October 28, 2010
Criminal Justice Special Topics
Restrictions on Guns for the Sake of Life
Guns or no guns, that is the question. Guns convey violence across the globe, and though some countries have abolished them, America continues to allow the procession of arms in the country even though shootings have occurred. I believe that citizens should not have the right to carry or own handguns, except for the higher authorities such as, security personnel and police officers. Regulation of guns is a necessary action that needs to be taken in order to save lives. A good definition of gun control is needed to understand the sides and issues. Gun control is an effort to stop the rise in violent crime by strengthening laws on the ownership of firearms. "Our cause is just, our cause is real, our cause is now!" cried out Denver's Mayor Wellington Webb. Recently while watching the television news, I heard the mayor say this. I also found out that over the past five years (2005- 2010) one hundred and fifteen homicides occurred each year. (Deakins) The news show was about gun control. If the mayor of Denver, Colorado, the government, acknowledges that there is a problem, we as the citizens should also. Restricting the right to bear arms will undoubtedly make any community safer. However, to do so would take a lot more than just prohibiting the sale of guns. Many people, at least in my community, own guns. Granted, many of these guns are used for hunting, but they are still guns. I believe that it would make a community safer because guns kill, accidentally and on purpose. Many people argue that they have guns for protection--protection from the other people who carry guns. They defend their possession of guns saying they can use their guns to kill an intruder. They also argue that their guns are used to hunt and feed their families. Although these defenses may be true, I am brought back to an incident that occurred three years ago where I lived. A father of a couple of the girls at my school was hunting with his son and he accidentally killed him. This is a terrible tragedy, but it brings us face to face with the reality that even in the most innocent of situations, if a gun is involved there is a possibility of death. Originally, guns were not intended to protect; they were intended to kill. Originally made for wars in the 1500s, they were weapons of war, in which they were used to fight enemies and to help a country be more powerful, and they are still used for this today. (Peterson) However, today we are fighting a different war. We used to speak of waging war; today we are waging war. This war is against people. Kids are killing kids on rampages through schools. Gang members use guns to kill someone that they just don't like, and then the other gangs must retaliate, which makes it a never-ending cycle. The use of a gun most of the time, whether to protect or not, is to kill someone else. Within the past few years, high schools as well as colleges have had incidents where students along with teachers died as a result of school shootings. In America alone more than a hundred people have died from school shootings. Most schools in America are thought to be a safe place to learn, hence it’s a gun free zone, yet massacres like Virginia Tech still occur. American schools would be safer if only staff members such as security personnel had the privilege to carry guns in order to prevent school shootings. Within the first three weeks after the Virginia Tech massacre authors expressed their opinions on writings. Michael Barone wrote a book influenced by the massacre. In “Feeling Safe isn’t Safe,” Barone takes the opportunity to raise the issue of concealed weapon laws, pointing out that in his view, if Virginia Tech had allowed weapons on its campus instead of being “gun-free zone,” the massacre never would have happened. He uses examples of Florida and Michigan as two states that are safe but still allow...
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