Gun Control: Does It Work? Essay

1018 words - 4 pages

Gun control is regulation by the government that is supposed to reduce crime by placing strict guidelines on firearms. The topic produces much debate between groups like the National Rifle Association and Handgun Control Incorporated. Congress has passed many laws on the subject, none of which have seemed to make much of a difference. One such law that they have put into effect is the Brady Act. This says that any person wishing to purchase a gun must wait for a two-week period while the government performs a background check on that person. All this does is prevent honest people from being able to freely purchase guns, and gives the dishonest an unfair advantage.The problem with laws like the Brady Act is that they could stop the average citizen from purchasing a gun when they want or need, while protecting the common criminal. How many cold-blooded killers buy their guns from the public marketplace? According to the General Accounting Office, in the first seventeen months of the Brady Act's existence only seven criminals were convicted for attempting to buy a handgun. What happens if an armed burglar enters an unarmed house with full intentions to harm or kill? An innocent victim may not have a gun to protect his family because he had been arrested as a teen and is now denied the right to bear arms. Strict regulations of guns might keep them out of the hands of a few criminals, but it will not totally eliminate guns from society and will only lead to bigger problems by taking a line of defense out of American homes.Guns are very valuable as protective devices, for every life that is lost to a gun, as many as sixty-five people are saved by one. Every year potential victims kill between two thousand and three thousand criminals, and wound an additional nine thousand to seventeen thousand. These incidents could have resulted in the death of an innocent person, but because these people had a gun, they were able to defend themselves. Criminals succeed in taking a gun away from an armed victim less than one percent of the time. Private citizens mistakenly kill innocent people only thirty times a year, compared to about three hundred and ten mistaken killings by police. Just from a protection standpoint, it makes since to allow people the right to bear arms!The facts show that gun control should not be as controversial an issue as it has been for years, but that it does nothing to improve crime rates or cut down on violence. There is no direct relationship between the number of guns and the amount of crime in the United States. Between 1973 and 1992 the rate of gun ownership increased by forty-five percent while the homicide rate fell by nearly ten percent during the same period. This shows that guns are not the root of the problem, people are. The popular phrase goes: guns do not kill people, people kill people. This is true: a gun does not kill anyone until a...

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