Gun Control

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Gun Control
Guns kill; not people. Many would argue the opposite and say that it is down to the individual to control himself or herself. The facts state the obvious and I will prove to you that gun control can save lives. Since the tragic school shooting in Newton Connecticut, gun control has taken center stage around the country and with our politicians. Here are some facts from the FBI Crime Reports; of the 452 people murdered in Illinois in 2011 83% were killed with guns... the highest percentage in the country. Washington D.C. had the worst gun crime rate per capita in the country in 2011 for every 100,000 people there were 12 gun murders and 242 robberies at gun point. California had the highest gun violence rate in the country for 2011 with 1,220 gun murders. As one can see, guns clearly are a major danger to our society and have caused deaths that could’ve been stopped. How are guns so easily available? What are the laws that control guns? Gun laws in the United States regulate the sale and possession of firearms and ammunition. Laws vary from state to state and are independent of Federal laws. This variance could cause some discrepancy throughout our country. A Harvard Study titled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” looks at figures for intentional deaths throughout continental Europe and compares them with the U.S. to show that more gun control does not necessarily lead to lower death rates or violent crime. I find this quite hard to believe but it may come down to the different rules in Europe to the United States. Since the findings don’t clearly demonstrate that more gun laws may in fact increase death rates, the study says that no real conclusion can be drawn. The study showed that numbers for Eastern European gun ownership and the corresponding murder rates, it is readily apparent that less guns does not mean less death. In Russia, where the rate of gun ownership is 4,000 per 100,000 inhabitants, the murder rate was 20.52 people per 100,000 in 2002. That same year in Finland, where the rate of gun ownership is exceedingly higher--39,000 per 100,000--the murder rate was almost nil, at 1. I find this shocking and can’t understand how this is possible. It looks simple that the U.S. should follow Europe’s gun control ways, but let’s get to the history behind the U.S. gun control laws.

The history of the United States’ gun control is vast and it all started when the right to bear and arm was ratified in the constitution. Not until 1837 was the right to bear an arm questioned when Georgia passed a law banning handguns, but this was ruled as unconstitutional. The first law that put a restriction on guns was The Federal Firearms Act of 138. This law put limitations on selling ordinary firearms. It also required people selling guns to obtain a Federal Firearm License, keep records of who they sold guns to, and made it illegal to sell guns to convicts. The Gun Control Act of 1968 regulates the seller and makes sure his or her records are correct. This law also expands on the people not able to own guns, such as illegal drug users or the mentally handicapped. After a massacre in Stockton, California where 5 kids were killed in a playground, California bans the possession of semi-automatic assault weapons. The whole country took this to a next level and with The Crime Control Act of 1990, manufacturing and importing semi-automatic assault weapons became illegal in the U.S. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act imposed a 5 day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun and required that local law enforcement agencies conduct background checks on buyers of handguns. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 banned manufacturing, possessing, importing, or selling of a specific number of assault weapons that are very dangerous. In the 1997 case of Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court rules that thebackground check requirement of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act...
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