Gun Control

By: Diet E-mail: [emailprotected] Gun Control Americans are faced with an ever-growing problem of violence. Our streets have become a battleground where the elderly are beaten for their social security checks, where terrified women are viciously attacked and raped, where teen-age gangsters shoot it out for a patch of turf to sell their illegal drugs, and where innocent children are caught daily in the crossfire of drive-by shootings. We cannot ignore the damage that these criminals are doing to our society, and we must take actions to stop these horrors. However, the effort by some misguided individuals to eliminate the legal ownership of firearms does not address the real problem at hand, and simply disarms the innocent law-abiding citizens who are most in need of a form of self-defense. To fully understand the reasons behind the gun control efforts, we must look at the history of our country, and the role firearms have played in it. The second amendment to the Constitution of the United States makes firearm ownership legal in this country.

There were good reasons for this freedom, reasons, which persist today. Firearms in the new world were used initially for hunting, and occasionally for self-defense. However, when the colonists felt that the burden of British oppression was too much for them to bear, they picked up their personal firearms and went to war. Standing against the British armies, these rebels found themselves opposed by the greatest military force in the world at that time. The 18th century witnessed the height of the British Empire, but the rough band of colonial freedom fighters discovered the power of the Minuteman, the average American gun owner.

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These Minutemen, so named because they would pick up their personal guns and jump to the defense of their country on a minute’s notice, served a major part in winning the American Revolution. The founding fathers of this country understood that an armed populace was instrumental in fighting off oppression, and they made the right to keep and bear arms a constitutionally guaranteed right. Over the years, some of the reasons for owning firearms have changed. As our country grew into a strong nation, we expanded westward, exploring the wilderness, and building new towns on the frontier. Typically, these new towns were far away from the centers of civilization, and the only law they had was dispensed by townsfolk through the barrel of a gun. Crime existed, but could be minimized when the townspeople fought back against the criminals. Eventually, these organized townspeople developed police forces as their towns grew in size. Fewer people carried their firearms on the street, but the firearms were always there, ready to be used in self-defense.

It was after the Civil War that the first gun-control advocates came into existence. These were southern leaders who were afraid that the newly freed black slaves would assert their newfound political rights, and these leaders wanted to make it easier to oppress the free blacks. This oppression was accomplished by passing laws making it illegal in many places for black people to own firearms. With that effort, they assured themselves that the black population would be subject to their control, and would not have the ability to fight back. At the same time, the people who were most intent on denying black people their basic rights walked around with their firearms, making it impossible to resist their efforts. An unarmed man stands little chance against an armed one, and these armed men saw their plans work completely.

It was a full century before the civil rights activists of the 1960s were able to restore the constitutional freedoms that blacks in this country were granted in the 1860s. Today’s gun control activists are a slightly different breed. They claim that gun violence in this country has gotten to a point where something must be done to stop it.

They would like to see criminals disarmed, and they want the random violence to stop. I agree with their sentiments. However, they are going about it in the wrong way. While claiming that they want to take guns out of the hands of criminals, they work to pass legislation that would take the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens instead. For this reason the efforts at gun control do not address the real problem of crime. The simple definition of a criminal is someone who does not obey the law.

Therefore, if we pass laws restricting ownership of firearms, which category of people does it affect? The simple answer is that gun control laws affect law-abiding citizens only. By their very nature, the criminals will continue to violate these new laws, they will continue to carry their firearms, and they will find their efforts at crime much easier when they know that their victims will be unarmed. The situation is similar to that of the disarmed blacks a century ago. Innocent people are turned into victims when new laws make it impossible for them to fight back. An unarmed man stands little chance against an armed one. An interesting recent development has been the backlash against the gun-control advocates.

In many states, including Florida and Texas, citizens have stated that they want to preserve their right to carry firearms for self-defense. Since the late 1980s, Florida has been issuing concealed weapons permits to law-abiding citizens, and these citizens have been carrying their firearms to defend themselves from rampant crime. The result is that the incidence of violent crime has actually dropped in contrast to the national average. Previously, Florida had been leading the nation in this category, and the citizens of that state have welcomed the change. Gun control advocates tried to claim that there would be bloodshed in the streets when these citizens were given the right to carry. They tried to claim that the cities of Florida would become like Dodge City with shoot outs on every street corner. These gun control advocates were wrong.

Over 200,000 concealed carry permits have been issued so far, with only 36 of these permits revoked for improper use of a firearm. This statistic is easy to understand. It is the law-abiding citizens who are going through the process of getting concealed carry permits so that they may legally carry a firearm. Th e people who go through this legal process do not want to break the law, and they do not intend to break the law. The people who do intend to break the law will carry their guns whether or not the law allows them to do so. Criminals will always find ways to get guns.

In this country we have criminalized the use, possession, sale, and transportation of many kinds of narcotics, but it’s still easy for someone to take a ride and purchase the drugs of their choice at street corner vendors. Firearms and ammunition would be just as easy for these black-market entrepreneurs to deliver to their customers. Today, criminals often carry illegal weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, and homemade zip-guns, clearly showing their disregard for the current laws which make these items illegal. And when they are caught, the courts regularly dismiss these lesser weapons charges when prosecuting for the more serious charges that are being committed with the weapons.

The gun control advocates have argued their case by demonizing the gun itself, rather than addressing the people who commit violent crimes. This is the main fallacy in their argument. They slyly attempt to claim that possession of a gun turns average citizens into bloodthirsty lunatics.

