NO matter how you kick at it guns have, and will always be, round; whether they are used in the military or for personal use. However, many people have lost interest in gun activities, such as hunting and target shooting, which has caused an overall lack of knowledge about firearms and a lack of respect for guns. As a result, some people believe that we need stricter gun control laws or they believe that guns should be eliminated from society because of all the crimes that are committed and all the accidents that occur each year, that involve guns.
So the real question is, would banning guns from a society really reduce crime? Australia serves as a perfect example of what appends when strict gun laws are enacted. As Andrea Petri explains in the article, A Disarming Cause, the whole situation began with the Port Arthur Tragedy, which happened on April 28, 1996. It all started when a crazed man open fired and shot 35 innocent people (Petri, Andrea). The Australians were shocked by this incident and the government quickly reacted.
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Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard states, “l am determined that large numbers of weapons of mass destruction will be taken out of circulation and that Australia will be a safer place. It’s time to bite the bullet and take a stand so Australia does not go down the path of the IIS with its gun culture”(Petri, Andrea). Shortly afterward, a severe gun law was passed. This law banned all firearm ownership in Australia. That included rifles, handguns, and shotguns. Even small . G’s used for rabbit hunting were banned.
A former California state senator said, “They outlawed every semi-auto, even those pretty duck guns. Do you have a Browning BAR rifle? Banned. How about a Winchester Model 100? Out of luck, all semi-auto hunting rifles were outlawed as well. They didn’t miss one”(Petri, Andrea). After the law went into affect, Australia implemented at buyback program, offering to buy back every firearm from every civilian that owned them. At a cost of about 500 million dollars, only 640,000 guns were surrendered to the police out of the approximately 7 million firearms that were in possession (Petri, Andrea).
One year after the law was passed, statistics were released and people realized that things weren’t working out like their leaders had hoped. There was a 44 percent increase in armed robberies, 8. 6 percent increase in aggravated assaults, and a 3. 2 increase in homicides (Petri, Andrea). Along with that, there was a 300 recent increase in homicides committed with firearms in the state of Victoria. The following year robberies increased 60 percent in south Australia. And in the next two years crime rates were still increasing (Petri, Andrea).
From the information that I found, there had been no decrease in any type of criminal activity. And consider that before the ban Australia had shown a 25 percent decrease in homicides with firearms and armed robberies (Petri, Andrea). It seemed that it was the opposite result from what they had hoped for. Over the last 50 years the world around us has changed drastically. The ties are filled with brutal crimes involving vicious attacks, rapes, shooting, drug activities and stealing.
Many Americans see this as a problem, just as they should, but many of them are attempting to fix it by creating laws that limit or eliminate the legal ownership of firearms. Although some slight changes in gun laws could potentially help in some ways, many people forget that removing firearms from all citizens also means removing firearms from innocent law-abiding citizens who use the Weapons for self-defense and for other legal purposes. In order to realize why drastic gun control is not the erect answer we must look back into history and see what role guns have played in the world.
The exact text from 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 (Second Amendment). This basically means people have the right to own firearms. But in 2008 and 2010 the Supreme Court issued two second amendment decisions. One being that it protects an individuals right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful reposes such as self defense within the home (Second Amendment).
These laws were created for good reason during the colonial times and some Of the reasons still remain today. Originally weapons were primarily used for hunting and occasionally self-defense, but when colonists felt like it was necessary, they would pick up their rifles and go to war. The founding fathers of this country were smart enough to realize that an armed country would be vital for fighting off oppression, which is why they made the right to bear arms a constitutionally guaranteed right. There is no question that guns are involved in countless murders, suicides, and other accidental deaths.
