Gun Control


AI say all guns are good guns. There are no bad guns. I say the whole
nation should be an armed nation. Period.@ This rather bold statement was
made by Joseph Foss. Former Governor Joseph Foss, a former fighter pilot
for the US Air Force, is the current President of the NRA, or National
Rifle Association (Lacayo 16). The NRA is a special interest group known
by many. Its members are stereotyped to be a group of >truck-driving=,
pompous, huntsmen. Indeed this is partially true, as 97% of all NRA
members are suburban men. Because the organization is a more >Domestic
Blend=, it is a surprising fact that the NRA is a powerful lobbyist
organization. And skeptically viewed upon by many people (Lacayo 19). As
a lobbyist organization, the NRA has a current main objective of
protecting American citizens= rights, to possess and operate a firearm,
form being violated by gun control laws. One of the NRA=s main weapons in
this crusade is the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. The amendment=s translation in the eyes of the NRA and
many American citizens, clearly protects the individual rights of all
citizens to possess and operate firearms. This would easily make any and
all gun control laws unconstitutional. And therefore illegal. This
translation, however, is not accepted by all people. Including the United States Government. They believe that the amendment guaranteed no right
for individual citizens to possess weaponry, but merely allowed for the
government to form and maintain an armed service (IE. United States Army,
US. Navy). Because of the different translations of our constitution, gun
control can be viewed by different people in different ways (Lacayo 20). 
Some of the many gun control bans and laws wich are under constant
hellfire from the NRA are those pertaining to self-defense. Under current
laws, like those of Texas, require that people MUST retreat and be pursued
by the intruder before any means of force could be taken upon the would-be
attacker. Unfortunately, arguments of >criminal=s rights=, and >excessive
force=, put to rest thoughts of a possible veto of some bans. With some
effort from anti-gun control groups, such as the NRA, some of these laws
have been lifted. Also, laws pertaining to self-defense and property
protection have come to be passed as well. Some laws also help to protect
homeowners form civil suites made by wounded would-be attackers/intruders
(Ward F3). 
 Another example of unwanted (and unneeded) gun violence
restriction laws, was the famous AK-47 crisis. Due to governmental
handgun bans, the military issue AK-47 became easily accessible, due to
the extended barrel, wich allowed the assault weapon to fall under more
lenient gun bans. The weapon quickly became a favorite weapon of thieves
and one wich created many a drive-by-shooting victim. In one such case,
an AK-47 was used in the massacre of many school children. The rifle had
been attained legally. One can begin to wonder just how many of these
violent crimes could have been prevented by a self-defense weapon. The
attacks by the automatic assault weapon eventually led to more strict
assault weapon bans (Hancock C2). Nevertheless, the percentile of assault
weapons related to violent crimes has in facet decreased only a minuscule
amount. Wich tends to lead experts to believe that many assault weapon
related crimes were done with illegal weapons. After all, it would be
somewhat illogical of people to commit crimes wich were easily traced back
to them by means of a simple background check of assault weapon owners
(Hancock C2). It should be noted, that not all forms of gun control are
intolerable. 73% of the 70 million gun owners in America declared that
mandatory gun registration exist. 87% of the voters stated that
background checks be required (Lacayo 17). One form of gun control wich
was very minutely argued, was the AToys for Guns@, incentive. The
incentive allowed for $100 in toys, to be given to anyone who turns in a
weapon. It was viewed as a safe way to get guns off the street. It was,
however, considered an unsuccessful action. The guns recovered were not
considered to be those that were being used in violent crime (the weapons
the incentive was aimed at). Only 317 weapons were recovered. I
personally was surprised that >entrapment= wasn=t called on this one
(Silvers C11). The past few actions were relatively unopposed by the NRA. 
As they were not active attempts to restrict the individual rights of
firearm possession. The acts below however, are examples of >undesired=
gun control methods. In recent years, councilmen passed acts to limit
weaponry. New restrictions not only allowed for the sale of personal
weaponry to be sold further (in an attempt to keep firearm levels at a
constant), but also to have particular weapons to be collected from homes,
and removed from the city and destroyed (Spielman C1). Transportation of
weaponry also came under fire. Firearms could not be brought to gun
stores or clubs, unless the weapons were disassembled and made inoperable. 
Any vehicle containing a weapon was immediately seized, and searched. 
Available to the owner again only after severe penalties were paid
(Speilman C1). Some bills wich had been attempted to have been passed
called for the forbiddance of sale of firearms to known gang members. And
also called for the right to search for weapons on the persons of anyone
who was loitering. Through some effort of anti-gun control campaigns and
petitions, the bills were vetoed (Spielman C1). Although the ban of guns
and gun related items will indeed help to lower violent crime, it can also
lead to an increase. If a criminal with an illegally attained firearm
goes and attempts a violent crime, with the reassurance of his own health
because the person he intended to injure would not be able to defend
themselves...Then the crime would more likely be more violent. By taking
guns away from the people, you take away some of the defense that person
has for his or her family, property, and life. Self-defense is a great
cause for the purchase of a weapon. In the run-around of gun control laws
between the NRA, and Mr. Brady, it begins to seem as if the issue is no
longer as important as who wins. I believe that common sense should be
used more in these issues, instead of statistics. There is no
parenthetical reference for this paragraph, as it is my opinion. Guns
were invented hundreds of years ago. The purpose of the weapons were to
allow a small man to be as powerful as a big man. They were built to
protect the weak from the strong. Guns restriction merely allows the
stronger to conquer the weak, as was done in the day of the sword and
spear (Peterson 10). I should hope we live in a more sophisticated time. 
Thank you. 


Ward, Mike. AProposals Give More Leeway for Self-Defense.@ Austin American-
Standard 7
Mar.1995 :F3. 

Hancock, David. AHandgun Is Harder To Buy Than AK-47.@ Miami Herald 24 Jul.
1992: C2-C3.

Peterson, Harold L. A History of Firearms. New York: Charles Scribner=s sons,

Lacayo, Richard. AWho is the NRA?@ Time-The Weekly Magazine 29 Jan. 1990:

Speilman, Fran. ACouncil Approves Tougher Gun Laws.@ Chicago Sun Times 8 Jul.
1992: C1.

Silvers, Susan. ALandmark Norwalk Kids Store Offers Toys-for-Guns Incentive.@
 Post 30 Dec. 1993: G11.

Travers, Bridget. World of Invention. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. 1994.

-By Joshua A. Novak


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