Can America Handle the Trigger?

Essay by cakalusaCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2004

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Many may find it hard to believe, but no topic is more distinct to Americans than gun control. Guns are deeply woven into the minds of Americans and their very existence, yet today many see them as the very thing that may tear our country apart. Most people, it seems, has an opinion on the matter, ranging from the complete and total elimination of firearms to the arming of every American. Guns in my opinion should be owned by those defending our country, and nothing else. But, with every solution found, there seems to be a question that follows.

Some insist that a drop in violent crime rates show that our country has no problem with guns, yet others see school and office shootings as evidence enough that guns will be the demise of American society. Is registration the answer? Perhaps, but those who cause problems with firearms obviously don't obey gun laws.

And how can we take guns away from criminals without taking away the average American's right to protect home, property and family? Additional gun control will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals, since they do not obey laws, and will merely make it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns. What about the sporting industry? Can limits on certain types of guns promise to restrict what many view as an increasingly violent culture? Possibly, but "there's little difference between a .20 gauge shotgun and an automatic weapon if the owner is determined to harm innocent victims" (Newton). Federal regulation makes little sense since the gun issues vary widely from rural to city areas. The problem is that existing laws are not being enforced. Any gun in the hand of the wrong person can be used with criminal intent.

Our Second Amendment says, "A...