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... Guns and violence are not just found in schools. In the state of Louisiana and Texas, more people now die from gunshot wounds than from car accidents. Since 1980 the citys homicide rate has doubled. These violent outrages are spurred on by deadly convergence of gangs, drugs, and even more assault weaponry. Juvenile arrests in our nation for homicides climbed from six to over one hundred in one year alone (Hull, 1993).
Police have complained about being outgunned by drug dealers with Uzis and AR- 15 s (Lamar, 1989). The idea of having a gun has now moved from the drug scene, and currently infects a large segment of young people. Law enforcement officials would also like more restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons like the TEC- 9 and the MAC- 10. Though these guns are inaccurate, they are also very cheap, and easy to conceal and are fully automatic operation.
If the United States were losing this many people to a deadly virus or to a war, there would be a public outcry. Yet more Americans die of a gunshot wounds every two years than have died to date of AIDS. The government has many programs to deal with the AIDS epidemic, and yet no permanent solution has conquered the problem of access to assault weapons. Similarly, guns have taken more American lives in two years than the entire Vietnam War. Only automobile accident surpass shooting as the leading cause of injury induced fatalities (Davison, 1990).
While auto safety is a continuing public preoccupation, most Americans seem indifferent to guns or unwilling to do much about them. Assault weapons having the sole purpose to kill with little effort were created for war situations. Machine guns were created as early as the First World War. Infantry soldiers for their efficiency used them in both of the world wars. They were lightweight guns, and could hold many bullets at one time.
These guns were designed to spray multiple bullets to an area in a very short amount of time. This type of gun is exactly what you would want for war, and now we see forms of this gun all over the streets of America. The assault type weapon was modeled after the French fire arm, the getting gun and was developed from there to be an anti aircraft gun. It could be also used portably by infantry soldiers. A gun that can fire fourteen to sixteen bullets per minute is not classified as a sportsman's gun (Skinner, 1998). These guns have taken so many peoples lives in just a few seconds and a couple pulls of a trigger.
These weapons should only be used in war situations and by law enforcement officials protecting citizens who cross the country. On the other hand, trusting young kids on the street to be using these types of guns is unheard of. Nor would it be safe to have a mentally disturbed person who is angry at the world owing such guns. That is why the restrictions on assault weapons should be severe.
The ease availability of assault weapons means that a single flash of anger can lead to another deadly statistic. Some will argue that it is the person, not the gun who kills people. This slogan is true but it does not explain the full picture. Without easy access to all kinds of guns could it be possible for Americans to go on killing one another at such drastic rates. While the country is numb, the families and friends the dead leaves behind are not.
The perseverance of gun ownership in America, one in every other household, is relevant. A gun assault is far more likely to prove fatal then an attack with a knife. For this reason, the band on assault weapons should be upheld for America to survive. How can America think of itself as a civilized society when day after day the death toll rises through gun firing across the land? Firearms caused 26, 442 deaths among California residents throughout a seven-year span. This accounted for two percent of all the deaths in the population.
This percentage seems to be a small amount, but the reality of the 26, 442 deaths overshadow the two- percent. In Stockton, Ca. A crazed gunman opened fire in a schoolyard with a semi automatic AK- 47. A few minutes later 106 rounds were fired, five children were left dead and twenty-nine wounded. New Jersey and California are the only states where assault weapons are outlawed. In this case, the law did not stop the gunman from firing bullets in a schoolyard full of children.
In the face of strong national riffle association opposition, the Georgia senate voted down a bill that would make it unlawful for an adult to keep a loaded fire arm within reach of a child (Within, 1990). President Clinton has declared support for a federal law limiting the sale of assault weapons. He recently told a New jersey audience that protecting the right to bare arms for sport or self defense does not mean, that everybody in America need to be able to buy a semiautomatic or automatic weapon built for the only purpose of killing people. (Within, 1990) Why do Americans kill one another in such appalling numbers? In 1991 gunfire rang through the streets of Washington as residents unloaded their guns into the sky to hail the New Year. Some turned their guns on neighbors, and three people were killed when their vehicles were sprayed with bullets. Ninety nine percent of those who legally own fire arms never commit any crime with their weapons, but it is that one percent that account for more than 30, 000 deaths annually by fire arms (Kleck, 1993).
There must be some form of restriction on these deadly guns. The sole purpose of assault type weapons is to kill in war situations. Where you have guns you have deaths. A cut back in the availability would cause crime to go down it these troublesome areas.
