Gun Control is not Answer



With the growing gun-related crime rate in the United States today, many bills have been proposed to control guns. The most popular of these bans is The Brady Bill. The bill focuses on semi-automatic handguns. People wishing to buy a handgun will have to answer a federal questionnaire. The person’s background will be checked thoroughly for criminal records or records of past mental illness. The process should only take five days. This five day waiting period, or the “cooling off” period, is supposed to allow a person’s temper to cool down. The Brady Bill claims that people act on impulse. A person’s temper can interfere with his/her ability to think clearly; he/she is angry, so a gun is bought to get revenge. I have no problem with the Brady Bill, because it has stopped crime, but not enough.
A bill was passed by former U.S. President George Bush which banned the production of nine types of assault weapons and the importation of forty-three types of assault weapons. Bush felt that assault weapons were responsible for majority of the violent crimes committed in the United States. Field & Stream writer, David E. Petzal agreed with Bush stating that, “Assault weapons are designed to put out a high volume of fire with a high degree of controllability. The only purpose these firearms have is to kill people” (27). Gun related crime is still very common.
In the past, over 20,000 gun control bills have been passed through Congress, and crime is still running rampant through America’s streets. The National Firearms Act of 1934 was the first federal gun law to be passed. This act imposed a two hundred-dollar excise tax on the sale of fully automatic weapons. The Gun Control Act of 1968 made it a requirement for all gun dealers to have a federal license. This same act also banned the sale of guns through the mail and the sale of guns to all people who have formerly been convicted of violent felonies. It also prohibited dealers from selling handguns out of state, and out-of-state residents from buying handguns (Bender 51). These have not eliminated gun-related crime either.
A majority of the American people feel that gun control laws will help reduce crime rates because the waiting period would allow time for a person’s temper to cool down. They also feel that gun control will prevent repeat offenders because when a person tries to purchase a handgun, he will have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire. The questionnaire will include questions about the buyer’s past, for example, if they have a criminal record or a record of any mental illness. If there is a criminal record in that person’s history, he will not be able to make the purchase. Restricting handgun ownership would also reduce crime, because guns are used most often in robberies and murders (Mayer 28). They are very easily concealed under a coat, or even in the waistband of pants.
The problem with statements like the above is that people are forgetting about the black market. If a person is planning on buying a handgun for criminal purposes, he is not likely to buy it through a dealer. If he buys a gun through a dealer, the gun has to be registered in that person’s name. If the gun is used in any crime or murder where a shot is fired and the gun is left behind, the police could very easily trace the gun to that person. This situation causes many criminals to turn to the black market. Any person can buy any type of gun off the streets with no hassle. He doesn’t have to fill out a questionnaire, or go through the registration process. Even if an ex-convict tries to buy a handgun from a dealer and is turned down, he could easily get access to a firearm. Therefore, gun control is not enough to eliminate crime and violence.
Another problem with the gun control laws is that they focus specifically on semi automatic handguns. Handguns are not the only types of guns used in murders and robberies. There have also been cases where shot guns and rifles have been used in crimes and murder. Shotguns are becoming more popular in crime.