Guns and Gun Control

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CJ 133 | Guns and Gun Control | Writing Assignment 6 |

Katie Epps
1/18/2009
|

Gun control has been one of the biggest topics facing our nation aside from abortion and homosexual marriages. There are so many different angles and arguments that surround it, its no wonder a definite decision can not be made.
Violent crimes remain one of the most serious problems in the United States, in many of the violent crimes committed guns are used but an actual link between the two remains pretty unclear. ‘Studies generally find no relationship at the ecological level between gun availability and nonfatal violent crime rates, but do find a small relationship between gun availability and homicides…’ ‘Perhaps the most important question in the gun control debate is whether handgun ownership by law-abiding citizens raises or lowers their risk of becoming violent crime victims.’ (Barkan, 2007, p. 293) For those opposing gun control, they believe taking away the right to carry a gun would leave them more vulnerable to become victims of crime however those supporting gun control believe that if gun use was effectively controlled, there would be less crime.
Media does not help in this constant debate since many feel as though outlets such as TV shows, movies and games promote violence especially in youth. However in studies where children were observed before and after viewing violent shows on TV, they did become more aggressive meaning there is a correlation between watching TV and acts of aggression but that connection doesn’t necessarily mean watching that particular show caused it to happen. Meaning a child acting out in violence could have been acting out on his aggression but not because he saw it happen. ‘A conservative conclusion is that mass media violence has a small effect on real-life violence that is eclipsed by other influences… we should remain skeptical of mass media effects until the empirical evidence becomes compelling…’ (Barkan, 2007, pp. 290-291)

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