English 1102 - 71
Professor Blank Blank
21 February 2013
The second amendment states as follows: “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” (Becker 9). The founding fathers of the United States agreed that the civilians of this country should have the right to bear arms. They believed that the government should be afraid of the people, not the people afraid of the government. Today there are many political leaders and even our President that support restricting access of guns to American civilians (Epstein 16). Anti-Gun activists stand on the graves of those who died in the Sandy Hook Incident and the Colorado Movie shooting to gain support to restrict our second amendment. Though, the massacres were a terrible tragedy and measures should be implemented to stop them from happening again. They should not restrict law abiding citizens’ rights to bear arms. Everyone agrees that violence should be put to a minimum, but taking away rights of law abiding citizens is not the answer. Instead, lawmakers and the public need to take a step back and look at the gun control issue from all different perspectives.
Violence is inevitable, no matter what culture or society you look into, everybody has some sort of violence that occurs. They key to minimalizing violence is to look at what is causing the issue in the first place. Anti-Gun activists will argue that banning assault weapons will make America a safer place. But is this the case, to find out one needs to take a deeper look inside the cold hard facts. As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people. Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns. Based upon surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010: Households with a gun: 40-45%, adults owning a gun: 30-34%, and adult owning a handgun: 17-19% (Agresti & Smith 22). Based on these statistics one third of all weapons in the United States are handguns, with the other two thirds primarily being shotguns and long rifles. With roughly 40-45% of households owning a gun that statistic itself shows that American do practice their right to bear arms. Many anti-gun activists will argue that guns are for sport and hunting only and the use of an assault weapon is unnecessary. In the same poll as above, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons: Protecting against crime: 67%, target shooting 66%, and hunting 58% (Agresti & Smith 9). Sport is a large percentage of the use of guns though, protecting oneself and family members from crime reigns as the number one reason why Americans choose to have a gun. With this said, why should law abiding citizens who only wish to protective themselves and their families have their rights limited. With new proposals from politicians some want to ban assault weapons all together, limit the size of a magazine a gun can hold, and require very thorough background checks to those wishing to purchase a gun (Woodward 4).
Should the government be able restrict the guns for everybody just because a small few have used them for terrible deeds. Certainly there are pros and cons in having an armed society. But, whichever side has the most pros, it would seem logical to go with that approach. Based on an FBI report roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms (Agresti & Smith 35). This shows that guns are predominantly used it most murders. It makes sense if somebody wishes to kill someone else a gun is the easiest tool to perform this task. But, let’s take a look at this from another angle. A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found...