It ht e past thirty years, 60 percent of all deaths in our nation were from firearms. The United States homicide rate is the highest in the western world. The average in America is about ten killings for every 100, 000 citizens. Where as, in Japan it is 1. 3 and 5. 5 in Britain forever 100, 000. These statistics show how serious the matter is. There is an immediate need to respond and let our voice be heard about this downward cycle of our society.
Guns have a direct correlation to crime, In 1964 crime with guns was at fifty eight percent. Through the next ten years as guns became more accessible it rose to sixty-nine percent. Recently, over the past ten years it has decreased slightly with some of the laws. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been reported with a large amount of gun circulation there has been 10, 000 cold-blooded murders over the last ten years. Trying to keep these widely circulated guns out of hands of criminals is almost impossible, but laws have greatly reduced availability (Nesbit, 1990). If some restrictions are not put on guns there will be reoccurring stories like the one that follows.
A gunman recently released from a mental institution opened fire in a food court of a suburban shopping mall. He killed one and wound four others before walking calmly to surrender (Nesbit, 1990). The cities of America are becoming easy accessed for mentally insane gunmen. The other side of the heated debate on gun control is the constitutional right of owning a gun. Many believe that it is a constitutional right to own a gun. The Second Amendment states as follows, A well regarded militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
In pre-revolution America, the threats posted by standing British army hung over the minds of the colonists. Resistance was widespread, and in response to the disagreement, the British increased their military presence. Two years later, in 1990, unarmed citizens were shot and killed in the streets of Boston, in what became known as the Boston Massacre (LaPierre, 1994). Much of todays debate is over what the writers of the constitution intended.
The Controversy arose over two centuries ago with the Federalists and Anti-federalists. The Anti-federalist greatest fear was the power of a commanding army making the government centralized and over bearing to the states. The strong central government and the independent states battle back and forth to see who could obtain the most possible power. To neutralize the two sides James Madison added the Second Amendment to give states more power. Another side to the Constitution debate states that the Second Amendment applies only to build a well-regulated militia.
It gives the right to bear arms to people dealing with the military department of this country. Their job is to defend and protect our country and the people who reside in it. The National Rifle Association stands firmly behind this debate pointing out that gun ownership is plainly protected in the Constitution. Their 2. 8 million members can launch a flood of letters towards any legislator who ventures a word in support of gun control. In a nation of seventy million gun owners, the National Rifle Association speaks towards the attachment to fire arms.
Lawmakers consider the National Rifle Association the most powerful lobbing group in the country. Their members make their presence felt when the situation arises for a proposal on banning assault weapons. They flood the offices of Senators and Congressmen, and voice their opinion on the topics being voted on. If the assault weapon ban were truly upheld then truly a majority of these tragic deaths mention could have been prevented. The crime rate would drastically be reduced if these types of weapons were not easily accessible. A less severe type of weapon would greatly increase the victims chance of survival in instance s of attack.
With these types of weapons being out of the picture, elf-defense would be more of an issue allowing the victim to possibly to retaliate. Reducing the crime rate and lowering the number of annual deaths involving guns is the most important reason for upholding the ban on assault type weapons. Looking at the statistics and the upsetting stories the conclusion only makes logical sense to the average citizen. We must rationalize the framers intent, and the situations being dealt with the time the constitution was being written.
This applies to formed militia groups to fight against tyranny. This was in an era that war was an immediate threat. The framers of the Constitution had the sole purpose of protecting and defending rather than rightful gun possession and offense. A Justice Department survey of state-prison inmates found that just 27 percent had purchased their guns legally. The rest of them got them from family or friends bought them on the black market or stole them. If restrictions on these guns could be more sever we could increase the legality of purchasing a gun.
A CBS News poll found that 73 present of Americans favored a nationwide ban on semiautomatic weapons. A statewide poll showed that 80 percent in New Jersey favored the ban. Voters are wondering how many of the nations 200 million guns are going to be a threat to them or their children? Throughout the Bible there is a reoccurring theme of loving your neighbors as yourself.
It states to put other s before you, and to be a servant as Christ was a servant. We are to love as Christ loved the church. People committing irrational and senseless crimes are not following the commands that God has placed upon their lives. The Ten Commandments state, Thou shall not murder, and, throughout the Bible it speaks on how we are to obey the authority that God has ordained and put above us. Clearly America as a nation has fallen away from these spiritual principals. For America to succeed our society must get back to the basics of life, we need morals that are firmly rooted in Christ.
Davidson, O. G. (1990). Under Fire. New York: Henry Holt and Company. Find, Canton.
U. S. House takes aim at assault weapon ban. Daily Texan online. March 29, 1996. Hull, J.
D. (1993, December). Have we gone mad? Timethe Weekly Magazine. 31 - 32 Kleck, G. (1993, October). Cold Hard facts on gun violence. Timethe New American. Lacayo, R. (1993, December).
