Essay: Gun Control Legislation

Pages: 4 (1450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Law - Constitutional Law  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Consider what would happen if suddenly private citizens in America were no longer permitted to obtain or possess firearms legally. There would be social upheaval. There would be political upheaval. The country would be discontent. Consider the example of the illegalization of alcohol during the early 20th century in America. When prohibition was in effect, there was still alcohol consumption in America. Illegal alcohol production and distribution became widespread, prevalent, a huge capitalist endeavor albeit in the black market, and there was a lot of violence to enforce it. Alcohol is just as much a part of the American tradition as guns.

Practically, severely limiting the possession of guns takes more than legislation, though the legislation is necessary and should be in place because to no have it would be utterly reckless. Nonetheless, greater and massive social, political, and economic changes would have to take place all over the world in order for severe gun control to truly take hold among private citizens. Some people do not even wish to engage in the debate over gun control and relevant legislation because of the manner in which the debates take place.

In recent years, the gun control debate has taken on the "anything goes" appearance of a professional wrestling match. The rules of intellectually honest debate are ignored. Illicit stratagems designed to gain competitive advantage are as likely to be cheered as jeered. As a member of the audience watching this ugly contest, I have never been quite sure whether to sit back and laugh at the absurdity of it all or to jump in the ring swinging a chair. I finally concluded that a debate in which fallacy so completely obscures reason is not simply unproductive, it is a dangerous way to decide an issue as important as gun control.

Regardless of one's views concerning gun control generally…this Article should give the reader good reason to pause and reassess the means by which the American people will decide the future of guns in this country. (McClurg, The Rhetoric of Gun Control, 1992)

Though this is an issue that many people opine about publically and privately, there is little formal research and debate relative to other important issues such as abortion. In issues that are so hotly contended such as gun control, it is up to the people to debate the issues with literacy and in a civil manner. It may seem counterintuitive to argue about guns in a civil manner, but with issues as dangerous and potentially catastrophic as gun control, it is all the more necessary to conduct the debates as well as compose the legislation with a civil attitude.

Private citizens feel they need to protect themselves by whatever means they have access to whether it is martial arts, a bow and arrow, living a pacifist lifestyle, or owning firearms, all of which are acceptable. People are afraid of criminals, serial killers, and people are afraid of their government. Civil rights and human rights are issues in the forefront of American minds partially because of the government response to terrorist acts. It is unlikely the majority of Americans would feel safe if the only people who possessed firearms were members of the military and law enforcement, particularly when there are frequent and devastating stories in the news media regarding law enforcement and military personnel shooting people mistakenly or unlawfully. It is a basic psychological principle that the more a desire for an object (or person) is denied and suppressed, the greater desire for that object grows, often to the point where the person is overwhelmed and takes impulsive action(s). We do not want that to happen with regard to guns; such feelings in people would result in dangers we do not want to imagine. If people want to legally obtain and possess guns, they should. Gun control legislation should be strict, but it should not make it impossible or excessively arduous for citizens.

References:

Cornell, S., & DeDino, N. (2004) A Well Regulated Right: The Early American Origins of Gun Control. Fordham Law Review, 73(2), 487 -- 523.

Krouse, W.J. (2012) Gun Control Legislation. Congressional Research Service, Available from www.crs.gov. 2012 June 21.

McClurg, A.J. (1992) The Rhetoric of Gun Control. The American University Law Review, 42(53), 54 -- 116.

Parker, J.S. (2001) Guns, Crime, and Academics: Some Reflections on the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Gun Control Legislation.  (2012, June 24).  Retrieved July 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-legislation/8206395

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"Gun Control Legislation."  24 June 2012.  Web.  19 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-legislation/8206395>.

Chicago Format

"Gun Control Legislation."  Essaytown.com.  June 24, 2012.  Accessed July 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-legislation/8206395.