Essay on The Gun Control Debate

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"I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it."
-- Clint Eastwood

Gun control has a history dating back to 1791, when the Second Amendment of the Constitution was ratified. However, more recently, the debate over gun control has escalated into a much more public issue to which many citizens can relate. After all, stories about incidents involving guns appear frequently today in newspapers and on television or the radio. One could say that the debate started with the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which banned ownership of guns by certain groups of people and regulated the sale of guns. Since then, two main groups have gradually appeared: people who oppose strict federal
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Since 1991, the violent crime rate has decreased 38 percent.2

Supporters of restricting gun ownership argue exactly the opposite; they feel that if more people were to have guns, there would be more violent crime incidents and more accidents involving guns, especially among children and teens. More people in the United States die in a gun-related occurrence than in any other country, and gun attacks are five times more likely to cause death than attacks involving a knife.3 Those people who want more restricting laws have good reason to do so, because they want to protect themselves and the people they know from harm. On both sides of this issue, people feel that their ideas are the ones that will keep them from harm. Unfortunately, their ideas differ so greatly (gun ownership versus no ownership) that the issue is hotly debated today.

Between very limited gun control and very restricted gun control, there must be some medium that can somewhat appease both sides. More laws can be constructed that ban individuals that have a criminal background, mentally unstable individuals, or minors from buying a gun. Already, a background check is required for all individuals who wish to buy a gun; this comes from the Brady Law, passed in 1994, which allows law enforcement officials to check the qualifications of the buyer. This way, law-abiding citizens can own a gun for hunting or for self-defense reasons, while criminals would have a nearly impossible

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