Essay on Gun Control
Eighty. It was the age of Moses when he spoke pertaining to his people. It is the highest score possible on each section of the PSAT.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice wore the number eighty on his San Francisco 49er’s jersey. Unfortunately, the number eighty is also the number of people who are killed by the use of guns every day in the United States, on average (Kristof). It may be a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but when it takes away the lives of U.S. citizens, some changes must be made.
Access to guns has become too simple and certain ramifications must be taken. There was a man by the name of Jared Loughner, who was considered too mentally unstable to attend community college. He was also rejected by the Army. Though, this did not stop him from purchasing a Glock handgun and a 33-round magazine (Kristof). Even people who are gun fanatics believe the restrictions to acquiring a gun are too laid back.
A 2006 study shows that “69% of NRA (National Rifle Association) members are in favor of all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of people buying guns,” (Gun Control’s…). Although there are many supporters of gun control, legislation has still been difficult to achieve. In Richard Davis’ “Simplistic Assault on Guns Doesn’t Target the Bad Guys,” it states in Washington, Initiative 676, trigger lock and licensing measures failed by a 71-29 margin. The same article tells us that nationally, a child is 100 times more likely to die accidentally in a swimming pool then in gunplay. With a statistic such as this, it is easy to overlook the dangers of guns.
If you hold a gun in your house, you are much more likely to be shot accidentally –homicide or suicide (Kristof). Nevertheless, guns are still permissible in the home due to the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. A study by the NRA-ILA declared that the Right-to-Carry is in effect in 40 states. This means that 40 states allow their citizens to carry a gun outside of the home for self-defense purposes. 37 of these states require that carry permits be issued to applicants who meet standards established by the state legislature.
Also, 24 states have enacted the Castle Doctrine, or the right to protect one’s house or any other place described in legislature (car, workplace, etc.) (Right-to-Carry 2010). Many states have made strides in legislature to try and prevent further killings from happening whether accidental or intentional. With these legislative advancements, guns have become less of a problem in our society. Guns were the cause of only 17% of the 16,341 fatal injuries in the first half-decade. Of these, only 554 were homicides, leaving 2,073 as suicidal (Davis).
With mandatory criminal background checks and mental health inspections, the amount of incidental and intentional deaths by firearm could be decreased even further. ? Kristof, Nicholas D. “Why Not Regulate Guns as Seriously as Toys?” The New York Times 12 Jan 2011. “Gun Control’s NRA Supporters.” Los Angeles Times 16 December, 2009.
Davis, Richard S. “Simplistic Assault on Guns Doesn’t Target the Bad Guys.” The Everett Herald 10 May 2006. “Right-to-Carry 2010.” NRA-ILA.
2010. http://nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=18 (26 May 2011)