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takeaim a visual compendium of the united states gun control situation


takeaim a visual compendium of the united states gun control situation


2 4

executive summary

39

the current laws a look outside federal law

key terms

state law pa state profile

7

top ten strange gun laws

the state of the union

51

the current debate

defining the black market

the 2 nd amendment timeline

the black market

ten - second guns

interstate gun trafficking how they get away with it ?

the top five assault weapons police reports accidental deaths crime and guns gun availability

61

guns at school

law enforcement

percentage of guns guns and women

background checks

police and guns

gun shows permits for handguns lost or stolen guns

70

analysis

table of contents


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

executive summary

The issue of gun control

solution to prevent it. Pro Gun Control advocates argue

is derived from and

predominantly outside of the term “violence”, mainly

fueled by the high rate

focusing on anecdotal evidence of “gun availability.” Anti

of gun violence in the

Gun Control advocates, adversely, focus on the term of

United States. The term

“defense”. Both parties, however, predominantly target

“gun violence”, however,

federal law. Unfortunately, gun regulation under federal

must be analyzed,

law has proven to do little to effect rates of gun violence

before resolving on a

in the country. This is due to a high rate of variability in gun control laws on a state level—resulting, more or less—in a state-driven firearms black market.

2


introduction

As a result of this, the most effective way to implement gun control lies in attacking two fronts: the nature of violence, and the state-regulated availability of guns. Since ‘violence’ is ultimately broken down into desire, ability, and feasibility, effective gun control must include attacks on these incentives, and more importantly, at a local level. The control of guns is an isolated problem, with factors changing in each community, and as such is most effectively enforced on a local level.

3


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

key terms at f

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

tt c

Time-to-Crime; a measure of the time between a gun’s initial retail sale and its recovery in a crime – and according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a crime gun with a TTC of less than two years (a “short TTC”) is more likely to have been illegally trafficked.

ffl

Term referring to “Federal Firearm Licensees”, refers to guns that were originally sold by licensed gun dealers.

st r aw p u rc h as i n g

ccp

i n s u r r e c t i o n a ry

v i o l e n t c r i m e c o n t ro l ac t vpc

b r a dy l aw

cap

m ag a z i n e k i t c h e n ta b l e

as s au lt w e a p o n

s at u r day n i g h t s p e c i a l

4

The act of purchasing a gun under the statement that the buyer themselves will possess the gun, while in reality the gun is being passed to secondary owners. Term referring to “Concealed Carry Permits”; Personal permits that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons. States may grant local law enforcement the right to use discretion in granting CCPs, or default to the issuing of CCPs under federal guidelines. A violent uprising against an authority or government. Prohibits possession of a gun by anyone subject to such a restraining order Violence Policy Center; exposed the many problems generated by insufficient federal and state oversight of federally licensed firearms dealers. A federal law that requires federally licensed dealers to perform background checks on gun purchasers. Child Access Protection Laws; Laws that require adults either to store loaded guns in a place where children reasonable cannot get to them or to use a device to lock that gun so children cannot access them. An ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Individuals who conduct business out of their homes and offices and do not operate actual gun or sport-goods store. “Assault weapon” is an invented term. In the firearm lexicon, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” The closest relative is the “assault rifle,” which is a machine gun or “select fire” rifle that fires rifle cartridges. In most cases, “assault weapons” are functionally identical to hunting rifles, though cosmetically similar to military guns. Saturday night special is a cheap handgun of small caliber which can be easily concealed. Numerous arms manufacturers make guns which could be considered saturday night specials. Saturday night specials are very easy to obtain.


introduction

common proponent phrases

common opponent phrases

crime kill safer gun at home family murderers protection weapon of choice taxes militia purpose easy availability limited should be liable banned eliminate guns can’t be trusted threatens propaganda gun-lobby court decision

Amendment the right reduce crime Brady Law target shooting safer government enormous responsiblity average resisting timely protection Saturday night special weapon of choice better for home defense law-abiding citizens militia purpose self-defense responisible for how it’s used demand no fatalities advertisments obey the law collective rights

5


“

the totalitarian states can do great things , but there is one thing they cannot do : they cannot give the factory worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom .

that rifle , hanging on the wall of the working class flat or laborer ’ s cottage , is the symbol of democracy .

it is our job to see that it stays there .

george orwell


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

THE STATE OF THE UNION chapter 4

7


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

8

p ro g u n c o n t ro l

a n t i g u n c o n t ro l

The main argument of gun control activists centers around the belief that guns are a source of crime and must be banned. They maintain that the only function of a gun is to kill. The more instruments of death can be removed from society, the safer it will be. They also argue that the legal ownership of guns by law abiding citizens inevitably leads to many unnecessary and tragic deaths. Gun control advocates argue that legally held guns are stolen and end up in the hands of criminals, who would have greater difficulty in obtaining such weapons if firearms were less prevalent, as well as in the hands of children, leading to tragic accidents and terrible disasters such as the Columbine High School massacre. Supporters of gun control believe that shooting as a sport desensitises people to the lethal nature of all firearms, creating a gun culture that glamorises and legitimises unnecessary gun ownership. In response to the argument of self defense, the gun control community asserts that vigilante killings are inexcusable. Perversely, they propose, the danger of attack by homeowners may make it more likely that criminals will carry their own weapons. If a right to self-defence is granted in this way, many accidental deaths are bound to result. The correlation between the laxity of the country’s gun laws and its suicide rate, advocates argue, is inseparable. In the U.S., a means of quick and effective suicide is easily to hand. Ultimately, they assert that the state should discourage and restrict the ownership of something that wastes so many human lives.

