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Guns and Gun Control Many American ar assure that gun control is only an is in th United Stats of America, but thy ar wrong. Gun control is not only an is in th United Stats, but around th world as wll. Th United Stats of America and Britain shar similar itis and diffracts when it coms to th is of gun control. Both countries hav take action against gun control and ar continuously looking for ways to improv the laws. This page will demonstrate th actions that ach country has take ovr th yar's, th issus that thy ar facing, and what ls could b don to improv gun control. Gun control sms to b a nvr-nine date in th United Stats of America.
Th policy date ovr gun control is on of conflicting government policy and ideological xtras (Tru 216). Powerful ideologies and emotional images have energized but not explained the delayed seesaw nature of national policy making about guns in America (Sherman 154). Since the end of World War II, gun control policies have changed three times In the United States. The first change in gun control policy was The Gun Control Act of 1968. This act essentially replaced the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, placing new controls and restrictions on the sales and shipment of guns and ammunition (217). Dealers, manufacturers, and importers were of the select few that could receive foreign and interstate shipments of weapons.
This prohibited the shipment of handguns, long guns, and ammunition to private individuals (217). The act prohibited the selling of rifles, shotguns and ammunition to anyone under the age of 18, and prohibited the selling of handguns and ammunition to an individual under the age of 21. The policy forced dealers and collectors to keep complete records of all sales. Failure to do so could result in a federal punishment.
The change resulted from congressional and presidential efforts to rebalance political conflict after public and elite pressures for greater controls grew following the 1963 assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. (Within 1). The second provision of gun control policy in the United States was the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986. Believed to have weakened many of the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968, the new act allowed the sale of ammunition through the mail (True 217). Dealers were once again allowed to resume the interstate sale of rifles and shotguns. The sentence of federal punishment for lack of record keeping was reduced to a felony or misdemeanor. This bill was strongly supported by the National Rifle Association, but most police organizations were against the new act.
The third and current provision of gun control policy in America is the Brady Handgun Violence Act of 1993. The new policy requires a temporary waiting period for handgun purchases from dealers and did not ban any firearms. It also mandates a national system of background checks for all licensed dealer sales to unlicensed individuals (220). The 1968 Gun Control Act prohibited firearm sales to felons, but the Brady Bill called for a national means of enforcement (218). The five-day waiting period was passed with word that an instant check system would be implemented within five years.
The National Instant Check System (NICS) became operational in 1998 (Utter, 200). The bill was the result of James Brady being shot and seriously wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan. With the Brady Bill in effect, a few steps must be taken in order for a gun to be purchased in the United States. The purchaser of a firearm must undergo a background check prior to the finalization of the sale. The dealer must provide local law enforcement with the names and personal information of the intended purchaser.
Then the law enforcement conducts a background check on the purchaser. Although there is no waiting period on long rifles, there is a five-day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun. The citizens of the United States have mixed reactions to the attempts to better gun control. Some people think that owning a gun is a privilege, while others see it as a right.
The second amendment states: "A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. " Pennsylvania has made a provision of the amendment that states: The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned (Henderson 251). Progun groups and individuals often perceive those who support gun control as naive, lacking in any extensive knowledge of firearms themselves, unaware of the important role guns have played in American history, and ignorant of their crucial value for preserving liberty and protecting private citizens against crime (Henderson 15). Gun control advocates also hold that the United States has a unique history (Rain 245). In order to improve gun control in the United States and keep the unique history, making the way we purchase firearms more difficult may not be the complete answer. The answer may lie in informing gun owners on the safety of using firearms. Those who seek to disarm Americas citizens always put a heavy emphasis on safety.
In order to purchase a hunting license, you must first pass the Hunters Safety course. Currently, minors are allowed to use a firearm after passing the Hunter Safety course, but there are certain regulations (A Report 2). An adult member of the family that is at least eighteen years of age must accompany minors that are ages of twelve to thirteen. If an adult family member cannot be present, another adult may serve in place of the parent. Minors fourteen and fifteen years of age must also be accompanied by an adult. Those sixteen years and older can hunt alone. (PA Game Commission, 53) There are three basic rules that always apply.
Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. And Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you pull the trigger. (53). Part of the answer may lie in making everyone take this test in order to purchase a firearm. This would provide everyone interested in purchasing a firearm the information needed on how to safely operate that firearm. The way the United States has dealt with the issue of gun control is a step in the right direction.
I believe that there is definitely room for improvement that can take place. However, I believe that it does not need to go to the extent of banning all firearms. Hunting is an American pastime that has been around forever. Polls suggest that many American gun owners would ignore a ban of all firearms (Marjolin 2). Gun control is not only a major issue in the United States of America; it is also a major issue in Britain. Since 1819, Britain has changed its gun ownership policies six times.
Being gun owner licensing and registration, or safety requirements, or gun storage, or mandatory training, each step in Britain was followed by another step, and another, until law-abiding gun owners were forced into a final step forfeiting their personal weapons (Lennon 38). The first gun ownership policy that was implemented was by Parliament in 1819. Parliament passed the Six Acts which included a ban on drilling and training in the use of arms and an authorized search and seizure of weapons in private homes (Utter 305). The next gun ownership policy that was imposed occurred in 1903.
