Ap Government And Politics Criminology Essay

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In the past twenty years gun control has become one of the most controversial topics in the United States. With public shootings becoming more popular, citizens are now pushing for stricter gun regulations harder than ever. Many citizens are opposing these regulations feeling that this would be threat to their rights as an American citizen. I believe that certain regulations against certain guns and people are okay and understandable, but stricter laws than what we already have are nowhere near necessary. With the American citizens in dispute the Government is trying to come to a compromise on these proposed laws.

Gun regulations are very broad and not impossible to get around. Fully automatic weapons are now nearly impossible to get and you can only do so with extremely deep background checks and a certain permit. This I can understand, why would the average citizen need to have a machine gun? Though I do not believe restrictions on weapons used for hunting, sport shooting and self protection need to be strengthened. There is truly no need for this you are doing more harm than good. By strengthening regulations on guns you are punishing many who have done nothing wrong. "There are 45 million Americans that consider themselves hunters" stated in [source 6], by strengthening these laws you would already be punishing all of them for events they could and cannot control. I do not believe hunters should have to possibly face these potential laws placed against them when all they are doing is using guns for sport. Why should this group of 45 million Americans have to go through this to just do what they love? Hunters, such as myself should not have to face these restrictions as if we were criminals and doing something wrong.

Putting laws on certain weapons such as bolt action rifles will do much more harm than good. Restrictions on weapons are hurting the law abiding citizens because they are the ones who will actually follow the laws placed upon them. Criminals will be the citizens that benefit from this, and even if a killer does not have a gun those who want to kill will kill, whether it is with a knife, gun, or even their hands. A murderer will not obey the laws nor will drug dealers, thieves or even your common "gangster". Your common citizen will be left defenseless while all of your criminals are left armed. By having no guns you are practically a sitting duck for all sorts of criminals, would you like that?

In 2008 there were 5,340,000 violent crimes committed in the United States, only 8% were committed with someone carrying a gun stated in [source 5]. This disproves the thought of everyone thinking less guns means less crime. Criminals do not always have guns with them so this will not reduce the crime rate if anything it will rise from tighter restrictions on guns. I believe that after many of the school shootings people believe that gun restrictions will completely cure this. These murderers had a task and they just chose to do it with a gun because it was the simplest thing they could use. If restrictions were tighter on guns and they could not manage to find guns I believe that these murderers would of found another way to kill at these schools. They could just as easily make a bomb and cause an explosion that would cause just as much damage if not more. Gun laws will not restrict people from killing each other, it never has.

Mexico is one of the hardest countries to obtain a gun in yet it has an extremely high crime rate. Though guns are not easy to buy the criminals or drug cartels have no problem getting their hands on them. Latin America has strict rules on guns and are now facing high violence in many of their countries "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns", because criminals know that the civilians are mostly defenseless they have no problems getting their crimes done. If there were no regulations on guns or even less strict regulations crime rates would lower because more citizens would be armed and could defend themselves. In the 1970's Jamaica tightened their gun laws and witnessed a rise in crime. Drug cartels began to overtake the country and murder rates rose in all major cities such as Kingston. It has been proven multiple times that strengthening our gun laws will do nothing for the better of our country. [Source 7]

In The United States, the Second Amendment gives all citizens the "Right to bear arms". This means that U.S. citizens have the right to own a firearm, with the right qualifications. American citizens obtained this right for two main reasons. One reason being the ability to protect themselves from foreign countries that could possibly attack. With this citizen's owning guns would make forming a militia much easier. The second reason is to protect themselves from our own government. This is because if another revolution was necessary then the government would not have the upper hand by having defenseless citizens. The citizens would be armed and ready to revolt if they had to instead of being left unarmed if they were to revolt. The Second amendment is often used as a counter argument to any person trying to argue for stricter gun laws. Which I believe is very good material our founding father wrote this in to the constitution for a reason. I believe this was done for the public's own good and citizens have every right to defend there position in this situation. This Amendment is doing more good than harm by far; it leaves most American citizens with the right to have a firearm, therefore giving them a source of protection. This Amendment is now becoming one of the most controversial rights in America.

