Gun Control

When our fore fathers first came onto this land, they were

oppressed by their rulers. The educated men decided to stage a revolt

against their government and start up a new government, with a set of

rules, laws and rights. The revolt ended with bloodshed, yet the fore fathers had risen to victory with the help of firearms. Following the revolt the fore fathers decided to compose a bill stating the basic rights that every man in the country could contain. There were ten of these basic rights, among them were the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the right of free speech, and most importantly, the right too keep and bear arms in order to protect their families, gather food, and preserve their rights from all threats. However, in our recent times of increased violence, many believe keeping guns available is detrimental to our society, and the only solution is to abolish the right to keep and bear arms. However, there is no possible way to justify removing an amendment that has been around for many years. Those that support gun control define it as a way to better our society, however those that oppose it define gun control as the infringement of their rights.

The opposition declares that that the Second Amendment was never intended as a gun license for the American general public. The amendment read, as it was originally drafted, does not grant any blanket right to own a gun nor does it stand in the way of rational, effective gun control(Crooker). The current anti-gun promoters cry out that if guns were outlawed, then the violent crime rate would drop dramatically. Yet, a criminal with a desire to attain a gun would still be able to obtain one, because most violent criminals buy guns


from black market dealers. The crime rate does not result from the availability of firearms but from the lack of respect in today\'s society for other people\'s lives and property (Crooker).

Making guns illegal will have the same affect as de-legalizing narcotics and alcohol; absolutely nothing. Individuals that want these items can still obtain them without any trouble. In the March 1994 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, writer Daniel Polsby wrote: “During the 1960s and 1970s the robbery rate in the United States increased six fold, and the murder rate doubled; the rate of handgun ownership nearly doubled in that period as well. Handguns and criminal violence grew together apace”(Polsby) This statement has now become the battle cry of the anti-gun lobbyist; increased gun ownership goes hand in hand with increased violence. Of course it is easy for these lobbyists to count the bodies of those who have been killed or wounded with guns, but its not easy for them to count the people who have avoided harm because they had access to weapons. Uniformed police officers carry handguns in plain view not in order to kill people, but simply to daunt potential attackers. Though officers can expect to draw their guns from time to time, few even in big-city departments will actually fire a shot (except in target practice) in the course of a year (Nagel). This observation points to an important truth: people who are armed make comparatively unattractive victims. A criminal might not know if any one civilian is armed, but if it becomes known that a larger number of civilians do carry weapons, criminals will become warier. On the other hand, criminals which are known to attack people most likely could not get access to guns under strong anti-gun provisions (Patterson). This may be true but statistics do show that most criminals that perform these kinds of crimes do not use guns, but knives, bludgeoning weapons, or a "fake" gun in order to gain what they want. The average Joe on the street


could not carry such a weapon in order to protect themselves, and so would fall easy target to criminals.

Rational gun control requires understanding not only the relationship between weapons and violence but also the relationship between laws and people\'s behavior. The purpose of a law and its likely effects are not always the same thing. Also remember that guns are a major economic trade item. Without the manufacture, distribution, and trade