Gun Control

Topics: United States Constitution, Crime, Firearm Pages: 6 (2088 words) Published: April 19, 2001
The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the constitution by the Second Amendment. Liberals are looking to amend the constitution any way they can. They want to ban handguns or at least restrict sales. Studies have shown that gun control cannot stop people from committing the crime. While the Founding Fathers of this country were developing the system of government, as set forth in the Constitution, many feared that a standing army controlled by a strong central government would leave them helpless. The federal Constitution contained no provisions to prohibit a standing army or allow states to create their own militias. The Constitution was signed by thirty-nine men from the twelve states represented at the Constitutional Convention on September 17 1787; three delegates refused to sign because of the absence of a bill of rights. Two years later, the First Congress agreed on twelve proposed amendments to the Constitution. During this time, debate focused on a standing army versus a state militia and citizens' rights, and even obligations, to carry arms. Before addressing arms and the militia in the Bill of Rights, however, two militia clauses were included in the U.S. Constitution. The militia clauses say that Congress shall have power to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions; to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. In the past people were raised by conservative parents. It is only natural for people to have the right to own a firearm. It has been a tradition in this country since the constitution was written. Americans have the right to defend themselves. Liberals basically want to outlaw handguns or restrict the sale of weapons that can easily be concealed. Thousands of citizens die accidentally from firearms every year. Firearms are the most deadly instruments of attack. State constitutions of forty-three states guarantee citizens the right to use weapons in self-defense. Most states with this law believe that every citizen has the right to bear arms in defense of himself or the state. A study by the National Safety Council shows that accidental death by firearms is near the bottom of the scale among causes of accidental death. Accidental deaths involving firearms has decreased from three thousand in 1967 to eighteen hundred in 1986, and is still decreasing (Gottlieb 16). Gun control would not really reduce the rate of violent crime. Firearms kill Sixty percent of all murder victims in the United States. Firearms injure another seventy thousand per year. Medicare paid out 14 billion dollars last year for injuries involving firearms (Lindermann 1). Professor Donald B. Kates said that a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin said, "Gun-control laws have no individual or collective effect in reducing the rate of violent crime. The study considered economic, demographic, and racial variables. Congressman Bill Goodling says that the willful criminal is the real cause of most violent crime, not the gun (Gottlieb 18). If a handgun ban were issued, there would have to be citizens that would comply with such a law. In robberies and assaults, victims are far more likely to die when the perpetrator is armed with a gun than when he or she has another weapon or is unarmed (Gottlieb 22). Handguns are the most popular weapons used in robberies and assaults, because they are so easily concealed. Their own gun shoots Sixty-five percent of homeowners, who own guns that are robbed. If a handgun ban were issued, there is evidence that citizen would not comply with the law. A report to the governor of Massachusetts's states that a minimum of one...

Cited: Bijlefeld, Marjolijn. The Gun Control Debate: A Documentary History. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Goldstein, Steven. A Case for Gun Control. New York: The H.W. Wilson Co. 1994.
Gottlieb, Alan. The Rights of Gun Owners. Bellevue, Washington: Merril Press, 1991.
Kleck, Gary. The Great American Gun Debate. San Francisco, California: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1997.
Kruschke, Earl R. Gun Control. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1995.
Lindermann, Kennith. "Issue In Focus: Gun Control." Chicago Tribune. (21 April 1992): 1.
"Unfocused public lets gun control foes fire at will" Chicago Tribune. (15 May 1993): 1.
Wright, Stuart A. Violent Crime. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1995.
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