The pro gun community, adversely, states vehementle that prohibition is not the answer, especially not in countries such as the U.S. where gun ownership is such an entrenched aspect of society. Banning guns would not make them disappear or make them any less dangerous. It is a legitimate right of citizens to own weapons with which to protect themselves, their family, and their property. One of the most powerful arguments of anti gun control advocates is that guns don’t kill people – people kill people. Restricting gun ownership will do nothing to make society safer as it is the intent of the criminal we should fear, and that will remain the same whatever the gun laws. In the vast majority of crimes involving firearms, the gun used is not legally held or registered. Many of these illegal weapons are imported secretly from abroad, rather than being stolen from registered owners. The gun community defends their right to continue in the leisure of shooting as a sport, on which they have spent large amounts of money – an investment, they argue, the government would effectively be confiscating if their guns were confiscated. Another popular argument lies in self-protection. Many beieve that law-abiding citizens deserve the right to protect their families in their own homes, especially if the police are judged incapable of dealing with the threat of attack. Would-be rapists and armed burglars, they maintain, ‘will think twice before attempting to break into any house where the owners may keep firearms for self-defense.’ The coup d’etat of gun advocates lies in the 2nd Ammendement, which states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary top the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” They ultimately believe that a country is much more able to defend itself from aggression if its citizens are able to use guns; and, of course, such widespread ownership of weapons is a safeguard against domestic tyranny.


the current debate

m i t i g at i n g t h e t h r e at o f gun violence requires ac t i o n ; t h e q u e st i o n i s w h at k i n d . w i l l m o r e o r less guns affect the s a f e ty a n d p rov i d e f o r the freedom of the american people, or is the real issue being missed e n t i r e ly ?

9


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

“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 .”

the 2 n d amendment • Established in 1791 by the Founding Fathers. James Madison took credit for drafting the U.S Bill of Rights as we see it today. • Pennsylvania was considered the first state to adopt to this Amendment. • 20th century invention made up by anti-gun academics and pressure groups determined to disarm ordinary Americans and thereby grant government individuals a firearm monopoly. “Gun control has never been about the elimination of guns, but about who will control them.” • The National Rifle Association contributes there spending’s on the idea that the Bill of Rights will promise all individuals a right to own a gun, in which it also gives us the freedom of speech, assembly and religion. • The NRA supports programs and legislation which keeps guns from criminals, but doesn’t infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. • The language and history of the 2nd Amendment shows that its subject matter was not individual rights, but rather the distribuation of military power in society between the states and the federal government. • In any event, the amendment’s central purpose is not to justify revolution but to assure that Americans would retain the right of self-defense rather than becoming abjectly dependent on the state to defend them against crime.

10


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

1971

1791

Second Amendment Ratified

1822

Bliss v. Commonwealth Brings ‘Individual Right’ Into Question

1856

Dred Scott v. Sandford Upholds individual Right

1871

NRA Founded

1934

National Firearms Act brings About First Major Gun Control

1938

Federal Firearms Act Requires License for Dealers

1968

Gun Control Act Ushers In New Regulations

1994

Brady Act and Assault Weapons Ban

2004

Assault Weapons Ban Sunsets

2008

D.C. v. Heller is a Major Setback for Gun Control

2010

Gun Owners Score Another Victory in McDonald v. Chicago

2010

11


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

1934

National Firearms Act The first federal law that attempted to screen who purchases automatic firearms

1986

Firearms Owners Protection Act

1968

1791

Gun Control Act

Second Amendment Ratified

Assassination of JFK, consiquently mail order sales of guns were outlawed. Also further restricted shotgun and rifles sales

GUN CONTROL TIMELINE

1971

1972

Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms created

1871

National Rifle Association Founded

1990

Crime Control Act Bans manufacturing and importing semiautomatic assualt weapons in the US

1938

Federal Firearms Act

12

Required all firearms dealers to obtain a FFL and also prohibited limitations on selling ordinary firearms


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

1998

Buyback plan President Clinton annouces that the instant background chec system had prevented 400,000 illegal gun purchases.

2007

Virginia Tech 33 killed 15 injured Some critical condition

1994

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act Bans all sales, manufacture, importation, or possession of a number of specific types of assault weapons

2000

Million Mom March

2011

Tuscan Shooting

A demonstration for “common sense� gun control laws

Congress Cliffords Shot. 6 Killed 12 injured

2011

2006

Gunman goes on a rampage at an Amish school in PA 3 Killed

1994

Brady handgun Violence Prevention Act Purchases of handguns require 5-day background checks

2008 1999

The US Supreme Court rules that Americans have a right to own guns for self defense and hunting.

Columbine Two teenagers kills 12 students and teacher at Columbine High School, fuelling a new campaign on gun control

13


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

There are at least

50,600,000 holds.

f i r e a r m ow n i n g h o u s e -

40% o f w h o m ow n h a n d g u n s .

14

The U.S. has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, the highest rate in the world.


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

as the population

u . s . p o p u l at i o n as o f 2009 : 307,006,550

of the united states rapidly increases , so does the number of firearms . but

how many are there , exactly , in ratio to

our 300,000,000 u . s . citizens ? and what kind are the most popular ?

15


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

On any given day, 1 million American civilians are carrying guns. About 2 million more keep guns in their vehicles. Amongst those 3 million guns, on any given day, only 12% are believed to be registered. And amongst those unregestiered guns, 450,000 a year are used to commit a crime.

A GUN IS MADE EVERY These guns participate in 67% of the 14 murders, 48 rapes, and 578 robberies committed daily by paroled prisoners.

