Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Gun Ban and What the Government Can’t Do.
          Our forefathers left this country with 12 amendments which were put in place to help a nation and its people. One amendment in particular is the 2nd amendment. This amendment states that civilians have the right to bare arms. Many people support this amendment and would like it to stay in place but there are a few individuals that would like to see a control on guns. "These people believe that if the government were to ban rapidly firing assault weapons, piercing bullets, and high-capacity magazines there would be a decrease in the rate of firearm related homicides and suicides." (Mozaffarian, Hemenway, and Ludwig). If people are determined enough they will find a way to get around a ban of assault weapons. Even if the government put a ban on all guns there might be an increase in crime because criminals will always find ways to get guns while law biding citizens are forced to give up their firearms. This hinders some peoples abilities to protect themselves from the people with guns that do not use them in the manner for which they were created. "Gun violence arises from sociocultural, educational, behavioral, and product safety issues that transcend gun ownership alone." (Mozaffarian, Hemenway, and Ludwig) Guns do not kill people. People with guns that don’t use them properly or in a violent manner kill people, and even if all the guns were restricted people would still find ways to commit homicide or suicide.
Law abiding citizens if a gun ban passed.
          "In 1990, a series of CDC-funded studies has indicated that easy access to guns and keeping firearms at home increases homicide and suicide rates." (Underwood) President Barack Obama said that he will work to push new gun control measures in 2013 and called on Congress to reinstate the expired assault weapons ban. The gunban that was made in 1994, shortly after CDC research, was put in place to outlaw 14 different types of guns but was not very effective because of the loop holes that were found in the federal ban. On April 20, 1999, during the 10 years of this ban on assault type weapons, the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado occurred showing the ban was ineffective. Guns that were banned remained to be sold because dealers simply changed the names of the guns or small accessories that were sold with the original gun. After a mass shooting in Australia in 1996, the Australian government bought back 643,726 newly illegal guns for over $400 million dollars. A new ban on guns would  be as ineffective as the original ban unless the government did something similar which would result in billions of dollars needed to be paid to citizens for there currently owned guns. Still, Obama said he would take an approach in addressing the role of violence in entertainment and focus on ways to improve mental healthcare. "Obama directed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions and other agencies to study the cause and prevention of gun violence." (Underwood) He hopes that educating people on gun violence will prevent some violence. Even if education on violence is enacted it would take years and is often too late to educate people that are older. 

On December 14, 2012 a 20-year-old man created a school massacre in Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 20 elementary students and 6 adults. The weapons that were used in this school shooting were guns such as an AR-15 assault rifle, a Glock handgun, and a Sig Sauer handgun. Unfortunately, there was another school massacre in a preschool in China on the same day that wounded 22 children and an 85-year-old woman. The weapon that this person used was a knife. This shows how restricting high-powered rifles would not prevent anything because people will always find ways to commit heinous crimes and people do not need assault rifles to enact on these crimes. The shooting in Sandy Hook was a terrible occurrence, but the fact remains that not only did the perpetrator have an assault rifle but he also two handguns that would not be affected by the gun ban that Obama is trying to enact. The fact remains that nothing in Obama's bill would have prevented the shooting. In China a person was able to affect as many people with a knife, as the person in Sandy Hook was able to affect with a gun.

As in China’s school massacre, if a gun is a not available any weapon such as a shiv or a knife could be used to produce the same brutality as a gun. According to a homicide census by the government, in 2009,  13,756 murders occurred. 9,203 of those murders were because of guns and only 352 of the murders committed by guns were because of assault rifles. Therefore the assault rifle gun ban would not be a large factor in decreasing the amount of murders in a year. Even if all guns were banned, murders would still occur. 4,552 people were killed by knifes or cutting and other blunt instruments. These statistics show that a gun is not needed to commit homicide or suicide.

