Handguns - vital weapons or deadly killers?

Essay by Anonymous UserA-, February 1996

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There are presently in excess of 200 million guns in the United States, according to

the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Each year this number grows by 4 to 5

million. There are 60 to 65 million legal owners of one or more guns.1 There is a firearm

on the premises of more than half the households in America. Most of them keep guns for

protection. The others keep them for hunting, target shooting, collecting, and similar


In recent years nearly 35,000 people have been killed annually by guns in the

United States. These deaths include 15,000 murders, 18,000 suicides, and 1,500

accidents.2 It is because of these statistics that many would like to ban guns altogether.

But is that really in your best interest? Would it really benefit this country, or reduce the

number of murders in this country? Consider the evidence in this article and you will see

that guns should not be outlawed and that less gun control in necessary to preserve what

the founders of this country believed in.

Guns are Beneficial

Guns can help prevent crime. This is a view held by many opponents to gun

control. The criminals themselves agree. As part of a three - year study by the U. S.

Department of Justice, criminals in prisons across the nation were interviewed. Sixty

percent feared being shot by an armed citizen more than being shot by the police. fifty -

three percent did not commit a specific crime because they were afraid the victim was

armed. Fifty - seven percent of them were scared off by an armed victim who either

brandished a gun or actually fired it.3 This alone shows that crime would drop if more

citizens owned, carried and knew how to use guns.

One such case...