16


o f t h e 88% o f u n r e g i st e r e d g u n s ...

12% Were purchased at a a retail store or gun shop.

88% of all civilian guns are unregistered.

10 SECONDS

12% of civilian guns are registered.

2% Were purchased at a market or gun show.

80% Were procured by family, friends, or other illegal sources.

17


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

1

smith and wesson

.38

r e vo lv e r

THE TOP FIVE These five firearms consitute the majority of crime guns used in the United States.

18


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

2 3 4 5

ruger

9mm

lo rc i n

380

s e m i au to m at i c

r av e n s

.25

s e m i au to m at i c

r av e n s

.25

s e m i au to m at i c

Firearms are the instrument of 67.1 percent of all muders. 47.32 percent are committed with a handgun, 3.07 percent with a shotgun, and 14.14 percent with any number of unknown firearms. The guns pictured on the left are the top five most oftenly recovered crime guns. What makes these guns so dangerous is that they are statistically preferable for violent misdemeanants, who in thirty-seven states are allowed to purchase handguns barring a domestic violence history.

19


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

th o

m a

s

20


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

“Th

je

ff

er

so

e eb

of a ut y

th e Se

cond Amendment is that it wi

ll not

be n

e ed

ed

un

til t

he yt ry

to

ta

ke

it.�

n

21


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

22


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

ASSAULT WEAPONS criminals are as likely to carry single shot handguns as they are to carry

“ assault

weapons .”

23


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

“ assault non - problem

police reports show that weapons ” are a

San Francisco: In 1998, only 2.2% of confiscated weapons were “assault weapons.”

B e tw e e n 1980 a n d 1994, o n ly 2% o f c o n f i s c at e d g u n s w e r e “ as s au lt w e a p o n s .” J u st

u n d e r 2% o f c r i m i n a l s t h at c o m m i t v i o l e n t c r i m e s u s e d “ as s au lt w e a p o n s .”

Los Angeles: In 1998, of 538 documented gun incidents, only one (0.2%) involved an “assault weapon.”

San Diego: Between 1988 and 1990, only 0.3% of confiscated weapons were “assault weapons.”

24


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

only

8%

of criminals

use anything that is classified

( even

incorrectly ) as an

“ assault

weapon ,”

though less than

1%

1.39% of the models of firearms in the market were covered by the ban, so the ban’s effectiveness is automatically limited.

The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.

claimed to use

these firearms when committing crimes .

In 1994, before the Federal “assault weapons ban,” you were eleven time more likely to be beaten to death than to be killed by an “assault weapon.”

25


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

accidental deaths

In 2001, there were only

ing in a pool is nearly 100

cidental firearm deaths.

which are more deadly.

65 accidental gun deaths

times higher than from a

This translates into 1 in

These are typically hunt-

for children under age 13.

firearm-related accident

6 doctors causing an ac-

ing accidents.

About 11 times as many

for everyone, and nearly

cidental death, and 1 in

Handguns have triggers

children die from

500 times for ages 0-5.

56,666 gun owners doing

that are difficult for small

the same.

(child) hands to operate,

drowning. Medical mistakes kill

and are rarely the cause

In 1993, there were

400,000 people per

Around 2,000 patients

1,334 drownings and 528

year – the equivalent of

each year – six per day

firearm-related accidental

almost three fully loaded

– are accidentally killed

deaths from ages 0-19.

Boeing 747 jet crashes

or injured in hospitals by

Firearms outnumber pools

per day – or about 286

registered nurses.

by a factor of over 30:1.

times the rate of all ac-

Most fatal firearm ac-

Thus, the risk of drown-

of accidents.

cidents involve long guns,

Firearm misuse causes only a small number of accidental deaths in the U.S. For example, compared to accidental death from firearms, you are:

MV Traffic Fall Poisoning Unspecified

• Four times more likely to burn to death or drown • 17 times more likely to be poisoned • 19 times more likely to fall • And 53 times more likely to die in an automobile accident

Suffiocation Fire/Burn Drowning Other Transport Natural/Environment Other Land Transport Pedestrian Other Struck by or Against Firearm

.8%

Machinery Pedal Cyclist, Other Cut/pierce Overexertion

26

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

AGE 17 AND YOUNGER One female 17 or younger died every two days (taking into account all gun causes.

One white male 17 or younger was murdered, on average, about every 30 hours.

AGE 18-25

One woman murdered

Six black men murdered

One black male 17 or younger was murdered daily.

AGE 26-39

Four white men were suicides Nearly 6 black men murdered.

25 white men were suicides

Nearly 7 white men were suicides. Four white men murdered. Three white men murdered One woman was a suicide.

AGE 40-UP Two white woman murdered

Accidental

Suicide

Homicide

account of daily gun deaths This chart above shows an estimated account of how many deaths occur a year on average, by firearms in the United States. The bullets are colored by their group either Homicide, Suicide or Accidental and also by age.

27


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

THE AVAILABILITY OF GUNS

28


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

The most significant correlation between the use of guns in the commission of crimes occur when parents (27.5% of inmates) abuse drugs or have friends engaged in illegal activities (32.5% with robberies and 24.3% for drug trafficking).

Five out of six gun-possessing felons obtained handguns from the secondary market and by theft, and “[the] criminal handgun market is overwhelmingly dominated by informal transactions and theft as mechanisms of supply.”

Most violent crime is caused by a small minority of repeat offenders. 75- 80% of murder arrestees have prior arrests for a violent (including non-fatal) felony or burglary.

Half of all murders are committed by people on “conditional release” (i.e., parole or probation). 81% of all homicide defendants had an arrest record; 67% had a felony arrest record; 70% had a conviction record; and 54% had a felony conviction.