Beyond the Brady Bill. Timethe Weekly Magazine. Lamar, J. B. (1989, March). Gunning for Assault Rifles. Timethe Weekly Magazine, 30, 39 LaPierre, W. (1994).
Guns Crime, and Freedom. Washington D. C. Regnery Publishing, Inc. Leviton, J. & Riley, M. (1989, July). 7 deadly days and suicides.
Timethe Weekly Magazine, 47. Nisbet, L. (1990) The Gun Control Debate. New York: Prometheus Books. Skinner, Clarence. 1998, March. Personal interview. The Bible. 1993.
New American Standard. Within, G. (1990, March). The new battle to break the line between assault guns and drugs. U. S. News and World Report. 29.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known piece of literature. It is believed to have been written around 2000 BC on Sumerian clay tablets. Two main ideas and thoughts arise when reading the epic. Gilgamesh's reaching a more mature state about himself and mortality and the numerous similarities between the epic and the Bible. Both ideas can be clearly seen throughout the entire epic. Gilgamesh begins as an arrogant, self-consumed, and vulgar man.
Though out his journey he evolves into one concerned with his mortality, which softens his hash persona. Being two-thirds god and one-third human Gilgamesh fells he can do and say anything no matter what the effect is on his townspeople. He has sex with the young virgin women and quickly becomes bothersome to the people and the gods. Enkidu is created to rival and later become the companion of Gilgamesh.
After some disagreement they become closer than brothers do. Together they decide to fight and destroy the demon Hambaba. It is only due to their combined strength that they are victorious. The goddess Isthar is greatly attracted to Gilgamesh due to the victory, yet her refuses her. In a revenge plot Enkidu is killed.
It is a direct result from this death that Gilgamesh realizes his mortality and begins a search for immortality. Gilgamesh visits Utnapishtim, the only man the gods have granted immortality to, in hopes of find the key to everlasting life. He fails twice in this mission. Once in falling asleep and again failing to protect the secret plant. The epic end with Gilgamesh showing Utnapishtim his city of Uruk and asking For whom have I labored? For whom have I journeyed?
For whom have I suffered? I have gained nothing for myself, I have only profited the snake, the ground lion! (106). Gilgamesh no longer looked externally for answers, but internally. The snake stole his immortality, as did the serpent in Genesis 3 from Adam and Eve. That is only the beginning of the similarities between the two books. The opening of the Epic of Gilgamesh tells for the great flood (61).
The Bible also has an account of a flood found in Genesis 6 - 8. the waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days (Genesis 7: 24). Next is the personal relationship between the gods and the human race. Gilgamesh spoke directly to Anu (103) while Adam and Eve spoke directly to God, the Lord God said to the woman Genesis 3: 13. Both Gilgamesh and Jesus were born of a virgin birth. Nissan, Gilgamesh's mother never let a man touch her, indeed so sure and heavenly, so without sin (61).
Mary was with child though the Holt Spirit (Matthew 1: 18). There can also be drawn a parallel between Gilgamesh and Joseph. Both had many prophetic dreams and watched the flocks (66 - 67) (Genesis 37). In the Epic of Gilgamesh Enkidu is formed from the earth. Then she wet her fingers, fashioned a rock, and tossed it as far as she could into the woods. Thus she fathered Enkidu (62 - 63).
Adam was also formed from the soil by God, the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2: 7). The most obvious similarity, which has a ready been mentioned, is the flood. At the end of the epic Utnapishtim is introduced he is the only man to have live though the flood by building a boat. At the end of the seven days he sends out a dove to fin dry land: I released a dove from the boat, it flew off, but circled around and returned, for it could find no perch. I then releases a swallow for the boat, it flew off, but circled and returned, for it could find no perch. I then released a raven from the boat, it flew off, and the waters receded: it eats, it searched the ground, but it did not circle around and return.
I then sent out all the living thing in every direction and scarified a sheep on that very spot. (111). This is almost identical to the Bible except for the amount of time: Noah opened the window and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had redeemed but the dove could find no place to set its feet He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah built a alter to the Lord, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8: 8 - 11, 20).
Both the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible tell of the time past with numerous similarities that one can not help but take notice. It makes for an interesting and thought provoking read. Even today in the year 2000 we wrestle with the thought of immortality and striving to prolong that moment. Gilgamesh over 4000 years ago fought with the same problem. His immortality was stolen by a snake and Adam and Eves by a serpent. Gilgamesh in the end matured, even though he did not want to, he accepted his immortality.
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