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Guns in Today's Society

Essay by   •  November 18, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  3,076 Words (13 Pages)  •  1,985 Views

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Guns in Today's Society

In the United States today, gun control has become a very big issue in the lives of its citizens. People arguing with each other over whether it is our constitutional right to be able to obtain and bear any kind of arms that we choose or that it only belongs to the militia. Many arguments come up over whether or not just average people can show up at a gun show and sell a gun to any person without giving them a background check first. Not only do they want back ground checks they want restrictions, and bans. Should there be bans on certain kinds of weapons? If so what kind of weapons? Should any person be able to buy a gun anytime or any place? Are people getting the right picture on what guns do for the country or are they getting deprived of information? It was shown that, "Out of 300 evening news segments, anti-gun stories outnumbered pro-gun stories by 164 to 20" (Dickens 1). This is an outstanding number that shows that the media plays a huge role in what people think about the issue of gun control. If all they see is guns involved with murders, and not involved with self-defense; how much longer will we have our guns? All of these things are factoring in to the issue of gun control and how important it is to some people and hated by others. In this paper I will lay out different views, arguments, and issues that could affect gun collectors, hunters, and the every day citizen for years to come

Gun control is in issue that dates back to the early 1900's, near the times of prohibition. The first federal gun law was passed in 1927 which made it illegal to send weapons through the mail. This law did not really prevent the trade of firearms because people would just ship them other ways such as, trains, boats and cars. To follow up on this law the congress passed the National Firearms Act of 1934. This law consisted of, "Didn't actually outlaw machine guns or sawed-off shotguns, but it imposed a 200$ tax on their manufacture, sale, and ownership" (Henderson16). As you can see the Federal government began to step in early on in this nation's history. This is not a new issue it has been debated for years whether or not the government should be able to restrict America's right to bear arms.

One of the big arguments on the issue of gun control and gun regulations is that the constitution gives us the right to bear arms. It is our given right to be able to have guns in our households, cars, or in our possession. There should be no rule on where we can carry a gun and where we can not. Guns are used to protect the well being of American families and individuals from the predators off the street. We should be able to posses any kind of gun that we choose. If Americans want to use an AK-47 to protect ourselves than we should have the right to. Gun collectors who want to go and buy an automatic machine gun can not because the democrats put a ban on it. It is clearly state here, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed" (second amendment). That clearly states right there that the people should have the right to bear arms and never specifies what kind. On the other side of the spectrum is the fact that the constitution gives the right to bear arms to the militia not to the people. In the constitution it does state that Americans have the right to bear arms but it seems as though it is involved with the militia. It can be interpreted that the constitution does not give the right to the people as one man quoted, ""The contemporary meaning of the Second Amendment is the same as it was at the time of its adoption. The Federal Government may regulate the National Guard, but cannot disarm it against the will of state legislatures. Nothing in the Second Amendment, however, precludes Congress or the states from requiring licensing and restrictions of firearms; in fact, there is nothing to stop an outright congressional ban on private ownership of all handguns and all rifles""(Henderson 17). This quote shows that the gun control advocates do not think that the right to bear arms for a citizen is a constitutional right. They believe that people do not have the right to carry guns and posses them in there own homes. They believe people should not be able to carry around guns wherever they please for many reasons. It puts innocent Americans in danger if at any point the person with a gun loses his cool and begins to shoot. If any person can carry around a gun then where can a person feel safe from harm? Guns are the cause of many homicides in the United States and around the world, and should be kept from the wrong hands. Many people are willing to give up there rights to bear arms in order to keep guns from getting in the wrong possession.

In 1994 there was a bill enacted called the "Brady Bill" and it made it so that a person had to wait up to five business days on a handgun purchase. This bill made it so that that convicted felon or offenders could not purchase a handgun. It also required that authorities do background checks on the purchasers. This bill proved to actually do some good in the fact that it kept guns out of the hands of criminals. This bill made a slight if any difference, "In the first seventeen months of the Brady Bill, 7 people were convicted of illegal attempts to buy handguns"(Justfacts.com 2). The long term affect of the Bill for the three years that it lasted were, "There have been 242,000 background checks that have denied prospective purchasers to buy a handgun from a licensed gun dealer. Out of these, 9 people have been convicted of illegal attempts to buy handguns" (justfacts.com 2). These points make it evident that the bill yes, did keep the guns out of 16 sets of bad hands but what about the two-hundred thousand? It deprived those American citizens the right to purchase a handgun. That is why in July of 1997 the Supreme Court ruled that the Bill was in fact unconstitutional.

Now in the United States every gun dealer, manufacturer and distributor must complete a National Instant Check System. This is used to find out whether a customers name comes up as a convicted felon, fugitive or some kind of domestic offender. This is a great way to stop certain people from getting there hands on weapons in which they could use to commit crimes. In the first year of operation, "some 180,000 prohibited buyers were stopped from illegally buying firearms" (www.soros.org 5). That is a significant number of people who where denied the right to obtain a firearm. Though they were people who had committed crimes in the past how do we know that they have not changed? We do not therefore the government has no right to deny them the right to own a firearm. They need to protect there homes and there families

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