29


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

t h e n u m b e r o f f i r e a r m s ow n e d by

w h i l e c r i m e r at e s h av e g o n e u p a n d

p r i vat e c i t i z e n s h as b e e n i n c r e as i n g

d ow n d e p e n d i n g o n e c o n o m i c s , d r u g t r a f f i c k i n g i n n ovat i o n s , a n d

1970.

“get

350

14

300

12

250

10

200

8

150

6

100

4

50

2

0

7 19

2

7 19

74 19

76 19

8

7 19

0

8 19

2

8 19

4

8 19

6

8 19

8

8 19

0

9 19

2

9 19

4

9 19

6

9 19

As the chart shows, there is no correlation between

Handgun Supply

the availability of firearms and the rates of homicide

Homicide rate

and suicide in America.

Suicide rate Handgun Homicide Rate

30

100,000

to u g h � l e g i s l at i o n .

ho m i c i d s / s u i c i d e s p e r

handguns per

1,000

p o p u l at i o n

st e a d i ly s i n c e


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

gun availability is not the cause for school shootings : Schoolyard shootings have been occurring since at least 1974, so it is not a new phenomenon due to increases in gun ownership.

More than 50% of these terrorists start thinking about their assaults two or more weeks before the shooting, and 75% planned-out their attacks.

In rural areas, guns are everywhere and children are taught to shoot at young ages – yet these areas are almost devoid of schoolyard shootings.

In rural areas, guns are everywhere and children are taught to shoot at young ages – yet these areas are almost devoid of schoolyard shootings.

31


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

lo s a n g e l e s c o u n ty s aw r e p e at o f f e n d e r a n d r e - a r r e st r at e s s oa r a f t e r au t h o r i t i e s c lo s e d ja i l s a n d r e l e as e d p r i s o n e rs e a r ly . i n l e s s t h a n t h r e e y e a rs , e a r ly r e l e as e o f p r i s o n e rs i n l a r e s u lt e d i n :

15,775 R e a r r e st e d

convicts

215 Sex

o f f e n s e c h a rg e s

518 R o b b e ry

c h a rg e s

1,443 A s s au lt

c h a rg e s

16 Murder

c h a rg e s

94.4%

of gun murders

are gang related .

32


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

93%

of guns used

in crimes are obtained illegally

( i . e .,

not at gun

stores or gun shows ). Every day, 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9% of these instances is the gun ever actually fired.

Only 5% of metropolitan police departments believe gun shows are a problem.

Most crime guns are either bought off the street from illegal sources (39.2%) or through family members or friends (39.6%).

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ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

Firearm availability appears to be particularly useful in avoiding rape. Australia and the United Kingdom virtually banned handgun ownership. During the same period handgun ownership in the United States steadily rose. Yet the rate of rape decreased in the United States, and skyrocketed in the other countries, as shown in the table. The probability of serious injury from an attack is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for women resisting with guns. Men also benefit from using guns but the benefits are smaller, 1.4 times more likely to receive a serious injury.

When a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of rape attacks are completed, compared to 32% when the woman was unarmed.

out of

2,500,000

a n n ua l

s e l f - d e f e n s e c as e s u s i n g guns, more than

(7.7%)

192,500

a r e by wo m e n d e f e n d i n g

t h e m s e lv e s ag a i n st s e x ua l abuse.

28.5% of women have one or more guns in the house.

41.7% of women either own or have convenient access to guns.

debate : guns are not effective in preventing crime against women .

34


t h e s tat e o f t h e u n i o n

debate : only police officers should own guns . “...most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.�

11% 2%

o f p o l i c e s h o ot i n g s k i l l a n i n n o c e n t p e rs o n

o f s h o ot i n g s by c i t i z e n s k i l l a n i n n o c e n t p e rs o n .

Police have trouble keeping their own guns. Hundreds of firearms are missing from the FBI and 449 of them have been involved in crimes.


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

POLICE AND GUNS

94%

o f l aw e n f o rc e m e n t o f f i c i a l s b e l i e v e t h at

c i t i z e n s s h o u l d b e a b l e to p u rc h as e f i r e a r m s f o r s e l f - d e f e n s e a n d s p o rt i n g p u r p o s e s .

65.8%

b e l i e v e t h e r e s h o u l d b e n o g u n r at i o n i n g ,

s u c h as

97.9%

‘one

gun per month’ schemes.

o f o f f i c e rs b e l i e v e , t h at t h ro u g h i l l e g a l

m e a n s , c r i m i n a l s a r e a b l e to o b ta i n a n y ty p e o f firearm.

36


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

There are not enough police to protect everyone. In 1999, there were about 150,000 police officers on duty at any one time. The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals. In Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: `... courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.’ Well, except for politicians whom receive taxpayer- financed bodyguards.

There

18,209 m u r d e r 96,122 r a p e help.

were about

ro b b e ry v i c t i m s , a n d p o l i c e c o u l d n ot

victims,

497,950

v i c t i m s t h at t h e

75% of protective/restraining orders are violated and police often won’t enforce them unless they witness the violation. In over 90% of U.S. cities, technology does not give police dispatchers the locationof a cellular telephone caller, making police protection nearly impossible for travelers.

95%

o f t h e t i m e p o l i c e a r r i v e to o l at e to p r e v e n t

a c r i m e o r a r r e st t h e s u s p e c t .

Despite prompt law enforcement responses, most armed and violent attacks at schools were stopped by means other than law enforcement intervention. Often these interventions were by administrators, teachers, or other students who were licensed to carry firearms.

debate : police are our protection . people don ’ t need guns .