Parliament passed legislation reacting to violent crime and the perceived threat of insurrection that arose from the social and economic pressures of industrialization (305). The act was called the Pistol Act. In 1920, the third policy was implemented in Britain. The Firearms Act was passed and put into effect. The combination of international instability and political unrest led to these further firearm legislations (305). After World War II, the laws were strengthened even further.
The forth gun ownership policy change took place in 1988 due to a murderous rampage by an individual in Hungerford (LaPierre 2). Whole classes of pump and semi-auto shotguns and rifles were banned by the government. Due to the violence, British politicians promised more gun control to come in the future. Keeping good on their word, gun control policies changed for a fifth time in 1997 due to another rampage in Dunblane, Scotland by another madman. Britain criminalized private possession of large caliber handguns, and then all handguns except for. 22 caliber (LaPierre 2).
The. 22 caliber guns would have to be kept at a licensed gun club. A buyback scheme was implemented and all licensed gun owners were told to hand over their property (2). Anyone seeking to own a gun would have to get a certificate from the police and demonstrate a need for the weapon. Self-defense would rarely be accepted as a valid reason (Within 2). The sixth and most recent policy was implemented in 2002, building upon the 1997 policy. With few categories of firearms left in Britain, legislators are now after the private possession of. 22 caliber, bb and pellet guns.
The call to control air guns was keyed to the murderous acts of a deranged expelled 19 -year-old student in Erfurt, Germany, who killed 17 schoolmates with a handgun (LaPierre 3). This has the British citizens asking what on earth this has to do with owning air rifles or air pistols. With the latest gun control policy in effect, many steps must be taken in order to obtain a firearm in Britain. It is not possible to purchase a gun over the counter, unless the purchaser has a license issued by police. To obtain one of these permits, an applicant must convince police that he is of sound mind, has good reason to possess a weapon, and will not disturb the peace (Malcolm 100). Memberships to a gun club or the need to control wild animals are good reasons for needing a permit.
The guns must be kept at the licensed gun club. Unlike the United States, the reactions to the new gun control policies in Britain were for the worse. Almost immediately, the level of violence and the brutal nature of that violence exploded against the newly disarmed civil populations (LaPierre 4). Almost half of the innocent citizens have fallen victim to crime. The issue with street violence has overwhelmed all other British domestic issues. The criminals know that the citizens will not be armed with weapons and they take advantage of that situation.
Personal self-defense and armed self-defense is considered a crime due to the gun control policy prohibiting private possession of firearms, thus leaving the citizens defenseless in some instances. The call for more gun control has been issued to further improve gun control in Britain. Lord these guns have cause too much pain We ask, please, never again. - Bob Dylan Those words were used as part of a British campaign for more gun control (Guns: 1). In addition to the calling for more gun control, Prime Minister Tony Blair has been pressing for laws that will erase many of the ancient civil liberties that were adopted from the English Common law. Unlike the United States, Britain does not have a constitution protecting the rights of the people (LaPierre 5). The Blair government is attacking other liberties in hope that they will help to better gun control and lower violence.
If this takes place, the citizens will lose the right to choose trial by jury, the right to remain silent, and the right against self-incrimination (5). Hearsay evidence and gossip will be admissible in criminal trials (5). Upon evaluating the way Britain has dealt with the issue of gun control, I have found myself in disagreement with the way they have handled it. Witness the story of Tony Martin, a 54 -year-old farmer, whose home on a 350 -acre rural tract had been repeatedly burglarized and robbed.
On the night of August 21, 1999, Martin heard burglars inside his home and confronted the criminals with a shotgun. He wounded one thief and killed another. A third house breaker got away. The dead burglar had a history of crimes of violence and crimes against persons property. He had been arrested for 29 different crimes including burglary, theft and assaulting police.
The two other career criminals had been hauled before the court on criminal offenses 52 times and 35 times. But it was Tony Martin who was prosecuted with the greatest zeal. The crown court found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to life in prison (LaPierre 7). Should Tony Martin have been the one getting punished? He was just trying to protect his property.
The banning of all firearms has caused nothing but an outbreak of violence instead of improving the situation. Britain has a tremendous amount of room for improvement when it comes to the issue of gun control. The Blair government needs to take into consideration what the British citizens want. Law-abiding gun owners all over the world should not be deprived of their firearms because others commit crimes. Throughout the paper it is apparent that the United States of America and Britain have strengths and weaknesses with the issue of gun control, and have taken the initiative to deal with those issues. We all know that as long as there are firearms related crimes occurring around the world, legislators will be looking for ways to improve gun control in their respected country.
The issue of gun control will never go away, but that simply means the improvement of laws can never go away either. Bibliography: Marjolin, Robert J. , ed. Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment. New York: Garland Pub. , 1993. True, Clayton E.
For the Defense of Themselves and the State: The Original Intent and Judicial Interpretation of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1994. Freedman, Warren. The Privilege to Keep and Bear Arms: The Second Amendment and Its Interpretation. New York: Quorum Books, 1989.
La Pierre, Wayne, foreword by Tom Clancy, Guns, Crime, and Freedom, Harper Perennial, New York, 1994. Within, Jay, and Zelman, Aaron, "Gun Control" Gateway to Tyranny, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Milwaukee, 1992.
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Research essay sample on Guns And Gun Control