voting record. But unlike Bush,

the media didn?t exploit this information it merely skimmed

over it. Which brings up another key player to the

argument, the media.

The media is probably the most influential force of

today, taking up over half of what we see on TV, and in

newspapers. So how does the media play a role in the gun

debate? Well one way is by giving one-sided perspectives

when choosing what to air and what not to air. For instance

in one case in Mississippi a boy was going from classroom to

classroom shooting students. When the assistant principal

remembered that he had a gun in his car he ran out and put a

chamber in it, only to see the shooter run to his own car.

When the boy started to spin out in his car trying to leave

the scene the assistant principal ran over to him pointing

his gun and told him to get out of the car. He then

restrained him until police arrived on the scene. Out of

the ABC, CBS, and CNN news programs none of them even

mentioned the assistant principal?s heroics. Only the local

paper, and the next day on one of the evening news programs.

So the media?s power to cover whatever part of the story

they want can potentially alter the facts. Since no one

mentioned the assistant principal, everyone was led to

believe that a gun was used in a school shooting, but failed

to mention that a gun was also used to stop the boy from

fleeing. A quote from MRC chairmen Brent Bozell, ? TV news

is no objective referee. It is a partisan player that has

chosen sides, the anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment side.?

This is not the first time the media has failed to mention

the use of guns to help stop a crime.

Another indiscreet way the media alters the facts is by

using figurative language in their reports. When reporters

and opinion writers do quote NRA officials they tend to use

terms like ?claims,? ?whines,? or ?would have us believe.?

This was taken from a University of Michigan researcher

comparing reporting on five groups. The NRA, the American

Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of Retired

Persons, the National Association for the Advancement of

Colored People, and Handgun Control Inc. In comparison to

those unfriendly terms quoted from reports about NRA

officials, terms such as ?found,? ?showed,? and

?demonstrated,? were used when quoting officials from

Handgun Control Inc. The effect Patrick (the Michigan

University researcher) says ?is to make NRA positions appear

tentative, while those of other groups come off as

undisputed facts. The other way the media has an effect is

by downgrading the NRA when a tragedy happens. If there is

an outbreak in gun-related violence, the media has a way of

linking it to the NRA. They do this by exploiting pictures

of crime scenes, weeping mothers, and memorial sessions and

then telling the NRA?s opinion on the situation. Or they

might contact the NRA and have them comment on a shooting

trying to get them to say the wrong thing. The reasoning

behind this is to show that the access of weapons can take

some of the blame for gun violence. What they don?t do is

contact other restrictive gun-control groups and ask them

to comment what might have happened if the victims would

have had access to a gun. The media should try to look at

the storys from both sides, instead of using trickery and

antics to try and fool the public.

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