Summary of the Gun Control Debate Since the days of the pioneers of the United States, firearms have been part of the American tradition as protection and a means of hunting or sport. As we near the end of the 20th century the use of guns has changed significantly. Because of fast and steady increase in crime and the fight for the right to own a hand gun, the introduction of legislation for gun control, to try to reduce the crime in the United States, has been a hotly debated issue in recent years. Although many people feel that gun control violates the right of the people, given in the second amendment “the right to bear arms”, controlling distribution and sales and the registration of guns and gun owners is necessary because of the homicide rate involving guns and the violence by criminals using guns. Many people feel that gun control violates the right of the people given in the second amendment the right “to bear arms”.
Opponents of gun control, including the National Rifle Association, better known as the NRA, argue that the “right To bear arms” is guaranteed in the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and licensing restrictions penalize law-abiding citizens while in no way preventing criminal use of handguns. It is also argued that by making it difficult for guns to be bought and registered for the American public there is a threat to the personal safety of American families everywhere. However controlling the sale and distribution of firearms is necessary because of the homicide rate involving guns. In 1988 there were 9000 handgun related murders in America. Metropolitan centers and some suburban communities of America are setting new records for homicides by handguns.
Larger Metropolitan centers have ten times the murder rate of all Western Europe. For example in Washington,D.C. there was an estimated 400 homicides including guns. In addition gun control has been seen as necessary because of the violence by criminals using guns. Gun control is wrapped in a series of social issues such as crime and drugs. Guns have become closely linked to drugs and murder in the public mind.
Drug dealing and high tech weaponry have escalated the warfare in cities between long established loosely knit gangs. Predominantly guns of crime are used by gang members. Many police officers are killed every year due to drug and gang related incidents involving guns. For example in 1988 on February 26 rookie New York City police officer Edward Byre was sitting alone in his police car guarding the house of a drug trial witness in South Jamaica, Queens where he was shot four times in the head and killed. In conclusion, there are valid reasons for why certain people feel that gun control is unfair.
People against gun control feel that it is a violation of the Constitution to control the sale and distribution and the registration of guns and gun owners. But it is necessary for there to be certain limits on the way that firearms are handled in this country because of the homicide rate involving guns and because of the violence created by criminals using guns. If gun control legislation were to go through there would be a significant decline in gun related crimes and fatalities.