37


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

“ good

people do not need laws to tell them to

act responsibly , while bad people will find a way around the laws .�

plato

38


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

THE CURRENT LAWS chapter 3

39


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

3.4 Canada

3.6 1.9

England and Whales

2.1

0.4

Switzerland

Japan

USA

4.1

Australia

p e rc e n t v i c t i m i z at i o n r at e s o f c o n tac t c r i m e

40


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

A LOOK OUTSIDE. the u . s . has a high

In America, it can be demonstrated that private ownership of guns reduces crime, but from country to country there is no correlation between gun availability and the violent crime rate. Consider this:

availability rate as well as a high crime rate . but is this correllation also a causation ? world statistics say otherwise .

Crime Rate Gun Availability

United States

Switzerland

Mexico

Japan

On a larger scale, it is possible to contrast the per capita homicide rate with the percapita gun ownership rate between different industrialized nations. Doing so shows zero correlation between the availability of guns and overall homicide rate. Consider Brazil as an isolated example of this. Brazil has mandatory licensing, registration, and maximum personal ownership quotas. The nation also now bans any new sales to private citizens. Their homicide rate, however, is almost three times high than the U.S.

Canada’s gun policies have demonstrated a similar level of futility in fighting violent crime. Before there was any gun control legislation in the nation, Canada’s homicide rate was 7% of the U.S. rate. By 1986, and after considerable gun control legislation, Canada’s homicide rate rose to 35% of the U.S. rate. And by 2003, Canada’s violent crime rate had doubled that of the U.S., claiming 963 per 100,000 citizens versus 475 in the U.S. Ultimately, it can proved that federal gun legislation is useless in reducing the rates of violent crime. In fact, many of the countries with the strictest gun laws consistently have the highest rates of violent crime. Australia and England, which have virtually banned gun ownership, have the highest rates of robbery, sexual assault, and assualt with force (all firearms related crimes) of the top 17 industrialized nations.

41


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

t h e f o l low i n g c l as s e s

1. Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year

of people are ineligible

2. Fugitives from justice

to p o s s e s s , r e c e i v e ,

3. Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs

s h i p , o r t r a n s p o rt

4. Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents

firearms or ammunition:

5. Those committed to any mental institution 6. Illegal aliens 7. Citizens who have renounced their citizenship 8. Those persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces 9. Persons less than 18 years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle. 10. Persons less than 21 years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle. 11. Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner. 12. Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. 13. Persons under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year are ineligible to receive, transport, or ship any firearm or ammunition. Under limited conditions, relief from disability may be obtained from the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, or through a pardon, expungement, restoration of rights, or setting aside of a conviction.

p rov i d e d t h at a l l ot h e r l aw s a r e c o m p l i e d w i t h , a n i n d i v i d ua l m ay t e m p o r a r i ly b o r row o r r e n t a f i r e a r m f o r l aw f u l s p o rt i n g p u r p o s e s t h ro u g h o u t t h e u n i t e d stat e s .

42


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

FEDERAL LAW An individual 21 years of age or older may acquire a handgun from a dealer federally licensed to sell firearms in the individual`s state of residence An individual 18 years of age or older may purchase a rifle or shotgun from a federally licensed dealer in any state Sale of a firearm by a federally licensed dealer must be documented by a federal form 4473, which identifies and includes other information about the purchaser, and records the make, model, and serial number of the firearm. Sales to an individual of multiple handguns within a five-day period require dealer notification to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms An individual who does not possess a federal firearms license may not sell a firearm to a resident of another state without first transferring the firearm to a dealer in the purchaser`s state. Federal law prohibits the carrying of any firearm, concealed or unconcealed, on or about the person or in carry-on baggage while aboard an aircraft. It is illegal to manufacture or sell armor-piercing handgun ammunition. Persons who engage in the business of buying or selling firearms must be licensed by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the U.S. Department of Justice.

43


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

State Requires Purchase Permits for all Gun Sales

State Requires Purchase Permits for Handgun Sales Only

State Does Not Require Purchase Permits for Handgun Sales

44


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

STATE GUN LAWS

only ...

5

stat e s

allow local control of firearms regulations. Two allow limited control, and 43 do not allow any municipal control whatsoever. States that do not allow local gun control export crime guns at a rate more than 4x greater than those that do.

12

2

stat e s

require universal background checks at the time of purchase for all gun sales at gun shows. 38 don’t require the dealers at guns shows to be licensed, and do not require purchase permits.

7

stat e s

stat e s

require lost or stolen guns to be reported to local law enforcement, versus the 43 that do not require any lost or stolen guns to be reported.

have any kind of purchase permit requirement for any gun.

45


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

The Brady Campaign compiles a list of 13 categories, each with its own point value, of measures each state can take, locally, to curb firearm tracking and the risk of gun violence towards local residents. Of the possible 100 points on the check list, Pennsylvania only scored 25.

