Society's Need for the Registration of Handguns Guns are an instrument that even the most careful of people could do harm with. Gun owners should go to firearm safety classes so they will be educated on proper handling and storage of the gun. While this should only be voluntary, something should be done to insure that guns are only sold to people who have a safe background and are of age. Congress should mandate the registration of handguns in order to keep criminals from possessing guns, to cut back on violence in the home, and to avoid accidental or intentional violence among children. The Federal Government today is putting forth much effort in order to control the purchase and registration of handguns. In 1993, Congress approved the Brady Bill that requires a mandatory five-day waiting period when buying a gun.

The recent school shootings have pushed Congress to pass a bill requiring approximately 80% of handguns to be produced with child safety locks. The ultimate goal of the government is to ban the sale of firearms to the public. By starting out small, and having big goals, later generations will enjoy peaceful lives. In today's world, guns used in the home for protection purposes are becoming more of a danger than an object of security. They have taken over the interest of everyone who thinks they are in danger. Even with the protection of a handgun, statistics show that crimes are still being committed.

According to the U. S. Bureau of Justice Statistics "an average of only about 65, 000 defensive uses of guns each year compared to the more than 800, 000 crimes committed with guns" (Mcdowell 1982-84). Guns are a danger in the household if marital disputes and domestic violence are present. If a gun is a readily available object then the chances of it being used to let out anger and frustration instead of self-protection is great.

Mercy Saltzman reports that "having a gun in the home also increases the risk that incidents of domestic violence will result in homicide." He goes on to point out "family and intimate assaults involving firearms are twelve times more likely to result in death than non-firearm related assaults" (Saltzman 3043-47). In lieu of these statements, one can see the present danger in keeping a firearm in a household. Another reason to mandate the registration of handguns is because guns and criminals are not a healthy combination. When angry criminals are let out of jail they often seek revenge. Since guns are so easy to obtain, they just go on back to committing crimes of violence. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reports that "28% of state inmates say they got guns 'on the street'" Gun Control Resource Center).

The federal government must make nationwide laws on possessing and purchasing guns. If criminals have no more access to owning guns, the world will be a much safer place. But not only convicted criminals and seemingly wise adults suffer from gun violence; children can also pay the price for the irresponsible use of gun control. Parents tend to ignore the fact that their gun for protection is insuring a more dangerous environment for kids to grow up in.

Wintemute suggests that "guns kept loaded and within reach for protection are often within reach of curious children... ." (Wintemute 1982-84). Guns need to remain locked up when children are in the house. The previous school shootings that shocked the nation firmly prove "that when guns and kids mix, tragedy results" (The Static State of Gun Control).

While some may think only the most ruthless of people could do harm with a gun, others know that even the most unlikely of suspects could do a lot of harm. In order to keep criminals from possessing guns, cut back on violence in the home, and avoid violence amongst kids Congress must mandate the registration of handguns. With all the brutality and senseless acts committed with handguns it almost seems idiotic to have such relaxed laws on handgun purchase and storage. Today there are enough guns in the world to arm every adult and half the children alive today. Statistics like these are frightening. Something has got to be done now to save our civilization..