A fast rising issue today in America is whether handguns should be allowed on the streets or not. Some believe that all guns should be banned and they do no good but destroy human lives. Others believe that from the beginning of time guns have been legal and should always stay that way. Some major questions have arrived with debate. Should handguns be at easy access to get or should there be tougher laws Are the rights of Americans infringed upon if handguns are regulated The Second Amendment states that American civilians have the right to keep and bear arms, but some interpret this Amendment differently then others. Gun control started with the Gun Control Act of 1968.
This stated that manufacturers, imports and dealers in the gun industry have to have a license from the Treasury Department, which is the authority on gun law. This act also banned a type of handgun called the Saturday night specials (Diaz, 12). These guns were small and could easily be hidden. It was made with a poor quality of material. By stopping the import of this gun it regulated other guns in the certain areas of performance and design standards (Diaz, 13).
For a civilian to purchase a hand gun they need to be over the age of 21 and have a good record. They have to fill out an application signing that why will follow the rules and abide by the gun control rules. They also need to submit a set of finger prints a long with the application. This licenses can last up to three years (Diaz, 13). This act also covered the prohibition of rifle sale by mail ("Gun", 1). On March 30 th, A man named James Brady was waling out of the Hilton Hotel with President Reagan.
A man aiming to shoot at the president struck Brady in the head ("James", 1). Brady spent nine months in the hospital, two operations to reduce the fluid in his brain and now confined to a wheel Chair ("James", 1). This not only changed his life but also would later change the lives of others For if not for this event there would have never been the Brady Bill. The Brady bill was fought by James Brady to add our first Federal Handgun - Control Law ("James", 1). In 1994 President Clinton signed the Brady Bill that stated that when purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer a five day wait must happen before a person can own the gun (Encyclopedia, 755). During this period authorities check the criminal background and history of mental illness (Encyclopedia, 756).
This bill also with an assault-weapons ban. This banned 19 different semiautomatic guns (Encyclopedia, 755). Recently the Justice Department has said that it has stopped about 225, 000 civilians from being able to purchase guns, so it has had a positive effect ("James", 1). Baily vs.
the United States was a bill made in 1995. It stated that if a criminal is to be convicted of using a gun in a drug or violent crime under 18 usc 924 (c) the criminal has to be "actively employing" ("Criminal", 14) it. When they say employ they are talking about in the process of firing it, trading it, or brandishing it. The way this bill was stated it has taken away the control federal prosecutors use on criminals ("Criminals", 14). As soon as criminals that were behind bars found out about this new bill they wrote corpus appeals to get out, and they did. One criminal Lancelot Martin was one criminal that got out because of this new bill.
He was running a Haitian drug Trafficking operation when he was caught sending and accepting drugs through the mail. He was then apprehended and with the drug, there was a gun. He got five years in jail just for having the gun and more for drug trafficking charges ("Criminals", 18). After hearing this Senator Helms, Senator Hatch and Senator Dewine wanted to make a new bill so that more criminals ill not get out. This bill will state that a criminal that is caught carrying a gun, while in the process of an illegal act, will automatically get five years in jail. It will also add a ten year minimum if the gun is actually fired ("Criminals", 17).
This will be a strict messages sent out to criminals that if you have a gun it's already five years in the slammer, no question. The debate on weather guns should be tighter regulated or just completely banned has been a hot issue. Looking at the statistics can be one way of deciding which side a person would stand on in the gun control debate. Most Americans love having their guns but most admit that they would like to see stricter laws ("Fire", 1 ). Around 40% of all Americans have a gun in their home, and about half of all men own a gun ("Fire", 1 ). Out of every 10 people there will be one will carrying a handgun away from the home.
On a random day one out of 50 adults will have a gun on them ("Fire", 1 ). Every year roughly 30, 000 Americans are killed by guns. Gunshots are the second most common way to die ("Fire", 1 ). During the year 1990-1991, 2, 857 gun related deaths were unintentional, that's 4% of gun deaths.
1%, 711 were unknown. 46%, 34, 493 were homicide. Suicide ranking the highest with gun related deaths were 49% at 37, 411 dead (Encyclopedia, 757). This statistic would effect some but others see it as if it didn't effect them or their life then it doesn't matter. When polled that same year about gun laws, adults were asked what they thought on the severity of gun laws. At 7%, the people said that the gun laws should be less strict and 1% had no opinion.
About 25% said the control laws should stay the same, While 67% said that the laws should be much more strict (Encyclopedia, 758). Ina another research poll 90% of all Americans said they would like to have designing handguns so that it cannot be fired by small hands such as children's. 73% would like to see guns that have an indicator that would show if the gun were loaded ("Fire", 1 ). Showing in the polls one can see that the majority of Americans want stricter gun control laws.
In a big world we all live in, the United States is the most heavily armed with guns ("Time" 1 ). This comes to no surprise since United States has the most deaths by guns. Some people believe that we need to do something about this. People are dying and most of all our children are dying with guns.
