Assault Weapons Should Be Outlawed
The issue of gun and weapon control in America has been a significant challenge for some time now. Research shows that there are over 300 million guns in the United States. These are enough for every man, women or child to own one. The law in America allows for every citizen to own a gun. However, this is only after application to own one. The main three reasons why Americans carry guns are for protection, hunting and target shooting. All these three reasons do not require the carrying of entirely or half-automatic weapons. These are guns that will fire so long as you are holding on the trigger. It is, therefore, easy for the government to control the weapons that are given to the public. The automatic guns have been used for most of the homicides reported in the United States. The government has therefore been forced to make law amendments so as to reduce the number of people owning assault weapons. The total number of assault weapons in America account for close to two percentage of the total guns in America.
Ban of Guns in the United States
This would be a move that will face a lot of opposition. First it is against Americas Second Amendment Rights that allow civilians to own licensed guns. Because of the above-stated reasons, Americans need guns. Burning guns are feared that it may lead to black market. This will land guns even the much-feared assault guns into the hands of a few people. Unfortunately, most of these people that will take the illegal guns are those that are not afraid of being on the other side of the law. This will increase insecurity to the law abiding citizens. They will have no access to guns for protection and other activities. This may not work to reduce cases of homicide but make it even worse.
Ban Assault weapons
Assault weapons are heavy, cumbersome, inaccurate and very visible. They will therefore not be appropriate for the three top reasons that we have stated here above. However, because of their automated feature, they are used in war. Many criminals will use them in mass shootings. A ban on the assault weapons will help reduce risks of internal terrorist threats and mass shootings. The government should conduct a crackdown to confiscate all the assault weapons that are being held against the law. This will also aid in minimizing the homicide attacks and bring down killings by a significant percentage.
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Government and Gun Control
Guns have been a controversial topic since the founding of the United States. Our forefathers decided that "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". From the very beginning our government has controlled a citizen's rights in regards to firearms. In 1999, citizens are being limited just as our ancestors were only the government has taken the responsibility away from the individual and placed it on the manufacturer of the firearms. Media coverage and firearm-related deaths have caused the government to intervene on the manufacturing and banning of firearms.
In order to discuss firearms we must understand its definition. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a firearm is "a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder- usually used of small arms". The Oxford Dictionary simply states that a firearm is " a rifle, pistol, or other portable gun". These definitions are vague and somewhat confusing to those who are not very knowledgeable in the firearm subject. Many reporters and anti-firearm organizations also include assault weapons and semi automatic weapons. So I will go ahead and speak of firearms to include all guns and rifles.
Anti-firearm groups have been around since the Constitution was written. These organizations believe that gun ownership should be limited and very strict. Their quest is to reduce violence, ensure that the government enact national regulations, ban all types of assault weapons, and restrict the number of guns individuals can buy during a specified time (Carter, 47). The banning of assault weapons is thought to reduce violent crimes. And therefore, anti-firearm organizations feel that private citizens should not be allowed to own them. Gun restriction has been aided by Brady Handgun Prevention Act, which requires a waiting period of 5 days for a handgun. This waiting period allows local law officials to conduct criminal record checks on prospective gun buyers. However, waiting periods do not stop felons from obtaining guns illegally. Ninety-three percent of career criminals get their guns from sources other than gun stores, mostly by theft or black market deals (online). One bill that Congress is trying to pass places a restriction on the manufacturing, transferring and possession of certain semi-automatic assault weapons. These weapons include the Beretta Ar70 and the Colt AR-15. The proposition is known as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the pro gun activists that believe people should have the right to go and buy a gun or firearm if he/she feels the need to protect themselves. Of course, there are many reasons why a person would own a gun. For example, recreational shooting is one hobby that many people enjoy. Another reason some citizens might feel the need to own a firearm is that they do not live in a safe, environment, so they do what they can to protect themselves. Now if the manufacturing of certain firearms is banned, then hunting sports and personal safety are threatened. Pro gun activists also feel that law-abiding citizens should not have such rigid laws forced upon them. As I stated earlier, convicted felons who have access to firearms through an underground market commit most crimes. They do not follow the laws of the states or the country. In 1976, Washington, D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns. By 1991, D.C.'s homicide rate had tripled, while the U.S. rate rose 12%. New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and D.C. -- with very restrictive gun laws -- make up only 5% of the U.S. population, yet account for 16% of U.S. murders (Kleck, 225)
Now there has been room left for misinterpretation. Most pro-gun activists do believe in some form of gun control. However, they feel that the laws that are being established are not resolving the current problems. Groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation try to help Congress pass legislation that is equal and just to the private citizens as well as the general public. They are also firm believers of tough laws, but they want to make sure that these laws will make sense and are applicable.
The United States government is trying to have an impact on violence. Members of government feel that by going straight to the manufacturers of the firearms private citizens would not have to be burdened by the temptation to purchase firearms. In order to go about banning certain assault weapons drastic and fast action must be taken. If the government passes the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, gun owners of certain firearms must have their guns checked before a certain date (online). This is the exception to the law, but it is still a restriction. While most government officials believe that getting rid of firearms completely will reduce crime and eliminate firearm fatalities they are wrong. Statistics show that there are more fatalities due to automobile accidents than by firearms. Banning the manufacturing of firearms is not going to stop criminals from using firearms. Instead, these laws are only going to hinder the citizens that follow them. So the end result will be the same violence by criminals. However, there will be something added, angry law abiders who do not deserve nor think that these laws are just.
It all began when the United States became an independent state. Regulations, laws, and restrictions were placed to ensure that citizens did not undergo monarchist persecution. However, it seems that as the country gets older the reigns are tightened. And while government officials believe that certain laws are needed to further develop the United States, the free citizens of the country are losing their freedom. The banning of manufacturing firearms does not solve the problem; it only creates another one. Convicted felons are being let out of jail on good behavior while free citizens are being punished for obeying the laws of the land.
Carter, Gregg. The Gun Control Movement. New York: Prentice Hall, 1997.
Kates, Don. Great American Gun Debate. San Francisco: Pacific Research for Public Policy, 1997.
Guncite: Gun Control and Second Amendment Issues. Available:
NRA Homepage. Available: http://www.nra.org/
Second Amendment Homepage. Available: http://rrnet.com/~grimmy/index.html
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