What is the Issue?
What is the Question?
Should gun control be instituted in the United States?
The concept of gun control has become a hot button item as we live in a country where mass murders, school shootings, and many other gun related crimes are becoming more and more frequent. People are faced with the impending questions on what should be done to limit these types of crimes and how can one defend themselves and their loved ones from becoming victims to these senseless acts? The main question regarding these issues is; should stricter gun control be instituted in the United States?
As defined by Merriam-Webster, “gun control is laws that control how guns are sold and used and who can own them.” Around this definition there has been a great amount of push and pull from those who support gun control laws and those who oppose them. Arguments of why there should be increased gun control include: Most violent crimes are committed with guns; thus, restricting gun ownership with likely reduce the number of such crimes. Lunatics, bullied school kids, disgruntled workers, and others can inflict mass casualties with guns that otherwise would not be possible The second amendment of the Constitution was targeted towards militia, e.g. the National Guard, rather than individuals.1 Arguments against increased gun control are as follows:
Criminals will always find a way to obtain their guns, leaving law-abiding citizens without any weapons to use in defense. Crimes are often prevented by the deterrent effect of the possibility of victim gun possession. The second amendment of the Constitution protects the individual’s right to gun ownership.2 Pro-gun control organizations
Two of the most active organizations lobbying congress for increased gun control laws include The Brady Campaign and Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns. Between these two organizations $240,000 dollars was spent lobbying congress in 2011.3
The Brady Campaign describes its efforts as to pass, enforce, and protect sensible laws and public policy that address gun violence at federal and state levels.4 This campaign boasts its success in having the Brady Handgun Violence Preventions Act passed in 1993. This law federally mandates background checks on all firearm purchasers in the United States.5 The Brady campaign estimates that this law has blocked around 2 million prohibited gun purchases since it was instated.
The Mayor’s against Illegal Guns state their coalition works together to find new innovative ways to advance the principles of punishing criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns, to the maximum extend, keep lethal, military-style weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines off our streets, work to develop and use technologies that aid in the detection and tracing illegal guns, as well as several other initiatives.6 Anti-gun Control Organizations
Two of the most active organizations lobbying against gun-control laws include the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA). Between these two organizations, in the year 2011, $4,212,996 was spent lobbying congress.7
The branch of the NRA that takes up the work of lobbying congress is the NRA-ILA, ILA standing for Institute for Legislative Action. The branch describes itself as being dedicated to any issue affecting firearms ownership and use. They work vigorously to defeat restrictive gun control legislation, to pass pro-gun reform legislation and to educate the public about the facts concerning the many facets of gun ownership.8
Gun Owners of America describe themselves as a non-profit lobbying organization formed in 1975 to preserve and defend Second Amendment rights of gun owners.9 The GOA is considered to be the only ‘no compromise’ gun lobbying group. Along with lobbying Congress the Goa has created a massive group of attorneys, in every state, that take up court battles to protect gun owner rights. Types of Gun-control
Bibliography: "A History of D.C. Gun Ban." Compiled by Meg Smith and Leah Carliner. Washington Post, June 26, 2008. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/...
Agresti, James D., and Reid K. Smith. Just Facts, "Gun Control Facts." Last modified February 11, 2013. Accessed October 20, 2013. http://justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp.
Balanced Politics, "Should Civilian Possesion of Handguns and other Non-hunting Guns be Banned or Severely Restricted." Accessed October 18, 2013. www.balancedpolitics.org/gun_control.nm.
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Last modified 2013. Accessed October 20, 2013. www.bradycampaign.org., Last modified 2013. Accessed October 20, 2013. www.bradycampaign.org.
Gun Owners of America, "About GOA." Last modified September 17, 2008. Accessed October 20, 2013. http://gunowners.org.
H.R. 1025--103rd Congress: Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. (1993). In www.GovTrack.us. Retrieved October 18, 2013, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/103/hr1025
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Last modified 2013. Accessed October 20, 2013. www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org.
NRA-ILA, "Right-to-Carry 2012." Last modified February 28, 2012. Accessed December 09, 2013. http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/articles/2012/right-to-carry-2012.aspx?s="Right- To-Carry"&st=&ps=.
National Rifle Association, "NRA-ILA." Last modified 2013
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