Gun Laws: The Noose to Hang Ourselves With
In a cartoon entitled, “Dangerous Weapon” Cartoonist Ed Stein depicts a man wearing a hoody armed with two revolvers, two semi-auto pistols, an assault rifle, a scoped rifle, and an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade),as well as a police officer is also asking the man if he has a permit for the hoody. Stein’s cartoon is conveying the message that gun laws are not strict enough by jokingly stating that they are not there at all. The United States does not have one given policy for the restriction of guns, which means individual cities, counties, and states have their own laws. This makes it difficult to see how affective different gun restrictions are. Restrictions on guns are necessary for limiting the accessibility of guns to irresponsible individuals, but too many restrictions limit the accessibility to those that are responsible; additionally, the way the restrictions are worded affect the correct prevention of gun misuse.
The Second Amendment talks about the right to bear arms not being infringed, but this does not mean that guns cannot be restricted. Different laws have been created in different places trying to minimize the deaths caused by irresponsible people. In the article, “An Unsteady Finger on Gun Control Laws.” Anna Persky talks about the ability to restrict guns and how some laws do so. It is impossible to identify every incapable person, so laws restrict groups where the majority of the people would be considered incapable. Some of these groups include convicted felons, criminal drug users, Aliens, those subject to domestic restraining orders, prior convictions for domestic assault, fugitives, and those dishonorably discharged from the military(ATF 1). Some felons can regain the right with some extra restrictions in certain states. Persky also mentions places that guns are restricted from schools, court rooms, and other government buildings. Law enforcement officers and other field specific government employees are the exceptions to the rule (Persky 15). No matter how strict the laws are, there are those that are irresponsible who will find a way around the laws. For example, James Holmes (The Aurora Shooter) was able to buy several firearms and explosives in a relatively short time (NG). Although several instances are seen yearly where individuals are able to get around the restrictions, it is reasonable to believe that those instances would be worse if there were no restrictions at all.
Gun laws are used to determine what is acceptable and unacceptable in civilization so that law enforcement has grounds for arrests to prevent incidents that irresponsible people could create. Both police and The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) investigate and arrest those suspected of gun related crimes. Often time’s tips and undercover agents reveal plans for violent crimes before they occur. ATF officers in St. Louis, Missouri got a tip about some men planning an armed robbery. Officers investigated for three weeks before making a move to arrest. The suspects were in a vehicle and attempted to flee and hit one of the officers. The officer opened fire and killed one of the suspects and the others were arrested (Currier). Due to the police action people that are unable to adhere to the laws and pose a risk to law abiding citizens were stopped. The proactive movements of law enforcement would not be as effective without certain gun laws. Even when there isn’t an investigation gun laws allow police to stop dangerous people before they harm someone. In one instance a man in Corpus Christi, Texas was arrest after a neighbor called the police about a disturbance. When police arrived they found the man heavily intoxicated, yelling and cursing, as well as holding a 9mm handgun. The man’s name was Mack Lopez Hinojosa. Police were able to talk him into putting down the gun and then arrested him. Police later found ammunition for the handgun in the...