gun control laws
I’m back! :D
Between having the flu (D:) and Spring Break and just plain being busy, I haven’t really had a lot of time to write.
But anyway, I’m here now =D!!
Okay. Well, a week or 2 (or 3) ago for my English project, we were asked to pick topics and debate on them. My topic was gun control laws should be tightened and I was on the yes side. Here’s my paper:
Every year 3600 children go to the hospital for unintentional gunshot wounds. 200 of them will die.
It’s no mistake that buying a gun is easy- here in Virginia anyone over the age of 17 can purchase a rifle or shotgun and anyone over 18 can purchase a handgun, all without a permit or sate waiting period. The question at hand today is how easy is too easy?
One of the reasons these laws should be tightened is because it is fairly easy – too easy – for children to get a hold of firearms. Currently there are an estimated 223 million guns in American homes- 70 million of those are handguns. Of those handguns, 30% are stored loaded, 51% are stored unlocked, and 13% are stored both unlocked and loaded. One study found that as many as 80% of young children knew where the guns in their homes were kept. 75-80% of first- and second-graders knew where their parents’ guns were kept (these are 6, 7, and 8 year olds). 50% of all childhood unintentional shootings occur in their home from their parents’ guns and 40% occur in that of a friend.
The second reason is that gun control isn’t something recently thought up. Other countries, particularly countries such as Japan and New Zealand, have stricter gun control laws than the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of people in the United States killed by firearms is five times higher than that of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. All of these countries have stricter gun control laws than the US. In Canada, gun-related violent crimes went down 8% in one year.
Another reason is that when they are in the home, guns are rarely used for self-defense. A firearm in the home is 43 times more likely to be used in the killing of a family member of friend than it is to defend oneself. Why? The sole purpose of a gun is TO KILL, which means the purpose is to shoot it, not whack someone over the head with it. In addition, if the gun is stored unloaded and in a locked container, like it should be, then why take the time to unlock the container and load the gun when you could be running away or calling the police? There are other options besides firearms.
Our final reason is that the very few of both state and federal gun laws we have are loose ones- they have loopholes or they just aren’t enforced. Only 20 of the 22 federal gun laws are actively enforced, and only 2% of gun crimes ever make it to trial.
223 million firearms and we have 200 child deaths a year. Our government spends 3.7 billion dollars a year on locking away the criminals who commit gun law crimes, money that could be spent on the educational system or alternative energy research. Letters should be written to the different people in our government explaining to them our viewpoint and why laws should be enacted that make it harder for someone to buy a firearm.
Stepping away from that, let me add some more thoughts (if I can). One thing I did not put in the paper was the fact that one study found that every single shooting in which a child 5 or under shot and killed themselves or others could have been prevented by a trigger lock. Also, most children 3 and older have the strength to pull the trigger on most handguns. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT. No, not saying our children should be weak…but why does someone have a gun where their 3 year old can get it? Seriously. Just think, people.