ASSIGNMENT Gun Control Versus Gun Rights

Please answer the following questions using appropriate grammar, sentence structure, content, and
APA style formatting. This assignment is due NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10th by 11:59PM. NO
EXCEPTIONS!!! You must submit this assignment to Katie via email ([email protected]). In the
email you must specify your full name, the class name, and class section. This assignment will be
worth up to 10 points, which can be used on any assessment assigned during the semester. So, in your
email you must also state where you would like your 10 points to be allocated (i.e. I would like these
10 points to be added to the Midterm). If you do not state where you would like the points added,
they will not be added to anything! Please be specific.
ASSIGNMENT – Gun Control Versus Gun Rights
After Adam Lanza shot and killed twenty first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in
Newton, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, the debate over gun violence revived along predictable
lines. Advocates of gun control argued that fewer guns available to fewer people would reduce the
likelihood of such massacres. Advocates of gun rights argued the opposite, claiming that more guns
were needed to defend citizens against deranged criminals such as Lanza. Evidently, the vast majority
of Americans who own guns are law-abiding citizens who keep their firearms at home for selfprotection.
The second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “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.”
Recently, the United State Supreme Court has tried to clarify this somewhat unclear language. Over
the course of two separate rulings, the Court has stated that the Second Amendment provides
individuals with a constitutional right to bear arms, and that this right must be recognized at all levels
of government – federal, state, and local.
Although the Supreme Court emphasized in both cases that states could continue to prohibit certain
individuals – such as criminals and the mentally ill – from legally purchasing firearms, critics of our
nation’s relatively lax gun laws were disappointed with the results. Pointing out that Adam Lanza –
who possibly suffered from personality disorders – was able to steal his weapons from his mother
(whom he also killed), they continue to argue for greater restrictions on gun ownership. Opponents of
stricter gun control laws reject the notion that firearms themselves are to blame for violent crime.
Said one gun seller, “That’s like pointing a finger at Ford and blaming them for car deaths.”
• Each year, about 31,000 people in the United States die from gun violence, including about
20,000 suicides and 10,000 homicides. About 70% of murders in the nation involve firearms.
• The importance of guns for self-protection is overstated. Less than 1% of all gun deaths
involve self-defense, with the rest being accidents, suicides, and homicides.
• Considered too dangerous for public use, fully automatic weapons such as machine guns are
banned in the United States. For the same reason, the federal government should outlaw
semiautomatic weapons, which can rapidly fire multiple rounds, and the high-capacity
ammunition clips that allow them to do so. According to one editorial, the .223 Bushmaster
semiautomatic rifle used by Adam Lanza is designed only for mass slaughter and “does not
belong in private hands.”
• Gun control laws do not decrease crime, for the simple reason that someone who is going to
commit a crime with a gun is probably going to obtain that firearm illegally. Consequently,
stricter gun control would “prevent only law abiding citizens from owning handguns.”
Furthermore, violent crime is at historically low levels in the United States, belying the
argument that the country needs to change its gun laws.
• Firearms offer protection from criminal attacks beyond that provided by public law
• Nearly one in five American adults possesses a firearm, accounting for about 300 million total
privately and legally guns owned in this country. Putting restrictions on that ownership would
create a huge new criminal class in this country, not to mention the anger toward the
government that such measures would provoke.
When it comes to allowing concealed weapons on college campuses, the United States is a nation
divided. Twenty-one states ban the practice outright. Twenty-four states permit the schools to decide
for themselves. Five states – Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin – have passed bills
expressly permitting the carrying of concealed weapons on campus grounds. Should this practice be
allowed? Does it make campuses safer or more dangerous? Would it be more desirable to have a
single law that covered the entire nation? Before responding, you MUST review and describe
discussions in the chapter concerning:
• Consensus and Conflict Models of Crime (pages 5-6)
• Federalism and the structure of the criminal justice system (pages 11-12)
• Gun sales and gun control (page 22)
• At least two EXTERNAL/OUTSIDE sources (must be cited in text and on reference page)

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