Term Paper: Gun Control, Including Counter Arguments

Pages: 7 (2316 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Law - Constitutional Law  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Another expert writes, "Three decades of polling have painted a clear picture of public opinion about gun control. These polls show that public support for the regulation of firearms is strong, deep, and widespread" (Smith, 2002). Many proponents believe gun control would reduce violent crime, and that specific gun control measures, such as handgun control, would be even more suitable for controlling many violent crimes. In fact, 70% of Americans would support legislation that would ban any handgun ownership by convicted criminals, even if it made it harder for an ordinary citizen to buy a handgun (Smith, 2002). This is one reason the argument about gun control will not disappear, because so many Americans believe there should be at least some controls on certain types of weapons. This does not mean that most Americans support all types of gun control. In fact, only 13% of the people support a total ban on guns of any sort (Smith, 2002).

Child Safety

A very serious element of the pro-gun control argument is child and youth safety, which is why many supporters want guns sold with gunlocks or other safety measures. Author Smith continues, "Nearly 86% of survey respondents supported requiring that all new handguns be designed so that they 'cannot be fired by a young child's small hands.' And more than 76% believed that owners should be held liable if a gun is not stored properly and is misused by a child" (Smith, 2002). Many states regulate firearm safety and children, and parents should use common sense and keep handguns and all guns unloaded and locked away when there are children in the household.

Since it has been shown that many guns used in crimes are obtained illegally, many pro-gun control supporters back the idea of mandatory gun theft reporting in all the states. Traditionally, gun dealers are required to report stolen guns, but private parties are not, and this is where most stolen guns come from. Johns Hopkins University has studied the problem and urges states to adopt laws such as Maryland has adopted, which require gun owners to report any stolen guns immediately (Editors, 2003). The law has helped regulate handgun sales, and has helped in police recovering stolen weapons, as well (Webster, 2007)).

Another argument about gun control that many supporters make is that federal legislation should be stronger, and that certain types of guns, like cheap handguns or assault weapons should be banned entirely. They believe that national organizations, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), have considerable influence over the Congress, and this is why more national regulations have not been passed. A group of researchers studied this issue and determined they may be correct. They write, "This study has found a strong and consistent relationship between the amount of money received and a Congressional member's position on firearm legislation. In other words, votes for gun rights were significantly more likely to be from Congressional members who received contributions from gun interests" (Price, Dake & Thompson, 2002). They include tables that indicate which Congresspeople received direct contributions from gun control opponents, and how they voted, to back up their data, and the largest number voted against gun control measures who had received contributions from concerned groups and individuals.

In conclusion, while there are some viable arguments for some types of gun control, (on assault weapons, for example), studies and data indicate that gun control would really have very little effect on crime in America today. While a majority of Americans seem to favor some type of gun control, especially for child safety, stringent gun control would serve little in making American society safer. Statistics show that a majority of criminals who use guns would use them anyway, because they acquire them through illegal means that gun control could not address, and that a very small minority of overall crimes are committed with a gun. Gun control to reduce crime is a myth, and more Americans should understand that.

References

Beachler, D.W. (2003). Militias and segregationists: The politics of low turnout elections in the United States. Polity, 35(3), 441+.

Editors. (2003). Fact sheet: Stolen guns. Retrieved 6 July 2009 from the Johns Hopkins University Web site: http://www.jhsph.edu/gunpolicy/guns_theft_fs.pdf.

Moorhouse, J.C., & Wanner, B. (2006). Does gun control reduce crime or does crime increase gun control? The Cato Journal, 26(1), 103+.

Payne, B.K., & Riedel, R. (2002). Gun control attitudes and the criminal justice student: Do differences exist? College Student Journal, 36(2), 314+.

Price, J.H., Dake, J.A., & Thompson, A.J. (2002). Congressional voting behavior on firearm control legislation: 1993-2000. Journal of Community Health, 27(6), 419+.

Smith, T.W. (2002). Public opinion about gun policies. The Future of Children, 12(2), 155+.

Stell, L.K. (2004). The production of criminal violence in America: Is strict gun control the solution? Journal of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Gun Control, Including Counter Arguments.  (2009, July 6).  Retrieved September 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-including-counter-arguments/70010

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"Gun Control, Including Counter Arguments."  Essaytown.com.  July 6, 2009.  Accessed September 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-including-counter-arguments/70010.