Just Take Away Their Guns

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In the essay “Just Take Away Their Guns”, James Q. Wilson argues that restraining people from legally purchasing firearms do not have any effect on the illegal use of guns. About two-hundred million citizens privately own a gun and one-third of that two-hundred million own a hand gun. Only two percent of the citizens are using them in unlawful acts. Most guns are either stolen or borrowed, or privately purchased, which are rarely affected by gun laws. Any decrease in ammunition stock would reduce the right for law abiding citizens to defend themselves. Guns are fired about a million times a year out of self-defense. The number of people who defend themselves outnumbers the amount of arrests for crimes committed.

According to Wilson, the government should not take away the right for law abiding citizens to purchase guns. They should take away the rights of those who carry guns unlawfully. It is encouraged that law enforcement confiscate guns from people who carry without a permit. Although the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution bans unreasonable searches of persons, it was decided by the Supreme Court that frisking a person is acceptable if an officer is given a reason to suspect that the person is posing a threat to society. It is a lot less severe to have a reasonable suspicion, rather than making a plausible assumption, because it is supported by specific facts of the matter. There is a shortage of officers in many cities because law enforcement personnel worry about having their cases disposed of for inherent reasons. However, actual harassment by law enforcement can be reduced with this technique.

It is suggested that lists of people on probation or parole are given to patrol officers, so that it can be insured that they are inspected often to prevent them from harming others with guns. The claim that self-defense is a legitimate form of preventing illegal acts, is supported by evidence reported to the National Crime Survey. Those that encourage the...
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