Gun Control in the U.S.
Gun control, as we know it, consists of the government
restricting the ability of individual citizens to purchase weapons.
The different types of gun control vary from waiting periods between
when you purchase the gun and when you actually get it, background
checks so that high-risk people can't purchase guns through legal
channels, and completely banning certain types of guns. There are
countless ways for criminals to avoid these government regulations,
causing them to only render the ability of innocent citizens
protecting their home and family's ability to purchase guns.
The "waiting period" method of gun control is basically a
two-step process. The first step in the procedure is that the person
wanting a gun goes to his local shop (or calls a reputable mail order
outlet) to place the initial order. Then, he must wait one to two
weeks while the government performs a small background check for past
criminal activities, disorderly conduct, or lack of mental/emotional
stability. During this time, if the purchaser of the gun wanted the
gun for impulse reasons (out of rage), it is hoped that they will not
still want to cause bodily harm after a couple weeks.
The problem with this method of gun control is that it stops
the ordinary citizen from purchasing a gun on the whim, but it
actually protects the common criminal. Underage buyers and other
delinquents can purchase mass quantities of weapons through "dummy
buyers" that have clean backgrounds. So if a burglar enters a house
with full intention to maim or kill, the innocent victim (who can't
get a gun to protect his family because he was arrested for drunk
driving seven years ago) is simply a victim of a law that supports
black market trade. There are over 200 million registered guns in
circulation (Larson), and they are the ones that will not be killing
our children. The unregistered ones are owned by murderers, rapists,
Another practiced technique of preventing dangerous firearms
from killing honest people is to ban an entire type of weapon. The
AK-47 is a commonly-used example of that. Again, the criminals still
have limited access to the weapon through underground channels, but
these banned weapons are so powerful that there is really is not
practical purpose for them in the home (or in hunting).
This can easily be adverted by the common criminal who knows
anything about the way guns are assembled. A semi-automatic machine
gun can be converted into a fully-automatic gun with a little
handcraft. A shotgun can become a bloody powerful weapon by
sawing-off the tip of it. Obviously, new methods of gun control are
needed to produce desired results. In the first half of 1991, fifty
children under the age of seventeen had been shot to death. If we
continue to monitor the sale of firearms, there must be new techniques
that can watch where the guns end up. And if we decide that we
can/will not go down that track, we must make that judgement
earnestly, and without haste, because it will decide the future of The
United State of America as we know it.
Larson, Erik. "The Story of a Gun", The Atlantic Monthly. January 1993
Pooley, Eric. "Kids with Guns." , New York. August 5, 1991.