Guns in the United States kill over 5, 000 children a year ("Time", 2 ). This number is outrageous and too much for this country to handle. Many these children's deaths are by accident. A parent might have a gun in their house and a child finds it, plays with it, and then accidentally shoots themselves or somebody else. Accidents are not the only way children die from guns.
They are also dying from other children with guns. In a middle school in Jonesboro, a small town in AR, two boys killed five people with their fathers' gun (Walsh 1 ). "As hard as it is for me to say, my son is guilty... It was a horrific, horrific tragedy" (Walsh 1 ) said Scott Johnson, father of Mitchell, one of the kids involved in the shooting.
The Kids allegedly got into Andrew's, the other boy involved grandfathers' house and took some guns. They stole four pistols and three rifles, including a Remington. 30-06 deer-hunting rifle with a powerful telescopic sight. They took these guns to the middle school and shot four little girls, a teacher, and a dozen were wounded. (Walsh, 1 ) one can't help but think if those guns were never laying around because they were outlawed would something like this have ever happen "Our kid[s] deserve better. Demand [ing] tough gun laws is the least we can do as a start" (Walsh, 1 ).
Another Jonesboro case, Natalie Brook's, her family is suing the manufacturer because they should have provided a lock along with the gun (Bai, 1 ). The family's lawyer Bobby McDaniel said "She would still be alive if the rifle used to kill her had been equipped with a $5 trigger lock, so that only someone with a key or combination could have used it" (Bai, 1 ). He is going after the manufactures with this basis on the case. He compared the negligence of not having a lock is like buying a car with no brakes (Bai, 1 ).
Gun control lobbyists know it might be a far stretch for them to reach but they are willing to take the chances just like the tobacco industry. The horrible part is that the gun industry knows what it's doing, a former head of marketing for Smith & Wesson testified that "Gun companies know they " re arming criminals and don't care" (Bia, 1 ). One manufacturer proudly displayed a gun that fingerprints could not be detected on it. Another company slightly got around the law by selling easily assembling assault weapons through the mail and the frame sold separately (Bia, 1 ). The gun industry stresses that they do not have the kind of money to hand out as the tobacco industry did. As time goes on more and more cases are building up.
Sarah Brady, James Brady's wife, (Brady Bill) has a center called Sarah Brady's Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. The lawyers at her center are already in the process of 16 different cases against the gun manufacturers. The lawyers say that they are not gonna stop until there are guns out there that can only be shot when the owner is holding it. A company called Colt has so far made a prototype of this kind of gun (Bia, 1 ). "Among the top U. S.
cities, Philadelphia has the highest proportion of the murders and robberies committed by gun. Last year, a record 82 percent of 409 homicides were by firearms" said an edition of Philadelphia Inquirer (Bershers 1 ). The Mayor of Philadelphia, Rendell is tired of all the crime involved with guns. He is trying to find ways to put a stop to it.
He said that the gun manufacturers have created a "'public nuisance' in his city and should pick up the tab for cleaning blood off the sidewalks" (Bia, 1 ). He has put together a plan that involves people from gun manufactures to city officials. This task force inevitably in the end will cut down the killing of people by guns. The gun manufactures have decided to voluntarily put trigger locks on theft products so they cannot by fired (Bershers, 1 ). They are also going to put tighter security at their warehouses, so that guns are harder to steal.
Amour piecing bullets have already been outlawed but people are stilling getting a hold of it. The mayor has asked that all gun manufactures buy back the bullets and get them from getting into the wrong hands (Bershers, 1 ). Mayor Rendell, along with other mayors from other cities, has threaten to bring a lawsuit against gun industry if this task force doesn't have ample solutions (Bershers 2 ). The Executive Director of A SSC (American Sports Shooting Council), Richard Feldman said that he would be happy to accommodate the mayors Needs, as long as he does not sue.
The mayor already has lawyers getting this case in order, he doesn't trust the industry and will sue for 58 million per year for what the city spends on costs that has to do with gun violence (Bershers 2 ). Feldman was not happy he wants to try the task force out and see if it works before any legal action. Then NRA has also gotten involved in this task force. They are going to set up a "Zero Tolerance" (Bershers 2) project, which is to prosecute each crime involving a firearm in Philadelphia.
The NRA believes that we are not being hard enough on the criminals and Instead are paying attention to guns. More then 7, 500 cases of criminals using guns are released and they serve very little jail time. (Bershers 2 ) The mayors are, for at this moment, are willing to try out the task force to see what can be done. Some think that there will be a day when something a little more drastic will be done.
Youths and guns have showed themselves a rising problem in this nation. Youths that have seen a lot of violence whether it was on TV or in real life have a much higher tendency to use a guns to settle a dispute ("Reducing", 3). Guns and inner city youth is on the rise. The most common way for a black male to die is by a gun ("Fire", 1). Young males in general are more likely to get shot with a gun and die, then to die from natural causes put all together ("Reducing", 9).