This theory falls apart under close scrutiny. If legal possession of a firearm caused this sort of attitude, then why are crime rates highest in areas such as Washington, D.C.

and New York City which have strict gun control laws? Simply because of the free law that allow any body can get a gun. The most recent efforts of the gun control lobby has been to claim that certain types of guns and ammunition are inherently evil. They assign emotional catch phrases such as “assault weapons” and “cop killer bullets” to broad categories of firearms and ammunition in the hopes that people will believe that some guns have an evil nature. Most people who are unfamiliar with firearms do not fully understand what these phrases mean, and they accept the terms being used without question. What people do not often understand is that the term “assault weapon” has been defined to include all semi- automatic rifles, and “cop killer” has been defined to include any bullet that can penetrate type two body armor. It comes as a surprise to most people that a large number of simple hunting rifles can do both. Does ownership of one of these weapons cause people to become mass murderers? It does not, and we must not fall into the trap of blaming the sword for the hand that wields it.

So I’ve shown that the act of making it illegal to own firearms does little to prevent criminals from getting guns. These laws only restrict people who respect the law itself, the people who would only use firearms for legal purposes anyway. And when we give people the right to defend themselves, we find that criminals start looking for other victims out of fear that they will become the victims themselves. We must work to reduce crime in the world, but we should look at the problem realistically, and develop plans that would be effective. It is obvious that gun control laws are neither realistic, nor effective in reducing crime. Therefore, we must direct our efforts toward controlling crime, not controlling legal ownership of firearms.

Word Count: 1606

Gun Control

AMERICAN VALUES MOTHERS DAY IN FEDERAL PRISON. Responsive reader questions 1-3.What would you include in capsule portraits or thumbnail sketches of the women inmates Coyne describes in her article? What kind of people are they?Included in a capsule filled with the portraits or thumbnail sketches of the women inmates, Coyne describes in her article, at Federal Prison Camp for women in Pekin, Illinois would be many personal items. One thing would be certain is that the Mothers Day flower given to the mothers would be included in the capsule. Next the dress made by the inmates would be included for two reasons. The first reason is to show that the inmates did not have to be in prison uniforms for Mothers Day and second to show how important Mothers Day is to the inmates. The clothing they wear symbolizes their excitement about Mothers Day and the hard work the inmates put into the preparation of the important day.A good portion of the inmates in the minimum-security prison are normal women that were either in the wrong place at the wrong time or made a mistake in life.

Yet when they are with their families on Mothers Day it looks seems to be as if the prison doesnt truly exist, do to the amount of joy filling the visiting room. Is there a common element or common denominator in the histories of the inmates? Is there anything to be learned from their stories?The common element that happens to be in the histories of the inmates is that they are not hard core criminals. If anything most of them are innocent, and only guilty of helping a love one with no idea of what was happening. In fact the main thing said by the families of the inmates is why should my love one be in here when there are worse criminals in the world.

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From all of this one can learn that no matter how well you know someone always ask why. If half of the women in this article just asked why they more or likely would not be in the position they happen to be in their present state.In what ways is the jail Coyne visited a womans world? Which of the scenes or details Coyne records do you think would be missing or different in the visiting room of a prison for men?The jail Coyne visited is a womans world do mainly to the fact that it is a woman facility. For instance if one was ever to visit a prison for men on fathers day the men would not be getting flowers, nor would they be taking their kids in their arms and smelling every body part they own. Also it is very unlikely that the men would be stylish in their clothing due to the fact they more or likely dont know how to create clothing.TIME Responsive Reader questions 1-3Can you empathize with the author of this account of prison life? Why or why not? What kind of person is he? How did the prison experience affect him? How did it shape his attitude toward life?If you were ever in a bank that was being robbed while you were there 99.9% of your emotions would be that of fear.

In that same sense one can not empathize for the author of this account of prison life. Because of his wrong doing he has scared people for life about the idea of ever entering a bank again. He had done a crime in which he got caught and had to do the time. He seems to be a very kind and intelligent person, yet maybe a little to immature and one that is more of a follower than a leader. Other wise he would have set an example with Tony and brushed him off. This time in prison affect and shaped his attitude toward life. First he had a lot of emotional things to deal with. One was about the fact that his lady left him for another man.

That of all must be the worst thing one must go through while in jail. Yet in another sense he created a greater connection between himself and God. While in jail he was able to increase his knowledge in the literary would and also in the spiritual world.How do the different inmates McCall remembers deal with doing time? How do they cope? What strategies do they develop, and how successful are these?From what McCall said it seems that all the inmates or a good portion of the inmates deal with their time through emotions. Some of the men just sit there and take it but others try and kill them selves because its to hard. Yet a good portion of the inmates deal with it through anger and taking it out on other people. Really none of them cope with the time, they have really no choice but to do it, and thats what in angers them. Some of the things they do, are keep journals, play chess, work out and other stuff.

Yet like all things you can only do it for so long till it gets boarding so most of the strategies they develop are not all that successful.Many stories of prison life focus on trying to survive in a brutally violent environment. For the author, what is the point of the story he tells about his confrontation with Tony? What is the point or the lesson of the story for you?The point of the story McCall tells about his confrontation with Tony describes how hard prison life is. In the real world he might never have actually threaten Tonys life, yet in prison you can not be seen as a week individual. In prison week individuals are the ones that get taken advantage of in more than one way. The reason for this is that the inmates know that no matter what they do to this person they wont retaliate. The story points out that under any circumstance of prison life and no matter how much you say you wont become like the other prisoners you always will.Social Issues Essays


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