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Guns in America

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Kenneth Thompson

Professor Victor Benning

English 1101

27 March 2013

Guns in America

There are over 223 million guns in the homes of 80 million Americans. Gun control is needed now more than ever in today’s society. The rate of violent crimes associated with guns is rising each and every day. The second Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed " (Now is the Time). Recently there have been proposals of new gun control laws because of the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Tucson. There are many pros and cons to these proposals, but the right laws must be changed in order to be effective and fair to everyone. Although this debate has been intense, new measures must be taken to agree with the current issues in today’s society.

The President of The United States has given many examples why gun control laws need amending. On January 8, 2011 U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford didn’t expect to hear gunfire ring out early that morning during her town hall meeting in Tucson, AZ. Gifford was shot in the head and survived, but also had a long tough recovery. A total of six were killed and thirteen were injured. Among those killed was a nine-year-old little girl, one of Gifford’s staff members and a federal judge. President Obama spoke at the memorial service of the victims and urged Americans to talk about the reasoning behind tragedies like this. “We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future ” (Now is the time).

On July 20, 2012 a gunman opened fire in a movie theatre in Aurora, CO. A total of twelve people were killed and fifty-eight were injured. A few weeks after this incident, a shooting left four wounded, and six dead at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI.  After all these tragedies happening back to back, no one expected the next tragic event would take place. On December 12, 2012 a gunman broke in to Sandy Hook Elementary School and started shooting. Twenty children were killed along with the school principal, psychologist, and six other teachers! This was one of the worst school shootings in American history, and would lead to the president becoming pro-active about reducing gun violence in America. The Obama administration came up with proposals for gun control and they are listed as follows:

1. Require background checks for all gun sales 2. Strengthen the background check system for gun sales 3. Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons 4. Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds 5. Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets 6. Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crimes 7. End the freeze on gun violence research 8. Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response plans, and more nurturing school climates 8. Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people (Now is the time).

The opposing side of gun control argues that laws do not accomplish what they set out to do. These laws do not keep weapons out of the hands of “high Risk” individuals under State or Federal Laws. Their perspective is that a more government regulatory system of gun control will only create more problems, and affect the civil rights and safety of law-abiding citizens. Associations such as the NRA feel that guns are not only privately owned for recreational purposes such as hunting and target practice, but are owned to protect property and self defense. Law enforcement within itself does not give one adequate comfort in today’s society. Gun ownership usually gives the feeling of more protection within the community (Gun Control).

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