Critical Paper-Gun Control
Gun control is government regulation on the manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms. As a heavily debated and very controversial matter, many advocates undoubtedly have different opinions. In the forthcoming paragraphs, I will discuss those differing opinions. Presented from two separate articles, the opinions discussed will be those of two different authors who have their own viewpoint as to why gun control is or isn’t necessary. In Russ Thurman’s article, “Guns up. Crime down. Anti-gun mum.” he discusses how anti-gun advocates have had nothing to say about facts revealing that with more people owning guns, crime rates have gotten lower. (“During the past six months, studies have shown that while gun ownership is at an all-time high, violent crime is at a 30 year low…”) The article is clearly structured and easy to read. Although wanting to prove a point to anti-gun and pro-gun control advocates, Mr. Thurman avoids the use of slang, jargon, angry words or vagueness. Nor does he appear to “lash out” at the other side. He simply states straight to the point facts with clear and valid evidence. He denounces anti-gun and pro-gun control advocates theme-“guns equal crime”-with supportive evidence. Drawing statistics from The National Academy of Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Thurman proves wrong, a high belief of pro-gun control advocates, that government restrictions on firearms reduces gun violence. He found that studies done by the Centers of Disease Control show that there is no meaningful proof that gun control efforts have any affect on crime control. In addition, he goes on to prove that those restrictions also do not reduce gun crime, gun violence or gun accidents.
If my research is correct, I believe Mr. Thurman’s influence comes from being ex-military and having experienced a war. The same is said for his perception on the matter. His view is: not having a gun makes you defenseless. The fact that he has experienced life or death situations and has had to use a gun to protect himself, leads me to believe that these are the reasons he is so adamant about owning a gun for protection.
In the article, “Lets lay down our right to bear arms.” author Tom Plate sees no need for guns at all. He feels that the use of the guns is the only way Americans solve conflicts. No matter that it is our right to own a gun, Mr. Plate deems it an unnecessary one. He believes that fewer guns would result in fewer deaths from people pulling the trigger. His article has a somewhat sarcastic tone when he makes references to the law and the people’s decision to appreciate it. (“Our famous Constitution, about which many of us are generally so proud, enshrines - along with the right to freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly-the right to own guns. That's an apples and oranges list if there ever was one.”) His references to the Virginia Tech shooting and the murder of late Beatles member John Lennon seem to be his basis for the need to get rid of guns. Instead of focusing on the people behind the guns used, this type of propaganda is what Mr. Plate uses as a way to denounce pro-gun and anti-gun control advocates’ mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Since he doesn’t provide clear evidence for his reasoning, I think some of the remarks he made should have been left out. For example, at one point he makes it sound like Americans carry guns just for the heck of it. He claims that carrying one is not on, albeit a nonexistence, Mature List of Notable Cultural Accomplishments. What does this mean? Is he saying Americans are immature for choosing to carry a gun?
Mr. Plate’s influence and perception of not owning a gun may come from his personal experience of being robbed at gunpoint. Sure he is justified in believing that this might not have happened if the robber didn’t have a gun or access to one. But it also could have been halted had he had one of his own. He believes he wasn’t shot because of his ‘surrendering’. Again, if he owned his own gun, he’d have survived from ‘defending himself’. Even though he faced a near-death experience, Mr. Plate still believes, “we need to get rid of our guns.” That’s amazing because after such an experience, most people would feel it’s time to get one.
As seen above, each author has his own reason for deeming gun control necessary or unnecessary based on their different personal experiences. Although Mr. Plate didn’t provide evidence for why gun control would reduce gun crime, he did have a few valid points and is of course entitled to his opinion. Mr. Thurman on the other hand provided clear information on why gun control would not have an affect on gun crime and is therefore the more influential writer on the topic in my opinion.
Intelius. Intelius People Search. 31 August 2010 <http://search.intelius.com/Captain-Russ-%22Gunny%22-Thurman-MhW421nN>. Plate, Tom. CNN.com. 21 April 2007. 26 August 2010 <http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/18/commentary.plate/index.html>. Thurman, Russ. The CBS Interactive Business Network. February 2005. 26 August 2010 <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_2_50/ai_n11851450/>.
[ 1 ]. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_2_50/ai_n11851450/ [ 2 ]. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/18/commentary.plate/index.html