In 2009, a census was released about how many road fatalities occurred in a year.  There were a total of 33,808 people killed on our highways. The number of people killed in a car accident is twice the number of people that were murdered in 2009. If those census are correct then why is there no restriction being put on cars? If the government wanted to reduce the amount of people being killed why is the government not put putting a ban on the size of a car a person can own or how fast a car can go instead of trying to put a ban on the size of a magazine that a gun can hold and the speed in which a gun can fire? The reason behind this is because the government doesn’t want to admit that there are more important matters that should be tended to instead of banning assault rifles that are the result of only two percent of all homicides in the United states in 2009.

The government feels that if a ban on assault rifles where to be put in place, then the suicide rate would also decrease. In 2007 another census was preformed to show how many people committed suicide and by which means that they preformed this act. In 2007, 34,598 people committed suicide and of the total number 17,352 people used a gun. That leaves almost half of the people that killed themselves using other approaches such as strangulation, poison, or other methods. This shows that people do not need a gun to commit suicide. The sad fact is that some people will do what ever it takes to take their own life.

If a gun ban passes, guns will continue to be produced because people can be very resourceful. Some guns can be built from some of the simplest parts that are readily available to the public. In Celle, Germany there is a prison where a shotgun was made by two prisoners and was used in an escape from the prison after they took a prison guard hostage.  This shotgun, seen below, was made from a bed leg post and was fired using lead and match heads. The ignition system was a AA battery and a broken light bulb. The ingenuity in building a firearm out of bed constructing parts shows how people who are determined enough can create a weapon that would easily avoid a gun ban.
          Government officials feel that a couple of the reasons why the ban of assault rifles should be necessary is because of the amount of bullets a magazine can hold and the accuracy of some guns at a long range from a target. Both of these reasons seem logical but in reality both of these ideas can be bypassed. A large magazine can be substituted for two small magazines and accuracy can be avoided because the government is trying to ban assault rifles, not hunting rifles. Hunting rifles can be as, or even more effective than any assault rifle at long range.

           On August 1, 1966 Charles Whitman killed 14 people and injured dozens from a sniping position on top of a bell tower. He used multiple guns, many of which were common hunting rifles such as a 35 caliber Remington Rifle, 6mm Remington Rifle with a scope, three pistol, a M-1 carbine, and a 12 gauge shot gun. These guns are all as accurate as any assault rifle if not more accurate and hold much less ammunition but can still preform the atrocities as the assault rifle.

          Recently, on April 9, 2013 people were stabbed at Lone Star College campus leaving 14 people injured and two in critical condition. The stabbing happened in Cypress, Texas and appeared to have two suspects, but only one is in custody and the other still at large. This shows that knifes are used just as often as guns to murder people.

         Creating a bill that bans assault rifles will not have the effect that the government is hoping for mainly because of the other means that a person can commit crimes or suicide. The 15-year-old girl to the right spoke out against gun control leaving politicians speechless. People will always find ways to get guns, either from people selling assault rifles illegally or by making the guns themselves. Loopholes will always be exploited in a gun ban. Dealers will do the same tricks that were used in the original gun ban but the reality remains that banning assault rifles will not prevent anything. People need to be educated about guns and their power. One loophole in particular is the private seller loophole which makes it easy for people to sell guns to anyone. This is a simple way for convicted felons who shouldn't have firearms to receive them. Just because assault rifles seem unnecessary, they still only account for two percent of the murders in the United States according to a census in 2009. Saying that banning assault rifles would be preventing two percent of murders would be a lie because people will just use other means to kill others. Banning a single type of gun is a waste of time because guns will always be around and the government will never be able to prevent people from obtaining guns. I would like to see more money spent on mental illness programs to prevent violence rather than money spent on gun control legislation that will most likely be ineffective.

Work Cited:

Mozaffarian, Dariush, David Hemenway, and David S. Ludwig. "Curbing Gun 
                Violence." JAMA  309.6 (2013): 551-552. Print.

Underwood, Emily. "Gun Control Agenda Is a Call to Duty for Scientists." Science 
                 339.6118 (2013): 381-382. Print.