Gun Control

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Gun Control
In

1988, handguns killed 7 people in Great Britain, 19 in Sweden, 53 in

Switzerland, 25 in Israel, 13 in Australia, 8 in Canada, and 8,915 in the United

States. These figures are shocking and there doesn't seem to be a solution. Gun
control is a problem that our country has got to face. ("Gun

Control"). One of the most alarming issues dealing with gun control is
juvenile violence. A large percent of crimes committed with guns are by
children. No one has yet been able to pinpoint the exact reason children
committed such a terrible crime. Many experts feel that risk factors associated
with juvenile crime are poverty, repeated exposure to violence, drugs, easy
access to firearms, and unstable family life. All of these issues play a big
role in the increase of juvenile crime. Possibly out of all of these issues the
most important, is the deteration of the family. Many of these children are not
being brought up in a nice environment at home. ("Reasons"). Juveniles
are not the only ones committing crimes with guns. Adults are just as guilty at
contributing to the nations violence. It is even easier for an adult to purchase
a firearm. Even if the adult has a felony, it is still easy for them to get a
gun. There are many people willing to sell a felon a gun, if the price is right.

If they can not buy one, they can easily pay someone to buy one for them. If an
individual wants a firearm bad enough, chances are they will get one. (Brennen
and Polsby 2). Myth #1: Guns cause crime. There is no relationship between the
number of guns and the amount of crime in the United States. Between 1973 and

1992, the rate of gun ownership increased by 45% while the homicide rate during
that period fell by nearly 10%. Myth #2: Gun control laws reduce crime. Firearms
have not been regulated in the United States for most the past thirty years. The
number of firearms in private hands has increased continuously by millions per
year. Yet the rate of crime, violent crime, and homicide has shown no
significant correlation. Myth #3: Gun control laws stop friends from killing
friends. Most murderers and victims of homicide have criminal records and they
are likely to have other criminals as friends. While it is true that in many
cases of homicide the offender and victim know each other, it is not true that
these "friends killing friends" are the plain ordinary folks often
portrayed in the anti-gun propaganda. Myth #4: Gun control laws keep criminals
from obtaining guns. In surveys of prisoners, only 7% of criminals' handguns
were obtained from legitimate sources. Three-fourths of the felons report that
they would have no trouble obtaining a gun when they were released. Myth #5:

Required waiting periods would prevent some of the most vicious crimes. The

Brady Bill waiting period imposes waiting periods on handguns, the least deadly
type of firearm, while imposing no such restriction on much more deadly weapons
such as rifles or shotguns. While handguns are preferred by criminals because of
their portability and concealability not every criminal who planned to use a
handgun will abandon his criminal plans when confronted by a waiting period.

Myth #6: Guns don't work as self-protection against criminals. Guns are about as
valuable to civilians as they are to police officers. As many as 65 lives are
protected by guns for every life lost to a gun. Every year potential victims
kill between 2,000 and 3,000 criminals, and wound an additional 9,000 to 17,000.

Private citizens mistakenly kill innocent people only thirty times a year,
compared to about 310 mistaken killings by police. Criminals succeed in taking a
gun away from an armed victim less than 1% of the time. Myth #7: Guns aren't
needed as self-protection. Approximately 83% of the population will be victims
in their lives, and there is only one police officer for every 3,300 people.

Myth #8: Gun control laws are needed to prevent the purchase of Saturday Night

Specials and "assault weapons." Inexpensive handguns are involved in
only 1% to 3% of violent crimes; criminals generally prefer larger caliber and
more expensive handguns. In the past fifty years no civilian has ever used a
legally owned machine gun in a violent crime, and no UZI has ever been used to
kill a police officer. Myth #9: Gun control laws are especially needed to
prevent gun accidents in the home. Many people mistakenly conclude that

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