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Gun Control Kristin Faraldo Carissa Morrison Eng 105, Sec 46 May 2, 2007 Faraldo 1 Gun Control In the Constitution of the United States, the second amendment states the right to bear arms and militia, meaning 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 violated. This amendment has caused much controversy over whether or not guns should be legal to sell. When this amendment was written, Americans had to use guns to protect themselves from the British but the world has changed so much since than. The second amendment should be changed to fit the changes that the world has seen. There have been many arguments in the past where evidence has been proven for why guns should have stricter laws on them. Some points that would prove why guns should be illegal are that the 2nd amendment in the constitution is historically out dated; schools, and the world in general, would be a safer place if guns were not around; and that the crime rate would be decreased. Even if you feel that there should not be more gun control, people should at least consider the option of having a happy median between the sides which can be done by enforcing stricter law enforcement and restricting violence in games and movies to children who are still under the influence. The world would be a safer place if there were more laws on owning a gun and having control on them. I think that the bullets should be placed in a different location from the gun. I feel that if this law were to go in place, children would not have easy access to their parents’ guns and they would be safer. There have been incidents where children are playing with the guns or trying to show them off to their friends and they do not realize that the bullets are still in the gun and they end up shooting someone with the Faraldo 2 gun by mistake. For example, in March 2000, a 6-year old boy shot Kayla Rolland, one of his classmates (Morse, Jodie). The boy found the loaded gun under a blanket on a room in his uncle’s house, which is where he lived. The gun belonged to Jamelle James, the little boy’s 19 year old cousin. James would twirl around the gun in front of the little boy, which created an atmosphere of reckless circumstances. Also, the little boy did not know right from wrong and since his older cousin was playing with the gun, the little boy thought it was ok to play with guns. I feel that even with gun locks, the world still isn’t safe because most children over the age of ten can figure out how to unlock the gun. If there are more secure laws and his cousin was being more responsible, that little girl might still be alive today. The death of Kayla Rolland has not been the only death from the cause of guns. Over history, there have been many assassinations that could have easily been prevented if guns had stricter laws on them. Some people who have been assassinated that have made a huge impact in our society have been Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. Two other huge massacres This is the campus of Virginia Tech, which is right now recorded as the deadliest school shooting and that were from the cause of guns one of the biggest massacres in history. Figure 1 was retrieved from are Virginia Tech and Columbine http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://w ww.phys.vt.edu/showcase/campus2005.jpg&imgre High School. These two carnages furl=http://dearkitty.blogsome.com/2007/04/18/the -virginia-tech-tragedy-and-us- society/&h=266&w=400&sz=45&hl=en&start=2 &tbnid=6l9qNqbyPYMYGM:&tbnh=82&tbnw=1 24&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dvirginia%2Btech%26 gbv%3D2%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa Faraldo 3 are other examples of why there should be more gun control. At Virginia Tech in Aril 2007 where around 32 people were killed and at Columbine High School in April 1999, 12 students and one teacher were killed with an additional 24 wounded. Virginia Tech and Columbine are in the top three deadliest school shootings (Wikipedia). One of the biggest questions to gun control is whether or not gun control will lead to an increase in more crimes or if putting more restrictions on owning guns will lower the crime rate. John Lott, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, did a study which proved that if it is easier for citizens to buy guns, the crime rate will decrease. This could be true for the simple fact that if law abiding citizens, especially women, own guns, it will be a lot harder for criminals to commit certain crimes and get away with it, for example, to break into someone’s house while they are in their. However, true criminals will still not obey the law so by making guns easier to gain access to, they will still commit crimes. If there are more restrictions on owning a gun, it will be harder to find guns so therefore, harder to kill people with them. There will still be crimes no matter what, but hopefully not as many people, innocent or not, will not die. I feel another huge issue that would help with crime rates other than passing stricter laws on guns is trying to change video games and TV shows/movies. Maybe not even This is a graph of how many violent video changing it, but not letting children or young games there are and what types of violence are on the games. Figure 2 can be retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs- texte/2-03/capezza/fig6.gif Faraldo 4 teenagers who are still under the influence play games with a lot of violence in it or watching action movies. From a psychological view, children who have easy access to these