46

state profile : pennsylvania


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

l e g i s l at i o n

possible

c at e g o ry

points

Gun Dealer Regulations Limit on Bulk Purchases Crime Gun Identification Report Lost/Stolen Guns Universal Background Checks Permit to Purchase Closed Gun Show Loophole tota l

Ammunitions Regulations

possible points

109 points earned

Childproof Handguns Child Safety Locks Child Access Prevention Juvenile Handgun Purchases Assault Weapons Ban Large Capacity Magazine Ban

by pa

25

No Guns in the Workplace No Guns on College Campuses Not a CCW Shall Issue State No State Preemption

12 10 10 3 17 8 7 2 7 6 5 2 5 5 2 2 2 2

points earned

8 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1

47


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

STAT E S P OT L I G H T: T E N ST R A N G E G U N L AWS

p e n n sy lva n i a

a l as k a

connecticut

f lo r i da

Except in the state’s “first

Residents are allowed to

Residents who recieve

Florida became a “stand

class cities” (which in

carry concealed or open

a permit for a pistol or

your ground” state in

Pennsylvania’s case sin-

weapons without any sort

handgun – unless they are

2005, meaning that gun

gles out only Philadelphia),

of license whatsoever,

proved to be mentally un-

owners can use deadly

no license is required to

and will not be penalized

stable – can carry it openly

force if their home is

openly carry a firearm.

for carrying the weapon

or concealed. Additionally,

broken into or if they are

in any public forum. This

visitors to Connecticut can

being attacked, even if

includes schools, govern-

apply for a non-resident

deadly force is not being

ment buildings, and any

permit through the mail,

used towards them.

other recreational location.

allowing for a myriad of

Florida also gives permits

Several municipalities

fraudulent purchases to

to nearly any resident or

have released state-

occur.

visitor over 21, allows the

48

ments asking residents to

carrying of these or any

acquire gun licenses out

weapons in a car, and pro-

of courtesy, but to date no

hibits the firing of employ-

legislation has been intro-

ees who bring concealed

duced to enfore this.

weapons to work.


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

indiana

kentucky

michigan

new hampshire

Barring a criminal record,

Glove compartments are

Anyone over the age of

Carrying a concealed

residents of Indiana over

termed as “sacred” in

18 can buy a gun from a

weapon on your person

the age of 18 can attain

Kentucky, meaning no

private point of sale, but

or in your car requires

a firearm license withing

individual or group can

possession of tasers is

a license. The license,

90 days of applying. Guns

remove a firearm con-

completely prohibited.

however will only cost ten

are allowed in all public

cealed in a glove compart-

dollars and come with a

forums, strangely enough,

ment (even if it is left it

1-2 week waiting period

except for the Indiana

unlocked).

State Fair.

Also, in the event of a

for local residents, and m o n ta n a

disaster or emergency the

at a twenty dollar fee for visitors. No liscence is

state is not permitted to

Unlicensed gun owner-

required, however, for any

confiscate private citizens’

ship, as well as the con-

other kind of gun owner-

weapons, but are allowed

cealed and car carrying of

ship—at home, openly, or

to confiscate the weapons

any unlicensed weapon is

otherwise.

of municipal police forces.

allowed­—but not in bars, banks, and government buildings, and only outside of cities and campsite.

m a ry l a n d

Unfortunately, these designated areas cover

Any resident with a driv-

less than one percent of

er’s license can apply for

populated Montana.

a gun permit and, upon watching a safety video, is unrestricted from buying and amount of guns with no waiting period.

49


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

check and waiting

why ?

period before a person can purchase a handgun.

Because regulation

control law is the Brady

This solution may

of a legal market

Act, passed in 1993,

have seemed appealing

is bound to fail when

which requires a criminal

to politicians, but to

a healthy black market

economists it doesn’t

exists for the same

make much sense.

product.”

“The most famous gun

Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics

50


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

DEFINING THE BLACK MARKET chapter 4

51


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

“ black

market ” firearms

are purchased in one state or another with lax gun laws , and then trafficked to

outlying states . though a gun may be purchased legally in one state , by virtue of being trafficked to another state or owner it enters the

“ black

52

market .”


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

States that rank high in crime gun export usually fall short in ten categories:

01. State criminal penalties for straw purchasing. 02. State criminal penalties for falsifying purchaser information 03. State penalties for failing to conduct dealer background checks. 04. Background checks for all handgun sales at gun shows. 05. Purchase permits for all handgun sales. 06. Local law enforcement discretion to approve or deny concealed carry permits. 07.Gun possession by violent misdemeanants. 08. Reporting lost or stolen guns to law enforcement. 09. Local control of firearms regulations. 10. State inspection of gun dealers.

20 16 14.1 National Average

12

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

17.2

11.5

18.2

4.4

16.1

6.2

18.7

7.1

19.9

9.6

19.2

6.2

19.8

7.5

12.0

19.9

10.9

15.6

0

9.5

4

18.3

8

10

The graph above shows the average rate of trafficked crime guns originating from states who enforce these 10 basic laws (represented in yellow) versus those who do not (red).

53


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

interstate gun trafficking

to p t e n

to p t e n

i n t e rstat e

i n t e rstat e

crime gun

e x p o rt

s u p p l i e rs

rankings

(2009)

1. Georgia

1. Mississippi

2. Florida

2. West Virginia

3. Virginia

3. Kentucky

4. Texas

4. Alaska

5. Indiana

5. Alabama

6. Ohio

6. South Carolina

7. Pennsylvania

7. Virginia

8. North Carolina

8. Indiana

9. California

9. Nevada

10. Arizona

54

10. Georgia


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

70%

20,996

40% l ac k a n y l aw s at a l l .

Three of the top interstate crime gun suppliers rank in the top ten states of total firearm export.

of top exporting states lack atleast half of all state gun laws proven to prevent illegal trafficking,

Total Interstate Crime guns from these states alone.

100% 60% o f stat e s o n b ot h l i st s

lack at least HALF of all state gun laws proven to prevent illegal trafficking

do not require any kind of report on a lost or stolen firearms. States that do not require a report of lost or stolen firearms, by this one law alone, export ov e r 2 x

as many crime guns as any state that does.