There are three main types of firearms, those being a rifle, shotgun and a handgun. They are all used for different situations and some types of guns are harder to obtain than others. Different specifications on all three types of these guns are now under pressure from possibly new gun restrictions.

A rifle is a gun that has spirally grooves running through the barrel, and is usually used for long range shooting, but not always. Rifles are the most commonly used gun for hunting. They can be used in close and long range situations while hunting. Rifles are often used by snipers in the military therefore picking up the name "sniper rifle". Most rifles are what you would call "bolt actions". This action is very simple and sufficient, to maneuver this you simply lift up on the bolt, pull back and then push forward and this should put a round into the chamber of the gun. Bolt actions cannot be fired rapidly because you must work the bolt each time before firing. This is why rifles are commonly used for hunting because when hunting why would you need a machine gun? Rifles are a popular hunting weapon throughout America and now hunters are facing problems with new proposed gun laws.

Shotguns are guns that fire small pellets or BBs at a short range. There are multiple types of shotguns those being a single shot, semi automatic, pump actions and double barrels. Double barrels can be either a side by side or an over and under. A side by side shot gun has two barrels that are place adjacent to each other. An over and under has two barrels one placed right above the other. Though these guns have two barrels they can only shoot one round at a time. A single shot means that the gun can only hold and fire one round at a time. Semi automatics chamber rounds themselves and all you must do to fire is pull the trigger. A pump action is manually re-chambered each time you "pump" the gun. When pumped the gun grabs a shell from the magazine and loads it into the chamber and then fires when the trigger is pulled. Shotguns are often used for short range situations. They also along with rifles are used mostly for hunting, but also self protection. Shotguns have many different types or also called gauges. Some are a 10, 12, 16 20 and 28. The lower the number gauge the more pellets packed into the shell. Shotgun pellets range in size depending on the game being hunted. Shotguns have features called plugs which limit the amounts of rounds you can keep in your magazine. In Arizona you must have a plug in a shotgun limiting the amount of rounds in your gun to three [Source 8]. Shotguns are one of the most popular hunting weapons and also used for personal defense. So why punish those using them for the right reasons and doing nothing illegal because a small percent of citizens are committing crimes with firearms?

Handguns are small handheld firearms and are mostly used for self defense, but can be used for some types of hunting. Handguns are the most popular choice for criminals and this is for many reasons. Handguns can be easily concealed and disposed of after committing a crime because of their size. Also criminals like them because they are light and can be quickly drawn for heated situations. It is estimated that there are around 52,000,000 handguns in circulation today [Source 2]. Strengthening gun laws on any type of gun even handguns is wrong, just because many criminals do posses a handgun does not mean all handguns are used for evil. Handguns face heavy persecution, but I believe taking handguns away would take away many civilians way of protection away. Therefore stricter laws will on handguns or any tpe of gun will leave civilians defenseless.

Semi automatic weapons are now wanted by many to become illegal or have very strict laws placed upon them. A Sheriff in Minnesota stated "What if terrorist's weapon of choice was a shotgun-would people support taking away hunting shotguns?"[Source 9]. I believe this is a great example of how Americans are treating the situation of gun control. Many semi automatic weapons (a terrorist's weapon choice), are being proposed to become banned in America. This is only because of the media's view on semi automatics are a negative view therefore giving the general public a negative feeling for any semi automatic weapon. The general public is not given the side about how the semi automatics are used for recreational purposes and hunting. But is any one gun more dangerous than the other? A Minnesota Sheriff stated that he believed a shotgun was just as dangerous as an AR 15(a semi automatic rifle). This is every bit of true so why would the government attempt to place more laws on certain types of guns when in truth no one gun is more dangerous than the other. All guns fire potentially fatal rounds, just at different speeds and amounts. So what would banning one type of gun do for lowering death and crime rates? If certain firearms are banned criminals will just move to a different type of gun or keep the weapon they have, therefore what problem does this solve? By banning guns you are not solving a problem, you are creating one. You are punishing the law abiding citizen [Source 9], and also putting them in a more dangerous atmosphere. A ban on guns will do nothing but raise a city and country's crime rates.

