Social Issues In Criminal Justice Which Involves Guns.

6598 words - 26 pages

PRELUDEShortly after 2:30pm on Monday March 30, 1981, six shots rang out as President Ronald Reagan walked to his limousine in front of the Washington Hilton Hotel. Moments later James Brady, the President's Press Secretary, lay on the wet pavement of a Washington D.C. sidewalk in a pool of his own blood, hit in the head by an assassins bullet. President Reagan, the intended target of the crazed gunman, was shot in the chest just under his left armpit. Whisked away in a frenzied rescue by the Secret Service, the President was able to walk into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. Two hours and 2½ quarts of blood later, Reagan was on the road to a full recovery that would witness a stunning reelection victory and some of the highest approval ratings in American history.James Brady, was not so lucky. Suffering from extensive brain damage he would never fully recover. He did, however, return to the American political scene. Accompanied by his wife Sarah and galvanized by an organization known as Handgun Control Inc., the name "Brady" has come to symbolize the greatest political battle waged in recent memory over one of the greatest nemesis's of American society, the handgun.INTRODUCTIONAnti-gun proponents claim the Reagan assassination attempt symbolizes all that is wrong with American gun regulations. They are quick to point out gun control laws did little to prevent a deranged individual from purchasing a handgun in Dallas, Texas, moving the weapon 1,600 miles across state lines, then using it in an assassination attempt on the most powerful man in the world. To them, this unforgivable act of ruthless terror easily underscores the absurdity of what Americans have accepted as gun control.John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan, never fully realized the impact his actions would have on the American political scene. This single misdeed has been touted as chilling example of America's gun "rights" gone bad. When Hinckley pulled the trigger, he single handily started a debate between an individuals right to own a gun, vs. the collective rights of society to live in peace, without. With frightening incidents such as this, anti-gun forces firmly believe the only way to reduce the threat of even more violence is to out law the private ownership of firearms, specifically, handguns.Pro-gun proponents on the other hand are quick to point out that only in America can the man accused of attempting to kill the President be found not guilty by reason of insanity and as a result receive no hard jail time. To counter, and eventually discourage, the seemingly random violence of today's complex society, the pro gun lobby advocates a harsh crack down on violent offenders. They view the criminal justice system as the real threat to societies peaceful existence. Accordingly, they support an end to the criminal justice systems inane sentencing guidelines that have, over the years, evolved into a bureaucracy designed to keep...

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