1994 Federal Assualt Weapons Ban

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  • Topic: Federal Assault Weapons Ban, Assault rifle, Assault weapon
  • Pages : 5 (1925 words )
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  • Published : April 29, 2013
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“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.” That statement, the 2nd ammendment of the Constitution, has sparked a fierce debate over its meaning. Guns are a big part of American’s lives. It’s nearly impossible to not hear about someone being murdered by a gun on the news these days, even though the vast majority of gun owners say they have one for self protection. Most agree that every American has the constitutional right to own a gun, but many have decided that there are certain guns that citizens have no good reason to own. The Federal assault weapons ban passed by the Clinton administration in 1994 was a step in the right direction to eliminate assault weapons, and lower gun related crimes. Even though it was proven to lower gun crimes, it expired in 2004. The better course of action would’ve been to expand the ban to cover new weapons, and copies of the weapons that barely met legal limits. That way we could seriously limit the number of guns built for killing on our streets. While it is clear that it is everyone's Constitutional right to own guns, I will prove that assault weapons sole purpose are killing others, and will explain why the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban should be renewed, as well as expanded to cover most semi-automatic assault weapons.

Finding someone with a gun in America is not a hard task. Between 70 and 80 million Americans own a gun, that’s about a third of Americans who have a quick way to end someone's life. The majority of gun owners are safe, so the growing number of guns is not a big concern, but one concerning factor is that only about 17% of the registered guns are handguns, meaning the others are some sort of rifle or shotgun. Most of these are used for hunting, but some of these could be assualt weapons. Self Defence is the primary reason people say the own guns, says a 2005 gallup poll of over 1000 gun owners. 66% of gun owners said self defence was a reason they owned guns. Close behind was target shooting as a reason, with 66% percent saying that’s a reason they have a gun. Hunting was the lowest, with only 41% saying that is the reason they own a gun. Although 66% of gun owners say they own a gun for self defence, less than 1% of victims of violent crime end up using a gun to protect them. [2]

Most guns available for sale and are produced here in the US. In recent years, 1-2 million handguns were manufactured each year, along with 1 million rifles and less than one million shotguns. Annual imports are considerably fewer, 200,000-400,000 handguns, 200,000 rifles, and 100,000-200,000 shotguns. The prices of gun vary considerably, cheap handguns can cost as little as $50, while expensive high-end rifles can cost up to $1500. It is estimated that from one to seven percent of all homicides are committed with assault weapons, and that there are close to 4 million assault weapons in the U.S. by the standards set by the government. If the definition of assault weapons was expanded to be more accurate who knows how many assault weapons there could be. [4]

There have been specific cases recently that have brought gun control attention to the mainstream recently. The most recent one being a mass shooting in a theater in Aurora, Colorado. At the premiere of “The Dark Night” a man named James Holmes open fired on the audience using an AR-15, a semi-automatic version of a military m16 assault rifle. That weapon would had been banned under the Federal Assault Weapons ban if it had not expired in 2004. This national tragedy could have been avoided if we would have taken the right precautionary measures. Now that it happened there is very little talk about gun control again, although it would seem like a perfect time to ban some weapons so more innocent lives wouldn’t have to die. [5] Another example would be the mass shooting here in Tucson that resulted in Gabrielle Giffords being...
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