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Bearing Arms Essay

2281 words - 9 pages

Bearing ArmsMilicent EvansWhatcom Community CollegeSociology 110Charles TompkinsAugust 9, 2004Table of ContentsDefine the Problem Page 3Review of Literature Page 3Hypothesis Page 8Methodology Page 9Conclusion Page 9Reference Page 11Appendix Page 12Define the ProblemAccording to James D. Wright, Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University, "half the households in the country own at least one gun" (Wright, 1995, 1), and "there are 200 million guns already in circulation in the United States" (Wright, 1995, 2). Statistics like these show that guns are accepted norms and important in our culture. But why do guns play a big part in society? Do people own guns for power? For protection? Or both? These questions needed research and answers and me to find them. The dependent variables I will attend to are who owns guns and why? The independent variables hopefully will clarify through my research and methodology.Review of LiteratureIn the article "Ten essential observations on guns in America," published in March 1995, author James D Wright, addresses the propagation of guns in our society. By doing so, James Wright emphasize the norms of guns in society and their uses. Through his research deriving from twenty years, Wright asserts "ten fundamental truths" (Wright, 1995, 1), on guns . His findings and this article includes brief explanations on:"The number of households in the country with guns; Numberof guns in national circulation; Security derived by the publicin owning guns; Access of bad elements of society to guns;Violence spawned by guns in the wrong hands; Importance ofguns in American history and culture" (Wright, 1995, 1)In his observations of guns, James Wright believes that firearms are "neither inherently good nor inherently evil" because "benevolence and malevolence inhere in the motives and behaviors of people, not in the technology they possess" (Wright, 1995, 5).Guns are always portrayed as demeaning, seen as how they are used in television. To a certain extent though, people don't listen resulting half of the population's families owning a gun. The percentage of household guns have remained steady for "nearly four decades" (Wright, 1995, 1), but have "increased from three guns per household in the late 1970's to about four today" (Wright, 1995, 2). Reasons for demands of guns are due to population growth and its acceptance to society. James Wright states that "gun ownership is normative, not deviant" and even "in certain states and localities, it would be an odd duck indeed who did not own a gun" ( Wright, 1995, 2).With "two hundred million" guns circulating in the United States, only "one-third are handguns" (Wright, 1995, 2), the rest are used for sport and recreational purposes. This shows that retaining a gun is easy and waiting periods do not affect gun ownership. Those who use guns unethically such as criminals do not usually get their guns from gun shops. But, "by informal swaps, trades, and purchases among family members,...

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