Gun Control in the U.S.


Gun control, as we know it, consists of the government 
restricting the ability of individual citizens to purchase weapons. 
The different types of gun control vary from waiting periods between 
when you purchase the gun and when you actually get it, background 
checks so that high-risk people can't purchase guns through legal 
channels, and completely banning certain types of guns. There are 
countless ways for criminals to avoid these government regulations, 
causing them to only render the ability of innocent citizens 
protecting their home and family's ability to purchase guns.

 The "waiting period" method of gun control is basically a 
two-step process. The first step in the procedure is that the person 
wanting a gun goes to his local shop (or calls a reputable mail order 
outlet) to place the initial order. Then, he must wait one to two 
weeks while the government performs a small background check for past 
criminal activities, disorderly conduct, or lack of mental/emotional 
stability. During this time, if the purchaser of the gun wanted the 
gun for impulse reasons (out of rage), it is hoped that they will not 
still want to cause bodily harm after a couple weeks.

 The problem with this method of gun control is that it stops 
the ordinary citizen from purchasing a gun on the whim, but it 
actually protects the common criminal. Underage buyers and other 
delinquents can purchase mass quantities of weapons through "dummy 
buyers" that have clean backgrounds. So if a burglar enters a house 
with full intention to maim or kill, the innocent victim (who can't 
get a gun to protect his family because he was arrested for drunk 
driving seven years ago) is simply a victim of a law that supports 
black market trade. There are over 200 million registered guns in 
circulation (Larson), and they are the ones that will not be killing 
our children. The unregistered ones are owned by murderers, rapists, 
and thieves.

 Another practiced technique of preventing dangerous firearms 
from killing honest people is to ban an entire type of weapon. The 
AK-47 is a commonly-used example of that. Again, the criminals still 
have limited access to the weapon through underground channels, but 
these banned weapons are so powerful that there is really is not 
practical purpose for them in the home (or in hunting).

 This can easily be adverted by the common criminal who knows 
anything about the way guns are assembled. A semi-automatic machine 
gun can be converted into a fully-automatic gun with a little 
handcraft. A shotgun can become a bloody powerful weapon by 
sawing-off the tip of it. Obviously, new methods of gun control are 
needed to produce desired results. In the first half of 1991, fifty 
children under the age of seventeen had been shot to death. If we 
continue to monitor the sale of firearms, there must be new techniques 
that can watch where the guns end up. And if we decide that we 
can/will not go down that track, we must make that judgement 
earnestly, and without haste, because it will decide the future of The 
United State of America as we know it.


Larson, Erik. "The Story of a Gun", The Atlantic Monthly. January 1993

Pooley, Eric. "Kids with Guns." , New York. August 5, 1991.


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