Issue: Gun Ownership
I. Attention Getter: "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …"-Samuel Adams quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State” SLIDE 1
II. Purpose Statement: There is a considerable amount of misconception these days on who actually own firearms in the United States and their purposes for owning them. Are these law abiding citizens actually the ones committing these heinous crimes? To gain a better understanding of this issue we must look at the cold hard facts associated with gun ownership in the United States.
III. Thesis: Today, I want to discuss gun ownership in America and the facts about Gun Ownership:
A. Reason’s Americans own guns.
B. The diversity of Americans owning guns.
C. Crime rate associated with gun ownership.
IV. Gun ownership is a 2nd Amendment right that most Americans take full advantage of. It’s a known fact that most countries don’t have these rights.
A."Gun Ownership and Use in America." by Joseph Carroll. Gallup Poll, November 22, 2005 shows us that gun owners own firearms for three main reasons. SLIDE 2.
1. According to a brief from the National Institute of Justice by Jeremy Travis May 1997. The most common motivation for owning firearms was recreation. About 35 percent of gun owners (15 million people, 8 percent of the adult public) hunted in 1994, and about an equal percentage engaged in sport shooting other than hunting.
2. In the same article according to Travis, Persons owning several guns tended to have varied collections, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns. SLIDE 3.
B. According to the same Gallup Poll by Joseph Carroll, 3 in 10 Americans personally own a gun; most gun owners say they feel safer with a firearm in their home and use their guns to protect themselves against crime.
Transition: Since we now understand the three main reasons for gun ownership in America, we can break this ownership down a little farther to the types of American’s most commonly owning a firearm.
V. The diversity of Americans owning guns:
A. SLIDE 4 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, December 2009, as of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people. Based on production data from firearm manufacturers in that same article, there are roughly 258 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 94 million are handguns.
B. According to Joseph Carroll in the Gallup Poll, November 22, Gun ownership varies by different groups in the country, with men more likely to be gun owners than women, Southerners and Midwesterners more likely than Easterners or Westerners, Republicans more so than Democrats, and older rather than younger Americans. SLIDE 5.
Transition: We now know who the purpose and the owners of these firearms. Let’s take a quick look at the crime rate associated with the legal purchase of guns in America.
VI. Crime rate associated with gun ownership:
A. Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year. SLIDE 6.
B. From the FBI Crime Statistics in 2009, roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms.
C. A 1993 nationwide survey from the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995. Of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for self-defense during a situation in which they thought...
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