Guns Do Not Kill, People with Guns Do
Gun control in America is a highly contraversial issue. American citizens who oppose gun control may not understand what they are opposed to. Gun control, though currently an issue, is not new to the United States. It began in 1791 with the Bill of Rights and continues throughout the years to current day (About.com, 2010). According to the Constitution of the United States, the Second Amendment of the Constitution states, “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.” Concerning gun control and the Second Amendment, the definition of an amendment is required. According to the Dictionary.reference.com, “Amendment: an alteration of or addition to a motion, bill, constitution, etc.” When the amendment was written, America had no professional military. The responsibility of the citizens of the United States was to protect themselves.Today Americans have the benefit of many paid volunteers that help to protect us from harm (Magoon, 2008). The different branches of the armed forces protect the country as a whole, whereas officers of the law protect us in our towns and states. Clearly, the average American firearm owner is not a member of a militia. Those who oppose gun control often say that it is an infringement on the Second Amendment. They claim that gun control punishes the law-abiding citizens. Carter (2006) stated, “If an 18th-century militia was intended to be “well regulated,” surely the Second Amendment does not remotely gaurantee the constitutinal right to have a “Saturday Night Special” or a machine gun without any regulation whatever” (p. 29).Furthermore, is taking steps to prevent violent crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder really punishing the law-abiding citizen? Although Americans have the constitutional right to bear arms, gun control laws need to be enforced because gun crime has decreased according to statistics and yet there are still crimes being committed with firearms. An individual just needs to turn on the news or read the newspaper, he or she is sure to see or hear of a crime that has been committed with a firearm. “In 2000, almost 30,000 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States, more than the number of deaths from HIV, alcohol abuse, or drug abuse” (Roleff, 2007, para.1). That is an astonishing fact when one gives it some thought. HIV, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse are also major problems plagueing America, and yet in 2000, death by firearms out ranked those. According to justfacts.com (2010), in 2008, approximately 67% of all murders committed were with some type of firearms. Something clearly needs to be done to prevent the amount of murders and other nonfatal gun crimes being committed. Even when a gun crime does not end in death or physical injury, the surviving victims still suffer with the psychological effects of the crime. Many gun control laws are in place throughout the United States, in fact, there are nearly 20,000 laws and regulations regarding guns, and they do vary state-to-state Roleff (2007). For instance, in Pennsylvania, the waiting period for a person to purchase a gun is just 48 hours from a retailer. Then if an individual went to a gun show, flea market, or family member or friend to purchase a firearm there is no waiting period (Atf.gov, 2008). Thus making is easy for criminals, the dangerously mentally ill and domestic violence abusers to purchase guns, (Bradycampaign.org, 2010). This will remain this way unless gun controls laws are made more stricted and enforced. According to Mayorsagainstillegalguns.org (2010), “In 2009, just ten states supplied nearly half – 49% – of the crime guns that crossed state lines.Year after year, many of the same states are the top sources for interstate crime guns” (The Link Between Gun Laws and Interstate Gun Trafficking, para. 1 p. 5). There are 10 key anti-trafficking laws in the United...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document