Gun Control The debate over gun control has developed into a very complicated issue. Several different groups have suggested limiting the use of guns and others have proposed to supporting free gun use. On one side, people who use some form of gun control imply that guns are responsible for too many deaths and injuries in the United States. They propose that laws be passed to make guns more difficult or impossible for ordinary citizens to own. On the other side are those people who oppose all or nearly all forms of gun control.
This paper will propose three different issues to argue against the element of gun control. First, we need to control the people who use the guns, not the guns themselves. Second, that gun ownership is a constitutional right granted by the United States Constitution. Finally, the fact in the decrease in crime. One of the major arguments against the theory that gun control would save lives is that although two-thirds of all homicides are committed with firearms, firearm controls would have no effect on homicide, because “human nature is what it is” (Nisbet 170).
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Even if guns disappeared from the crime scene, criminals would replace them with knives, clubs, axes, or even fists. Guns dont kill people, people kill people. One statement favoring this position, made by James D. Wright, says: Even if we were somehow able to remove all firearms from civilian possession, it is not at all clear that a substantial reduction in interpersonal violence would follow. Certainly the violence that results from hard-core and predatory criminality would not abate by very much.
Even the most ardent proponents of stricter gun laws no longer expect such laws to solve the hard-core crime problem, or even to make much of a dent in it. There is also reason to doubt whether the”soft-core” violence, the so-called crimes of passion, would decline by very much. Stated simply, these crimes occur because some people have come to hate others, and they will continue to occur in one form or another as long as hatred persists..If we could solve the problem of interpersonal hatred, it may not matter very much what we did about guns, and unless we solve the problem of interpersonal hatred, it may not matter very much what we do about guns. There are simply too many other objects in the world that can serve the purpose of inflicting harm on another human being. (Nesbit 171) It is said that if murderers were deprived of guns, they would find a way to kill with other weapons.
The basic argument for gun control is that crime would decrease, but the root causes of crime, in most cases, is that of “interpersonal hatred,” the disliking of someone for ones own personal reasons, which must be considered when choosing a side for or against gun control. Even the most effective gun control policy would not totally eliminate homicide; this argument could be criticized for not dealing with the concept of “interpersonal hatred” (Nesbit 175). Many gun-owners agree that those who are promoting gun control are misinformed. These people have probably heard myths, exploited through repetition and mistaken for the truth. One of those myths is “the only purpose of a handgun is to kill people” (NRA 5).
To contradict this statement, an estimated 75-80 million privately owned handguns are used mainly for hunting, target shooting, protection of families, and other legitimate and lawful purposes (Newton 24). Most gun owners can be found skeet shooting, deer hunting, or polishing a gun collection. However, these owners are also concerned about their family’s protection. All of those who own guns for these reasons have the support of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA is composed largely of hunters, gun owners, and sports enthusiasts who stand firmly in their belief that Americans have a constitutional right to own firearms guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
The NRAs 3.5 million members, including women and non-gun owners, believe the NRA to be a bastion for “freedom fighters” (“Gun” 37). NRA leaders plan to continue their fight to stop any and all gun control legislation in its tracks. Anti-individual rights crowds accuse the NRA of claiming the Second Amendment guarantees guns for all personsincluding criminalsand all weaponsincluding weapons of war. However, the NRA has supported laws to prohibit gun ownership by those convicted of violent crimes, and for decades, they have promoted and helped pass tough penalties to keep those who misuse guns in prison where they belong (LaPierre 17). With the exception of guns processed by criminals, Ex. NRA President, Joe Foss, describes his groups convictions this way: “I say all guns are good guns.
There are no bad guns. I say the whole nation should be armed. Period” (Landau 39). When asked about the Second Amendment, the battle is “to retake the most precious, most sacred ground on earth,” says NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, “This is a battle for freedom” (“Fight” 29). Another myth is that of “The majority of Americans favor strict new additional federal gun controls” (NRA 2). Scientific polls indicate that most people oppose the costly restrictions of firearms, the distribution of power to police to decide who should or should not own guns, and the decision that they, as citizens, must rely on self-defense from criminals. More than ever, politicians are clamoring to restrict Americas constitutional right to own guns and the right to self-defense. Yet, Americans, individually, as armed citizens are the best deterrent to violent criminal attacks.
Collectively, Americans, as an armed law-abiding populace are the best protection against the taking-over of America by criminals (LaPierre 28). John Adams, a member of the NRA himself, was quoted as saying, “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion..in private self-defense” (NRA 27). Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi researched a study of criminal acquisition, and found that 81 percent of 1800 criminals agreed that the “smart criminal” will attempt to find out if a potential victim is armed. The reaction to fight back or defend oneself is instinctive of human nature (Baimbridge, par. 7); therefore, we shouldnt need studies to show us the truth about guns and the basic concept of self-defense. Obviously, it is not in the best interest of criminals to attack victims who are armed and ready to defend themselves.
Wright and Rossi found that 39 percent of felons admitted to aborting a crime because the victim was armed, 34 percent were scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim, and 74 percent of felons felt that burglars avoided occupied dwellings for fear of being shot (Baimbridge, par. 9). Criminals are clearly afraid of private gun owners who choose to defend themselves, and as criminals, they feel more free to commit crimes when a citizens right to own a gun has been infringed. The right to self-defense and the right to use firearms for defense of self and family are the cornerstone of individual rights in the U.S. Constitution (LaPierre 27).
Yet another myth, “Gun control reduces crime,” (NRA 25) is either believed or not believed by almost every citizen in the United States. Each side claims to have objective evidence to support their side. Gun control politics have grown to an intense stage in the past few years due to the ever-growing fear of crime.