games and shows/movies think it’s cool to play guns and get in fights. If they see it on the television, they are more likely to repeat what they see, kind of like monkey see monkey do. Above in figure 2, the graph shows how many violent video games are out in the world and which types of violence is taught in the games. I know that all of the games and movies/shows already have restrictions on them, but if the government can find a solution to actually prevent children from playing these games, it might help in the long run. On the other side of the debate, some people feel that they need to own guns for self-defense. I was talking to one mother who stated that “when her two daughters have their own place, she would expect them to use a gun on someone who broke in for self- defense” (Beth Drayer). She would feel a lot safer knowing that her two girls have something else to protect themselves other than self-defense. There are many people who share the same views as Beth Drayer does. Many feel, especially in big cities where there is a higher crime rate (Crime Rate Comparisons), that they will not be able to sufficiently protect themselves. These people who share this opinion feel that if they own a gun, they are safer but what they do not realize is that if the gun gets into the wrong hands, they may not be as safe as they thought. Another huge issue on why guns should not be illegal is because there are many people who hunt. It would be almost impossible to make hunting illegal because animals that are hunted are used for food. Back in the primal day, the only way people were able Faraldo 5 to survive and eat was to hunt. Even though we have found other ways to survive, hunting has turned into a huge hobby so even if guns are banned from being sold, hunting guns will always be available for sale. There are even classes for hunting as showed to the right in figure 3. According to U.S. Senator Larry Craig, guns are not what kill people; it is people who kill people. Senator Larry Craig was the one who introduced the bill S.397 to protect the second amendment. It is the In Figure 3, an instructor is teaching a little boy what he needs protection of the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. to know to hunt. Figure was retrieved from This bill was signed into law by President George http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwil d/hunt/youth_hunting/ Bush on October 26, 2005, as shown below in Figure 4. It was the first major pro-gun legislation to be presented to the president in over a decade. S.397 was designed to put an end to greedy lawsuits which benefit trial lawyers instead of benefiting victims of violent crime. This bill was very rewarding to many citizens who feel threatened by lawyers and other citizens that wish to alter the 2nd amendment and/or take it out all together. Although all of these counterarguments make good points, they are also not good This is a picture of President Bush enough points, in my personal opinion, to signing the bill S.397. Figure 4 was retrieved from convince the society that there should not be http://craig.senate.gov/i_secamend. cfm. gun control. For example, hunting is not always Faraldo 6 one hundred percent safe. There have been many incidents where people have been shot because someone was being immature and fooling around with the fun. In refute to Senator Larry Craig’s bill, the world be safer if guns weren’t in them. If you look back to the 1950s, when you heard about the crimes that happened, majority of them did not have guns. The gangs that were around would use knives instead of guns when they would get into fights. This is because guns were not that easily accessible. As I mentioned before, a lot of the crime that happens is based on a psychological view that violent games and videos are what has corrupted this generation. Back in the 50s, games and movies like this were not around so when kids grew up, they had a more innocent childhood. After much research on this topic, I believe that nether side will ever win the argument. However, I also believe that there is a happy median between the two sides so that hopefully, everyone can be happy over this subject. One solution that could help find this happy median would be to enforce stricter law enforcement. With stricter law enforcement and more police officers around, it would be harder to sell guns illegally. Having police officers on every school in the country would also help keep the crime rate down because they would have to look out for signs of students acting suspicious. Virginia Tech is a perfect example of enforcing stricter law enforcement. When there were two bullets fired earlier that day on April 16, 2007, classes should have been cancelled and the students should have been warned. Also, the police officers should have been looking all day for the culprit who shot the gun. Instead, none of these guidelines were followed and 32 students were killed as a result. Another issue Faraldo 7 concerning Virginia Tech and a lack of high quality law enforcement is the fact that Seung-Hui Cho, the murderer of the 32 students killed, was mentally ill. He was diagnosed as being a threat to himself and to others. If the university knew, they should have done more about the situation to get Cho help. There are so many more things that we could do to help our country be a safer place we can live in. Why we are not doing more to control gun safety is unknown. But hopefully one day we can find that happy median and know that we are living in a safe world.
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