55


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

1. Straw Purchasing

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachesetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Sout Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

56

2. Falsifying Purchaser Information

3. Failing to Conduct Dealer Background Checks

x

x

x x x x x x

x

4. Requires 5. Rewuires Background purchase Checks for all permit for all handgun handgun sales at gun purchases shows

x

x x x

x

x

x

x x x x x x

x

x

x N/A

x

x

x x x x x x

x

x x x

x x x

x

x

x

x

x x x x

x

x x x

x x x

x

x

x x

x x x

x x

x

x

x

x

x

x x

x

x

x

x x

x x

x x

x x x x x x

x x x

6. Grants local 7. Prohibits law 10. Requires gun enforcement 8. Requires 9. Allows local possession by or allows discretion to reporting lost control of gun dealer violent deny or stolen guns regulations inspections misdemeanan concealed ts carry permits

x x x

x

x x

x x x x x

x

x

x x

x x

x

x

x x

x

x

N/A

x x x x t

x

x

x x

x

x

x

x x x

x

x

x x x

x x

x x

x

x x x x x

x

x x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x x

x x x x

x x

x

x

x x x

x x x

x

x x

N/A

x

x


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

HOW THEY GET AWAY WITH IT. these are the ten major laws that stop firearms trafficking , and the alarming number of states that don ’ t enfore them .

“Black market” traffickers are attracted by the absence of laws such as prohibition of violent misdemeanant purchases, required purchase permits, and local discretion of concealed carry permits.

The chart, pictured left, tracks the major laws in every state that specifically curtail the illegal purchase, export, and licensing of firearms. The states lacking the majority of these laws rank among the top gun exporters.

57


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

“ black

market ” traffickers

are attracted by the absence of laws such as prohibition

The graphs below track this attraction by comparing short “timeto-crime” guns in stricter states to those barring just these three laws.

of violent misdemeanant purchases , required purchase permits , and local discretion of concealed carry permits .

r e l at i o n s h i p

25%

b e tw e e n t i m e - to c r i m e a n d stat e l aw s p ro h i b i t i n g

20%

24.8%

gun posession by v i o l e n t

15%

misdemeanants

16.8%

10% 5% 0% Prohibit Gun Possession by at Least Some Violent Misdemeanants

58

Allow Gun Possession by Any Violent Misdemeanant

22.6% National Average


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

r e l at i o n s h i p

25%

25.1%

b e tw e e n t i m e - to c r i m e a n d stat e l aw s g r a n t i n g discretion to lo c a l l aw

22.6% National Average

20% 15%

18.7%

e n f o rc e m e n t to deny concealed c a r ry p e r m i t s

10% 5% 0% Local Law Enforcement Has Discretion to Approve or Deny Concealed Carry Permits

r e l at i o n s h i p

Local Law Enforcement Has No Discretion to Approve or Deny Concealed Carry Permits

25%

b e tw e e n t i m e - to c r i m e a n d stat e l aw s r e q u i r i n g

20%

24.8%

p u rc h as e p e r m i t s for all handgun

22.6% National Average

15% 16.1%

sales

10% 5% 0% Purchase Permits Required

No Purchase Permit Required

59


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

� g ua r d

w i t h j e a lo u s att e n t i o n

t h e p u b l i c l i b e rty . s u s p e c t e v e ryo n e w h o a p p roac h e s t h at j e w e l . u n f o rt u n at e ly , n ot h i n g w i l l p r e s e rv e i t b u t d ow n r i g h t f o rc e . w h e n e v e r yo u g i v e u p t h at f o rc e , yo u a r e i n e v i ta b ly ruined�

pat r i c k h e n ry

60


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

LAW ENFORCEMENT chapter 5

61


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

Law Enforcement a . failing to conduct dealer background checks :

" states

that have not enacted laws enabling local prosecution and incar -

ceration of straw purchasers , buyers who falsify purchaser informa tion , and gun dealers who violate background check laws export crime guns at a higher rate than states that have enacted such laws , and are the source of a greater proportion of short ttc crime guns ."

criminal penalties for state law illegal activities:

Straw Purchasing

purchaser who commits a felony by falsely stating on that required paperwork that he or she is that actual buyer of the gun. 9 states and the District of Columbia have enacted parallel laws for local prosecution and incarceration of straw purchasers. EXPORT RATE OF 9.5 CRIME GUNS PER 100,000 INHABITANTS

Falsifying Purchaser Information

an individual who provides false information while purchasing a firearm commits a felony and can be incarcerated for up to 10 years and fined up to $250,000. 27 states and the District of Columbia have enacted parallel laws for local prosecution and incarceration of buyers who provide false information during a firearm purchase. EXPORT RATE OF 10.9 CRIME GUNS PER 100,000 INHABITANTS

Failing to Conduct Dealer Background Checks

a dealer who knowingly fails to conduct a background check on a gun buyer commits a misdemeanor and can be incarcerated for up to 1 year and fined up to $100,000. 25 states and the District of Columbia have enacted parallel laws for local prosecution and incarceration of gun dealers who violate background check laws. EXPORT RATE OF 12.0 CRIME GUNS PER 100,000 INHABITANTS

62


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIME GUN EXPORT RATES AND STATE LAWS ALLOWING LOCAL CONTROL OF FIREARMS REGULATIONS

20 Crime Gun Export Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants

16 12

18.2

---------------------------------------------------------------

14.1 National Average

8 4

4.4 0 Allow Local Control of Gun Laws

Do Not Allow Local Control of Gun Laws

Graph green.(top) shows the export rate of 4.4 guns per 100,100 inhabitants that allow gun control laws in the U.S, while graph red. shows the export rate of 18.2 crime guns per 100,000 inhabitants that do not allow gun control laws in the U.S.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TIME TO CRIME RATES AND STATE LAWS ALLOWING LOCAL CONTROL OF FIREARMS REGULATIONS

25% Proportion of Crime Guns with a Short (Time To Crime) Less Than Two Years Between Original Purchase and Recovery in a Crime)

20% 15%

--------------------------------------------------------------24.3%

22.6% National Average

13.6%

10% 5% 0% Allow Local Control of Gun Laws

Do Not Allow Local Control of Gun Laws

Graph.(bottom) Green shows the TTC estimates of crime guns. About 24.3% of guns originate from states which have a short TTC, and the Red shows 13.6% of guns originating from states that allow local control of firearm regulations of short TTC.