A study in 1993 of group of 7 th grade males in the inner city showed that 48% carried knives and 23% carried guns ("Reducing", 4). The inner city is a tough place to live no doubt. It's a life most wouldn't choose to live, but it's not only in the inner city's like everybody always think. A national poll was taken of students from 6 th to 12 th grade in all parts of the states. Out of 2, 508 students, 59% of them said that if they wanted to they could probably get a hold of a gun ("Reducing" 7).
Around 35% of those students said that they could probably get that in about an hour if they needed to. Even more astonishing 15% of those students reported that they have carried a handgun on themselves in the past month ("Reducing", 7). Since the early 70's, youth and gun violence has tripled. Young adults who are being arrested for having weapons has increased 117% ("Reducing", 11). Between 1985 and 1992 youth committing homicides has doubled ("Reducing", 11). This has severely increased kids are killing kids.
In one year the FBI reported those young adults ages 15-22 had created an extra 5, 330 of murders with guns. That's an additional 21. 6% of the 24, 703 murders that had occurred that year ("Rising", 13). Schools are not even being the safe place to be anymore.
Recently there was an act made called the Gun Free School Act. It states that if a student is caught in school or on school grounds with a gun, they are immediately expelled for at least one year. If not a recent event has shown that. Columbine High School in Littleton Denver, two boys just walked into the school and killed 25 people wounded 20 people, using bombs and guns. One girl, when being interviewed by a reporter, said that one of the boys came up to her and held a gun to her head. She begged for her life and the boy then proceeded to kill the boy in front of her.
Then he made her watch while he shot her friend. The girl will be traumatized for the rest of her life. One must think what if there had been laws against gun would that have stopped that incident. Would the boys have had easy access to guns How many lives would be saved if guns were not easily available whether it was through suicide or homicide These are questions that will never be answered, but something needs to be done to stop this kind of violence in the future. Research has shown that kids who has a firearm in there home have a higher risk of killing themselves ("Reducing" 10). Most people do not realize that having a gun locked up doesn't mean that 16-year-old who is having personal problems couldn't find a way to break a lock and kill themselves.
Most people think that people who die from gun shots are killed in gangbangs or drive by shootings. This is not true, out of all handgun deaths, suicide is the highest (Sugarmann, 129) which most people don't know. This is a good reason to ban handguns; it will take it out of our homes and make it harder for people to kill themselves. The NRA, National Rifle Association, is a foundation based on the right that all americans have the right to own and use guns. They Established their organization around the year 1871 (Goode, 1 ). They are made up of grants around 12 million dollars and built a permenant endowment of about 1.
5 million dollars ("NRA", 1 ). They benefit communities through children, young adults and females. They support firearms activites and believe that every law-abiding citizen deserve the right to own a gun. They are involved with Boy Scots, 4-H, American Legion and all other recreational shooting or hunting ("NRA", 2). The NRA have a program called The Eddie Eagle Gun Saftey Program that teaches kids the importance of gun safety ("NRA", 1). The National Rifle Assosiation has also offered women a course in other ways of defending yourself.
They of course show women how to use a gun in case they were to ever be caught in a situation. More then 150, 000 brochures on "42 Tips" have been mailed out to women and many request to participate in the seminars ("NRA", 3). People who support or participate in the National Rifle Assosiation want to keep the freedom of owning guns. The last president of the NRA, John R Wood said, " There is little that is more important than preserving our nation's constitutional hesitant ans guaranteeing that our american firearm tradition will live on after us. Your gift will help will help ensure that the rights with which we were entrusted will be passed to the next generation and that the youth of tomorrow will have the same firearm opportunities we enjoy" ("NRA", 4).
Gary Kleck supports this idea, Kleck is a professor of Ciminalogy and Criminal Justice at Florida State University (Goode, 1). He thinks that the gun control advocates are way to extreme and put to much blame on the NRA. He compares the NRA and Gun Control advocates as the NRA as David and Gun Control advocates as Goliath. In Kleck opinion gun control advocates are a huge wall to climb because they have so much media behind them. Telveision is the number one form of media and they show the NRA as big huge giants and all they want to do is kill people (Goode, 2).
The NRA is hyped out to be a bunch of crazed lui tics running around and shooting people. Just because a person owns a gun doesn't make them a lunatic. The average rogram that teaches kids the importance of gun safety ("NRA", 1). The National Rifle Assosiation has also offered women a course an for criminal purposes (Goode, 4). These people are defending themselves from rape, theft and murder.
It would be very wrong to take away their guns that would be counter-productive (Goode, 4). Josh Sugarmann who is a big gun control activist thinks the NRA The NRA holds tight that the Second Amendment. clearly states that all Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. However, the NRA only stresses the first half of the Amendment keep and bear arms. The first half is ignored, it states that the people who have the right to own guns is a well-regulated militia (Sugarmann, 1).
This is how the Amendment can be translated into different ways. Does it mean that only the regulated militia should have guns or should every American citizen have the right to own a gun.