Thesis: Gun Control Is Not Effective Against Criminals

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Gun Control Is Not Effective Against Criminals

If criminals want guns, they will get them, whether there is a law against it or not. What gun control laws do is make it more difficult for ordinary citizens to obtain firearms to protect themselves. Most criminals don't visit a gun shop and register, then wait the mandatory time, and then go commit a crime with their brand new and traceable gun. They get them on the street or they steal them.

How many handguns are there? No one knows for sure. A Department of Justice survey in 1994 estimated that 35% of American households own guns of one sort or another. The total number they approximated was 192 million firearms. They also approximated that handguns make up about 35% of the total -- or about 67 million. Another result of this survey was that about half of the gun owners owned both handgun and either shotguns or rifles. The point being that there are so many tens of millions of weapons available that, even if we pass gun control, does anyone honestly think the criminals (or half of the homeowners for that matter) are going to give up or even register their guns? Does someone really think the criminals will care? If we pass gun control, the only ones with guns will be the criminals.

A day to remember for gun owners was June 26, 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Constitution of the United States and its 2nd Amendment does not limit the "right to bear arms" to just militias. This ruling does not prevent states from seeking gun control laws, but it does ensure that cities like Washington D.C. which bans handguns completely cannot pass those strict laws. That's a strong legal argument that strict gun control is illegal and not in accordance with the founder's intent for this country.

How Does Gun Control Work in Other States and Countries?

During the late 1970s and into the early1990s, the streets of Washington D.C. were awash in an epidemic of violence. So, D.C. And then Chicago both passed bans on handguns in 1976 and 1982 respectively. Any person who wanted a handgun in New York had to acquire a hard-to-get special permit. At the same time the government banned assault rifles. Three things happened.

First, gun control failed to control guns. The U.S. capital became another type of capital in the 1990s -- the murder capital of the country. Chicago's murder rate, which, before the prohibition of handguns, had been waning, increased over the next ten years.

The number of murders by gun did decline while the federal ban on assault weapons was in effect. However, so did homicides with other types of weapons like knives. And when the assault weapon ban concluded in 2004, the murder rate skyrocketed, right? Wrong -- nothing happened to the murder rate.

Second, ordinances and laws that allowed concealed guns and other weapons flourished -- with very little or no negative results. Florida bloomed into national prominence by putting into effect a law that allowed its citizens to carry concealed handguns with a permit. While an upsurge of murder by hoodlum maniacs was forecast by those in favor of gun control, again, not much changed. Violent crime, in general, dropped. Those having to obtain permits for the concealed guns evidently proved to be normal human beings with no ultra-violent tendencies.

As of 1998, no permit holder has ever shot a police officer. But, there have been several cases in which a permit holder has protected an officer's life (Gun control, n.d.).

Evidently, other states took note. Today, about 40 of our 50 states have right-to-carry laws, and, as far as anyone can tell, the murder rate has not increased. In fact, we do know it has fallen since a 1991 peak.

Third, the Second Amendment received another review. Numerous legal scholars declared that the Second Amendment had an undeniable meaning, and on June 26, 2008, the Supreme

Court agreed with that interpretation: that the government cannot take guns away from citizens, and that those citizens have a right (of some uncertain scope) to possess and use firearms to defend themselves and their property.

Ordinary American citizens are not the ones who commit the crimes with handguns, Uzi's, AK-47s, etc. Mychal Massie, chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives, a Washington D.C. think-tank, referring to legislative attempts to create more anti-gun laws aimed at citizens, says this:

"If legislators and anti-gun groups were serious about reducing and/or ending gun crimes, they would turn their wrath toward the criminals. They would direct their attention toward constructive ways to take guns out of the hands of thugs, gangs and abusive spouses. As it is, their efforts are not the solution to gun crimes -- they are part of the problem" (Massie, 2009).

Your neighbor, the gas station owner, the manager of the all-night convenience store are not afraid of responsible owners of guns. No, who they fear are those who belong to gangs, and other criminals with guns -- usually obtained illegally. It is worth re-emphasizing -- all the laws in the land won't stop those who wish others harm from getting and using guns.

But, do citizens really need firearms to protect themselves against the criminal element? Fact: Americans use firearms to defend themselves from criminals at least 764,000 times a year. This figure is the lowest among a group of nine nationwide surveys done by organizations including Gallup and the Los Angeles Times (Gun control, n.d.).

And a final fact may convince some that criminals obtain their weapons illegally. In the early 1990's, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reported that 7% of armed career criminals obtain firearms from licensed gun shops (Gun control, n.d.). So...93% did not!

Gun Control is a Deterrent to Crime

It is clearly in the interests of children and families to reduce gun violence in the United States. Every day, 13 children under adult age are killed by gunfire and more are injured. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for youths 10 -- 19 years old. For black males of this age, it's the No.1 cause of death. Most youth homicides are committed with firearms, especially handguns.

Those who believe in gun control believe that criminals can obtain too many guns too easily. They also believe that a frightening percentage of American people are armed. Of course, the horrific rash of school shootings, workers going "post office" and killing fellow employees, and random killings have made their argument viable. Many blame violence on TV or video games with too much brutality, but they say, in each case both the adults and the youths involved had a way to easily obtain the weapons used in these shootings. Trigger locks on all guns and restrictive measures for gun shows have been a just a couple of the measures supported.

There are four main points that support the fact that gun control does deter crime. The first is that more handguns in circulation can only mean more violent crime. Second, owning a handgun increases a person's risk if being killed. Third, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals prevents violent crime. And, fourth, taking guns away from criminals reduced violent crime.

Those who are in favor of gun control declare that many of the statements against gun control are unfounded. They point to numbers that say that if more U.S. citizens had weapons to defend themselves there would be only a small decrease in crime due to the fact that gun attack victims rarely use guns to fend off those who do.

They also point out that the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in favor of eliminating the Washington D.C. handgun ban was not a ruling in favor of a personal right to bear arms by every U.S. citizen. It was a proclamation that Congress should not displace state militias.

Further repudiation of anti-gun control supporters is the claim that passing compulsory sentencing laws by more states for criminals who use guns when they commit a crime would not be effective because history tells us that these laws do not cut crime.

Those who favor gun control also point out that if waiting periods and background checks were adopted by more states, it would definitely not bring on a "police state" as some anti-control supporters claim. They point out that, since 1994, when the Brady Bill came into law, it has not initiated a plethora of additional actions that have led to this police state, and that there is no logic to the thinking that initiating wait periods would cause such an emergence of a police state mentality, again, as anti-gun control supporters say it would.

In the mid-1990s, gun crimes were substantially reduced in Kansas City. This was accomplished by proactive arrests made by law enforcement in high gun-crime areas, using enforcement of traffic and field questioning of suspects. If the suspects were carrying concealed… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Gun Control Is Not Effective Against Criminals.  (2009, May 8).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-effective-against-criminals/409955

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"Gun Control Is Not Effective Against Criminals."  Essaytown.com.  May 8, 2009.  Accessed May 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-effective-against-criminals/409955.