63


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

c . purchase permit for all handgun sales :

"

states that do not require purchase permit for all handguns export crime guns at a rate more than three times greater than states that do require purchase permits for all handguns , and are the source of a greater pro portion of short ttc crime guns ."

It is required that background checks be taken when buying guns. Requirements could deny guns to criminals and help regulate the secondary gun market in several ways. Gun buyers are required to visit a law enforcement agency to get permit. 13 states and the District of Columbia require purchase permits for all handgun sales.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIME GUN EXPORT RATES AND STATE LAWS PERMITTING OF MANDATING DEALER INSPECTIONS

20 Crime Gun Export Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants

16

17.2

---------------------------------------------------------------

12 8

11.5

4 0 Allow or Require State Inspections

64

Do Not Allow or Reguire State Inspections

14.1 National Average


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

d . lost or stolen guns :

"

states that do not require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to

police export crime guns at a rate more than two and a half times greater than states that require such reporting , and are the source of a greater

proportion of short ttc crime guns ."

Over 150,000 firearms were reported lost or stolen in 2008. About 85% were recovered while, tens of thousands were never reported. Lost or stolen guns to local law enforcement fights illegal gun trafficking in two ways: one enables police to respond more rapidly to a report that a gun was stolen and possibly returned and second, if a trafficker or straw buyer is identified by a gun tracer and confronted by police requirements would then be taken into consideration. 7 states and the District of Columbia require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to local law enforcement.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIME GUN EXPORT RATES AND STATE LAWS REQUIRING REPORTING LOST OR STOLEN GUNS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

20 Crime Gun Export Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants

16

16.1 --------------------------------------------------------------12

14.1 National Average

8 4

6.2

0 Require Reporting Lost or Stolen Guns to law Enforcement

Do Not Require Reporting Lost or Stolen Guns to Law Enforcement

65


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

b . background checks for handgun sales at gun shows :

Private sellers, that maintain the sell of guns occasionally, do not need to be licensed and need to run background checks as to where they sell a gun. Federal background check laws, also called “Gun Show Loophole”, are associated with gun shows because they are a large and central blackmarket place where purchasers who wish to avoid detection can easily connect with private sellers.

About 16 states and the District of Columbia have enacted state laws to close the Gun Show Loophole.

Approaches required: • Universal background checks at the time of purchase. • Background checks at the time of purchase of all handgun sales. • Background checks at the time of purchase at gun shows. • State-issued permit for purchasing guns from sellers plus a background check. • State-issued permits for the purchase of handguns by private sellers and background checks at the time of purchase.

66


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

" states

that do not require background checks for

all hand gun sales at gun shows export crime guns at a rate more than two and a half greater than states that do , and are the source of a greater proportation of short ttc crime guns ."

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TIME TO CRIME RATES AND STATE LAWS REQUIRING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR ALL HANDGUN SALES AT GUN SHOWS

25% Proportion of Crime Guns with a Short (Time To Crime) Less Than Two Years Between Original Purchase and Recovery in a Crime)

20% 15%

--------------------------------------------------------------25.1%

22.6% National Average

17.3%

10% 5% 0% Require Background Checks for all Handgun Sales at Gun Shows

Do Not Allow Background Checks for All Handgun Sales at Gun Shows.

67


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

THE BEAUTY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS THAT

IT WILL NOT BE NEEDED UNTIL THEY TRY TO TAKE IT.

68


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

Thomas Jefferson

� 69


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

As the Founding Fathers of the United States drafted the Constitution, they stated in the Second Amendment that each citizen should have the right to bear arms. Since that time period, the issue of gun control has been fiercely debated by those for and against owning firearms. Those in favor of regulating guns argue that they are are inherently evil and cause nothing but destruction. Those in favor of owning firearms argue that fatalities are kept at a minimum because each citizen is allowed to carry weapons. There are innumberable points to each debate, the numbers make a few things clear: The only effective gun control exists on a municipal level,

James Madison

70


ta k e a i m : a c r i t i c a l l o o k at g u n c o n t r o l

analysis targeting criminals on their own territory. Guns are an isolated, objectified problem, and therefore require a similar, object oriented, tangible solution. Nebulous laws to nothing to stop the dangerous criminals who operated outside of them to begin with.

The Second Ammendment wil always need to be considered in the debate over gun control. There is no argument that the founding fathers intended for every citizen to have the right to bear arms, but a modern lens is required to assess if people can be trusted today as they were then. Should laws be scrutinized and recvised to allow for better control of violent actions? Absolutely, but what price are we willing to pay when the crime rates start rising and citizens no longer own weapons? More importantly, are certain freedoms worth the price of you or a loved one becoming fatally wounded by a firearm?

The debate over the posession of firearms will continue for many years to come. What is apparent however, is the fact that new laws must be created and enforced to ensure mass gun violence is curtailed. Clearly, current regulations are lacking in some respects, and creative measures must be taken to ensure safety for all, just as the Founding Fathers intended.

71


Take Aim