But determining what type of gun laws would help prevent these deaths is very difficult. As you have seen, the total banning of guns certainly was very ineffective for Australia. As Americans we should be thankful that, because of the second amendment, lawmakers cannot rush into making laws like that. Although Australia was attempting to improve their society by limiting guns, they went about it in the wrong way. In one instance a city in Georgia had a totally opposite strategy for reducing crime rate. In 1 982 the small town of
Keenness, Georgia, passed a law requiring all heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition (Hamilton, Jonathan, and Burch, David). Although this law was not primarily created to reduce crime rates in the city it did, in turn, cause crime rates to plunge during the following years and still to this day. According to Chuck Baldwin, author of Gun Ownership In Keenness, Georgia—Crime Rate Plummets, “After the law went into effect in 1982, crime against persons plummeted 74 percent compared to 1 981 , and fell another 45 percent in 1 983 compared to 1982. Before the gun law was enacted the ties population was only about 5,000, but by 1 996 the population had more than doubled and reached 13,000. During this time frame there were only three murders, two of the murders involved knives while only one was with a firearm (Baldwin, Chuck). With all the gun-related publicity that we see in the news today you would think that most people would be aware of what’s happening in Keenness, Georgia. But actually there are very few people that have even heard of the town let alone their gun laws. What’s the reason for this?
Well, mainly because the media doesn’t want people to know. They do his because they want everyone to think that guns are a bad thing and cause violence in our community and world. What most people seem to misunderstand is that when guns are put into households it instantly creates a sense of fear or a worried attitude within the criminal. Baldwin states, “The Bad guys didn’t force the residents to prove it. Just knowing that residents were armed prompted them to move on to easier targets. Most criminals don’t have a death wish. ” Does gun ownership equal high murder rates? Not necessarily.
According to a study conducted by Harvard university the facts how that gun ownership does not necessarily lead to higher murder rates. While American gun ownership is fairly high many other developed nations, for example, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, and Denmark also have high rates of gun ownership however their murder rates are as low or lower then many developed nations in which gun ownership is much rarer (Skates, Don, and Amuser, Gary). Also, in Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, their murder rate was nine times higher than Germany in 2002 (Skates, Don, and Amuser, Gary).
This duty also stated that their data showed that firearms ownership in England and the United States actually showed a negative correlation, that is, where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest and vice versa (Skates, Don, and Amuser, Gary). However, I do think that certain gun laws can help reduce crime. Believe that our current gun laws in Oregon are both fair and effective. But not every state is like Oregon. Texas for instance, has very few rules or restrictions when buying a gun. All you have to do is be 18, no registration, no waiting period (The Basics).
But in Oregon you must be at east 18 to buy a rifle or shotgun and 21 for a handgun. There is no registration but you do have to have a background check on the spot. For handguns you must 21 and it only requires a background check as well (Montanan, Charles). Any person who has been convicted of a felony in any state cannot legally own a gun or have one in their possession. I believe that guns should be regulated but guns should never be banned. Proper regulations help keep guns out of the wrong hands. On the other hand, banning guns only takes guns away from people who obey the laws, not criminals.
Criminals are criminals. If guns are prohibited they will find a way to et them. Eugene Folk, a law professor at the University of California says, “You have to think about the particular type of gun control at work, you have to subdivide gun users and gun abuser” (Lipton, Adam). An organization called the National Rifle Association was formed in 1871 and is American’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights. It’s goal originally, was to improve the marksmanship of the troops by “promoting and encouraging rifle shooting” (A Brief History of the NEAR).
It’s goals expanded eventually to not only improving marksmanship for troops but also promoting firearms training and education or citizens. In the early sass’s it began promoting the shooting sports among America’s youth and established rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. Today youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NEAR (A Brief History of the NEAR). In 1949 it created the first hunter education program and has helped make hunting one of the safest sports in existence. They have also been involved in the training of law enforcement officers.
Beginning in 1 960 the NEAR became the only national trainer of law enforcement officers with their Police Firearms Certification Program (A Brief History of the NEAR). The NEAR is well-known for being against gun control. No matter whether or not one agrees with their philosophy, it is still a fact that the NEAR has done a lot to reduce accidental gun deaths and injuries by their focus on firearms education and training. Of the nearly 4 million NEAR members, George Stephanotis said “Let me make one small vote for the NEAR. They’re good citizens. They call their Congressmen.
They write. They vote. They contribute” (A Brief History of the NEAR). This comment indicates that they go through the proper channels to make their point and to be heard. We can all do this, no matter what our position is on gun control. In that way the subject is thoroughly debated and laws won’t be passed too quickly without studying what the consequences might be. As you can see there is a fine median between too much gun control and too little. Overall, extreme gun control laws, such as banning, has been shown to be ineffective in eliminating crime.