The political and social debate over the question of how much gun control is appropriate has been an extremely polarized one for over a decade. In recent months, the Colorado theater massacre, the Newtown shootings and other subsequent school shootings have pushed the gun control debate further into the public eye. Discussions of the topic tend to revolve around three major talking points: A sociological, an ethical and a legal dimension.

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From the point of view f social science, the arguments concern the efficacy of gun control laws in relation to reducing violent crime. The ethical point ot view pits the right to bear arms against the protection of citizens and prevention of crime, The legal question is the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the U. S. Constitution on the issue of whether or not the right to bear arms extends to private citizens or applies only to a so-called “well-regulated militia. Some of the restrictions that have been proposed or enacted into law include background checks and waiting periods for individuals who want to urchase a firearm, regulation of secondary market sales, concealment laws, bans on small and lightweight guns, and a controversial ban on assault weapons. Guns are extremely powerful weapons. They can cause destruction, harm or even death. They can be used to defend and protect or to threaten and kill. Any way you look at it, guns are powerful tools, not only physically but socially.

As college students It Is Important for us to stay informed of current events and issues going on in our country today, one of which is this controversial issue of gun control. It is extremely important to pay ttention to where gun control laws are headed. The directions they take not only affect our nation and society but our future as well. These effects of gun control laws have been extensive and far-reaching, though they don’t altogether deter people from acquiring a firearm.

The Brady Handgun Control Act (1993) made it much more difficult to purchase and own a gun. Gun control advocates say this type of control is not

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enough. They say that although firearm related incidents have declined since Its enactment, tougher laws are needed or more acts of firearm violence will continue to t Of2 government to control its citizens. The real debate, for both sides, comes down to who should own a gun and under what restrictions should they be able to possess it. This is an important question to society as a whole.

Guns play a role in everyone’s lives to some degree, whether it’s our own personal possession of a hunting rifle or a pistol in the hands of a kid in our neighborhood. We as Americans value our rights to freedoms, which includes the right to bear arms as stated in the 2nd Amendment. In my opinion, guns are not responsible for the wave of violent crime that is hitting America. In fact, guns are used in relatively few violent crimes compared to other ethods. Far more are committed with knives or other objects. Some Americans like to use firearms as a scapegoat.

Rather than take on the responsibility of correcting societal problems, they push for more gun-control laws, but experience shows that this legislation does not really work. In recent years, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have all created gun-control programs that have been extremely unsuccessful. For example, in 1996 Australia spent 500 million dollars to confiscate and destroy 640,000 firearms. After two years, the Australian government found that the incidence of violent crime had increased dramatically. The number of armed robberies, for example, had risen more than 70 percent.

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