Term Paper: Gun Trafficking

Pages: 7 (2567 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Topic: Law - Constitutional Law  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Gun Control and Gun Trafficking

The objective of this work is the research the relationship between gun control and gun trafficking in an argumentative style of work with the goal of persuading a college-educated audience of the consequences of tighter gun control. Used will be a supply and demand argument such as in the case of alcohol and prohibition and the current issue of illegal drugs vs. legal drugs. This work will conclude with a call to action.

Gun control in the United States is a much-debated issue. According to a debate published by 'Reason Magazine': "Guns and the gun culture are so intertwined with American culture that many Americans perceive guns as utterly, unremarkably normal." (Kohn, Kaminer, Kates and Krauss, 2005) the article goes on to relate that most gun owners are simply "...ordinary people." (Kohn, Kaminer, Kates and Krauss, 2005) Beale (2006) relates that the media often is able to greatly impact public opinion and as well provides coverage of crime that is not of an objective nature. This is important because of the many public policies, the legislation, and the sentencing rules that are affected by media new reporting. Media news reports often escalate the threat of violence in the minds of U.S. citizens and thereby move the mass toward a support for gun control legislation however without the cognition and critical thinking of the mass being engaged but instead merely incited to support legislation through media hype. Legislative proposals for restriction of firearm availability to the public have raised questions relating to the constitutionality of gun control and whether restrictions on gun ownership will actually ensure more safety and the fact is that study findings have failed to show that tighter gun control actually reduces gun crimes. Those who oppose gun control state that argument: "...that it is difficult to keep weapons from being acquired by 'high risk' individuals, even under federal laws and enforcement, as it was intended to stop the sale and use of liquor during Prohibition." (Krouse, 2006)

I. LEGISLATION RELATING to GUN-CONTROL

Two primary federal statutes exist that regulate the "commerce in, and possession of firearms: The National Firearms Act of 1934 (26 U.S.C. 5801 et seq.) and the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended (18 U.S.C. Chapter 44-921 et seq.)." (Krouse, 2006) the National Firearms Act (NFA) was originally designed to cause difficulty in obtaining specific types of firearms that are particularly lethal or that are known to be the weapons most often chosen by organized crime gangs, specifically "...machine guns and short-barreled long guns." (Krouse, 2006) This law regulates firearms that a person may conceal on their body excepting pistols and revolvers, taxes manufacture and distribution of guns, and "compels the disclosure to the production and distribution system from manufacturer to buyer." (Krouse, 2006) the work of Mauser and Kates questions whether availability of weapons actually determine the number of individuals who will be murdered or whether the weapons is not relevant and these types of crimes will continue despite the availability of the weapon.

This issue is also addressed in the work of Roth (2004) which reports a Social Science History Association convention in Chicago, the Crime and Justice forum on the history of gun- ownership, use and violence in the United States. This convention confirmed that 40% of individuals are gun owners presently. The convention notes that study findings show that the murder rate in New York City was not shown to go up or down with the rate of murders in which guns were involved. Guns are more expensive to own in Los Angeles than in New York City however, the proportion of murders with guns was much higher in Los Angeles than in New York City. The argument is presented by panelist Roth that gun violence is not necessarily deterred through low ownership of guns. The work of Koper (2005) reports that federal regulations that require gun dealers to report sales involving multiple guns is advisable and helpful in tracking down gun traffickers. Also reported is that laws restricting gun purchases in specific time periods is also effective in deterring gun crimes. Spaid reports in the Christian Science Monitor that the state of Georgia is one of the "leading sources for gunrunning - firearms illegally trafficked to other regions." (1995) the work of Spaid (1995) relates that between 1990 and 1995 approximately 2,000 handguns recovered by law enforcement were traced to the state of Georgia believed to be due to the "large number of hunters and firearms enthusiasts and gun dealers in the state of Georgia. Those who are 'gunrunners' by trade are able to make cheap purchases of weapons in the state of Georgia and sell them for very high prices in places such as New York City.

The work of James Wright and Kathleen Daly reports research conducting for determining the effectiveness of gun control and state findings that there is no proof to convince the study that gun control impedes the commission of crimes involving guns. (1983) the work of Donohue and Ayres "point to the conclusions of John Lott" who has posited that in conducting statistical analysis findings show that gun control laws actually result in increases in crime instead of decreases. Three points are made in the work of Donohue and Ayers (2003) which are those as follows: (1) There remains no robust, credible statistical evidence that adoption of shall-issue laws will lower crime; the best, yet admittedly imperfect, statistical evidence points in the opposite direction; (2) While the best evidence suggests that shall-issue laws generally tend to increase crime, there is still too much uncertainty to make strong claims about their effects; and (3) One should accept the twenty-four different jurisdiction-specific estimates and conclude that shall-issue laws increase crime in most states but reduce it in other states." (2003)

II. U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs of June 9, 2006 states: "Given the close links between terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking, the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons has the potential to affect any country in the world at any time...Focused efforts to identify and curb the sources and methods of the illicit trade via robust export controls, law enforcement measures, and efforts to expeditiously destroy excess stocks and safeguard legitimate stocks from theft or illegal transfer are the best ways to attack the problem." (U.S. Department of State, 2006) Additionally stated is the fact that: "The ready availability of military-grade SA/LW to weak and failing states, criminals, and terrorists in the latter half of the 20th Century contributed to conflicts and lawlessness that collectively threatened lives, social stability, and the rule of law on a scale heretofore caused by major conventional wars." (U.S. Department of State, 2006) the question of the position of the U.S. government in terms of compliance with U.N. programs on international gun regulations is stated as: "The United States will oppose any proposal that would infringe or restrict the current ability of civilians in the United States to lawfully sell, acquire, possess, or use SA/LW or to engage in SA/LW manufacture or commerce that is consistent with U.S. law. Furthermore, the 2001 Program of Action does not address lawful civilian ownership or use of firearms nor should this new issue be introduced to it. Rather, the Program of Action deals only with illicit international trafficking in SA/LW and its focus must remain on such trafficking. Regulation of civilian ownership and use should be determined solely by duly-elected national parliaments and consistent with their countries' respective constitutions." (U.S. Department of State, 2006)

II. OPPONENTS to GUN CONTROL

The WorldNetDaily reports that the NRA (National Rifle Association) has warned of U.S. participation in U.N. gun control and states that the Second Amendment advocates view the U.N.'s objective in gun control as a threat to the security of citizens in the United States. In fact, NRA president, LaPierre states that the "ultimate protection against tyranny" is individual ownership of guns. Sarah Foster writes in the article entitled: "The 40-Year Gun Grab: '60 Disarmament Plan Still Going Strong, Say U.N. Critics" that for almost 40 years an organization: "...on the political right have sounded the alarm over a seemingly absurd scenario -- that gun control legislation was actually a key part of a plan for total national disarmament and the eventual replacement of United States troops by a United Nations army as part of the law enforcement arm of a one-world government." (1999) Central to this issue is a State Department pamphlet that was released in 1961 under the name "Freedom From War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World" which called for the following: (1) the disbanding of all national armed forces and the prohibition of their re-establishment in any form whatsoever other than those required to preserve internal order and for contributions to a United Nations Peace Force; and (2) the elimination from national arsenals of all armaments, including… [END OF PREVIEW]

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