In Kennesaw, Georgia a law was passed in 1982 that required each household head to own a gun. The law has been effective and Kennesaw has kept a low crime rate since the law was passed [Source 10]. This law proves that owning guns for self defense has only positive aspects. Instead of enforcing stricter gun laws on citizens in America, why do they not follow what happened in Kennesaw. This would leave common citizens armed and protected from any possible criminals. Instead of taking guns away from those who do obey the law and leaving only criminals with guns. Now what do you believe makes more sense? In my opinion I would much rather be armed and protected than have to fight a guy with a gun off with my hands.

Many believe guns are the major cause of death in the United States when in all truth this is not what is happening. Though there are many gun related deaths it is only a fraction of other causes of death.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AAvhc7mzaSg/UQ7y1H-tWsI/AAAAAAAAFa8/RI7zQ0cA88k/s400/Homicide+chart.+edited.gif[Source 11] As you can see in the chart above firearm homicides only make up about 1/50th of the amount of deaths that tobacco causes. So if we are going to ban firearms should we ban tobacco too? By banning tobacco you would save almost 490,000 more lives than by banning every single firearm. Also more people die by medical errors than by firearm homicides. Should we keep doctors from practicing their job because of all those deaths? That would seem a bit ridiculous to me honestly, but so does banning firearms. If firearms were banned I believe that death rate would stay the same if not rise. More people on average die from incidental falls than firearm homicides. How can we prevent this from happening should we ban citizens from walking? Also on average 25,500 people a year die from drug abuse. Drugs are illegal in every state besides the exception of marijuana, yet more people are dying from drugs which are illegal than being shot. So what if guns were made illegal? Obviously making something illegal does not stop people from obtaining it and using it, but those who do obey the law are left to deal with the criminals who in this situation would have the upper hand. It is proven by this graph there are many other causes for death much higher death toll numbers than firearm homicides. Most of the reasons being something that will never have stricter laws placed upon it because it is impractical just like placing tighter gun restrictions on the common gun owner; it does nothing but cause harm.

It has been successfully proven that countries with strict laws on guns still have higher murder rates. In Russia handguns are completely outlawed. You can only purchase rifles and you must get a permit for that. You can only have a rifle for self protection in Russia. You would imagine that that would help lower murder rates in a country. Yet Russia's murder rate sits at a staggering 30.6 [Source 12]. This disproves the theory of tightening gun laws would help lower murder and crime rates. By outlawing guns you are only creating problems for your law abiding citizen. You are giving criminals easy targets because they know their victims will be unarmed. There is no way for a citizen to protect themselves against criminals in life or death situations involving guns. Russia proves a prime example by having a ban on all handguns yet they have a very high murder rate. There ban has solved nothing and truthfully just created a bigger problem. Putting bans on guns will not solve the problem and this has been proven true by many countries.

Creating heavier gun laws in the United States will not solve a problem, it will create one. This has already been proven in many countries with tight gun restrictions. In Kennesaw, GA it was proven that owning guns helps lower crime rates. Guns are not killing people in America people are killing people. Taking guns from people will not lower your murder rates; people are going to kill each other. They always have way before guns were ever invented. So what is taking guns going to do? You are still going to have murders if not more. You have defenseless citizens with no way to protect themselves, I would believe criminals would feed off this because they have no challenge to harm their victims. Gun control laws will not solve this countries problem, but creating harsher penalties for those committing crimes with guns harsher. I believe this could possibly make criminals think more before committing crimes with firearms. Firearms in America are not the problem, the people are.

With gun control becoming more and more controversial in America people really need to think, will banning guns really solve the problem? It did not for Russia and I honestly believe it will not help the United States either. The Second amendment is in place for a reason, and it is to protect us as U.S. citizens, without guns citizens would be defenseless. Guns are also apart of millions of Americans lives whether they be hunters, sport shooters or just owners of guns for defense purposes. No citizen deserves to have their guns taken from them unless they do not properly obtain them. Americans should be able to use guns for recreation and self defense purposes without having any restraints against them. Tightening gun restrictions is not going to help our country it is going to harm it; this has been proven time and time again. American citizens do not deserve to have their gun rights stripped from them like they are criminals, by doing this I believe America will see nothing but a rise in criminals, which is exactly what we are trying to prevent.