Public Opinion on Gun Control
The twentieth century was a time of many political assassinations and violent shootings. A nation in shock mourned the deaths of President John Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. At the end of the twentieth century the nation endured rising rates of violent crime, with young people frequently involved as victims and perpetrators and often armed with guns. Between July 1992, and June 30, 1999, there were 358 school-associated violent deaths in the United States, including 255 deaths of school- aged children, or about 51 such violent deaths each year. (Schmitt rot, 2003)
Time after time, public opinion polls have shown that crime and violence are among the most important concerns troubling Americans, if not the most important. But do these concerns translate to changes in public support for federal gun control measures? I will focus on public attitudes toward gun control over both the short and longer terms.
Some Americans are convinced that more federal regulation of firearms is necessary to reduce the number of murders that are committed with guns and to ensure a safer, more civilized society. Others who support private ownership of guns insist that the right to bear arms is guaranteed by longstanding custom and by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that no cyclical increase in crime, no mass killing, nor any political murders should lead the nation to violate the Constitution and the individual rights it guarantees. What’s more, they say, knives and other instruments are used to kill people, and there is no talk of regulating or banning them.
The National Rifle Association generally believes that if more ordinary, law-abiding citizens carried weapons, criminals would not have a safe place to commit mass murders and other violent crimes.
Both supporters and opponents of gun control agree that some means should be found to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Not surprisingly, the two sides approach the issue differently. The two different strategies for gun control involve “deterrence” (discouraging by instilling fear) and “ interdiction” (legally forbidding the use of) Advocates of deterrence, most notably the Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA, recommend consistent enforcement of current laws and instituting tougher penalties to discourage individuals from using firearms in cr...
... middle of paper ...
8. Smith, Tom W : “ 2001 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings, University of Chicago, Dec 2001. Primary source: National Gun Policy survey, 1996-1999 and 2001 and General Social Survey, 1996-2000.
9. Smith, Tom, W. Public opinion about Gun Policies. (Public Perspectives). The Future of Children, Summer-Fall 2002 v12 i2 p155(9)
10. Webster, D.W. Vernick, J.S.: “Support for new policies to regulate firearms.”New England Journal of Medicine(September 17, 1998) 339(12): 813-18
Web 1. : Sourcebook - Index, 1
... Attitudes toward gun control, by demographic characteristics, United States, 2001:http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/1995/ind/PUBLIC_OPINION.Guns,_firear, accessed April 2004.
Web 2 “in a Relatively Issue-Less Election Year (So Far) Education and Health Care Top the List of Issues, Which People want the Government to address,” http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/ accessed april 2004
Web 3 “The Gun Control Enigma” http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll accessed April 2004.
Web 4 “Large Majority Continues to Favor Stricter Gun Controls” http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/ April 25 2001, accessed April 2004
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Arguments against Gun Control The development of arguments surrounding gun control corresponds to the increased violence and problems related to weapons and firearms use. This then prompted the expansion of gun control initiatives and has shapes public opinion particularly in the promotion of increased regulation to banning. Due to this, it became controversial as it split the opinions of the citizenry particularly in their stance to advance different objectives. Arguably, the process of developing gun control remains to be detrimental due to its capacity to challenge individual rights and liberty, undermine the value of guns and firearms in the promotion of deterrence and self-defense and... [tags: Gun Control Essays]
982 words (2.8 pages)
- In this day and age, gun control is a major topic of debate in the United States. Many people believe that gun control is the solution to ending violent crimes in the United States while others believe that gun control will only make the situation worse. There are three main causes of the gun control debate that spark public interest in the subject: school shootings, political attention, and gun control laws. The first cause of the gun control debate is school shootings. School shootings have always been a huge factor in the gun control debate because they spark public interest in the subject.... [tags: Firearm, Gun politics in the United States]
1069 words (3.1 pages)
- In 1776, the American nation was born and with it, democracy. Under the democratic government, people had new freedoms they once didn’t have and promises to protect those; these promises were guaranteed by the constitution and the amendments. American’s are aware of their rights, especially the second amendment. The second amendment secures the right to bear arms, which means all American’s have the right to own guns. Since this amendment was passed, almost 240 years ago, guns and gun control have changed tremendously.... [tags: Firearm, Gun politics in the United States]
1488 words (4.3 pages)
- Each year in the US, around 30,000 people die from gunfire. Around half of these are murders, a little less than half are suicide, and the rest are lethal accidents. Of the annual 30,000 death toll, several hundred of the victims are children (Counterpoint: Gun Control Saves Lives). Do crime and guns go hand in hand. This is a question many citizens and lawmakers have been asking themselves over the past decade. The modern discussion over gun control has become a hot topic in both the social, and political arena for years.... [tags: Gun politics in the United States, Firearm]
2173 words (6.2 pages)
- Assessing the Effectiveness and Feasibility of Strict Gun Control Polices in the U.S. In 2013, 8,454 people were murdered by firearms in the U.S., counting as 69% of the total number of homicides (FBI). On the other hand, as the Second Amendment reads: “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.” People who are against gun control laws usually cite the Second Amendment, claiming that the U.S. Constitution supports people to bear firearms.... [tags: Gun politics in the United States, Firearm]
896 words (2.6 pages)
- "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.... [tags: Gun Control, 2015]
861 words (2.5 pages)
- There are gun control laws to try and reduce the number of violent shootings that occur. They are trying to put limits on weapons that Americans can own. The government is trying to take our guns away mainly because of people that are criminally insane. Most of the people who commit crimes don’t even have the weapons legally. If the government takes away the rights of people who are allowed to have firearms in their possession, it will most definitely cause an outrage. Most people believe that the people should be more capable of maintain proper use of the firearms instead of having them all taken away.... [tags: Gun Control, Gun VIolence, Shootings, Crime]
989 words (2.8 pages)
- America has always prided itself on being the land of the free. Our national Constitution and Bill of Rights have ensured that the people of America maintain their basic rights. Nevertheless, many of the rights guaranteed in these historic documents are often the subject of heated debate. The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against self-incrimination, the First Amendment’s protection of speech and petitioning activity, all of these issues have been subject to contentious arguments in courts of law and the courts of public opinion.... [tags: Gun Control Essays]
2980 words (8.5 pages)
- Gun control is a topic that stirs a strong opinion from the general public. Gun control is the effort to regulate or control usage and sales of guns. The right to bear arms is granted to all Americans by the Second Amendment and many consider it essential to maintain order in the United States of America. Even though this was the Second Amendment right granted to citizens in the Bill of Rights, many Americans opt not to own a gun, and others would like for this right to be abolished altogether. Both sides of this issue have a good argument, but when further researched, there are many more details that come up explain why siding against gun control is a better conclusion for the United States... [tags: usage, sales, safer, gun]
823 words (2.4 pages)
- The people of the United States of America are given special rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution - The Supreme Law of the Land. The Second Amendment of the Constitution declares, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." People may have this right, however advocates of gun control believe guns are too risky. Opponents of gun control claim guns have protected them in a self-defense situation.... [tags: Constituton Bill Rights Right To Bear Arms]
2541 words (7.3 pages)