Why should gun control laws be stricter?

Essay by HonorsKid335Junior High, 8th grade March 2004

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On December 7, 1993, Colin Ferguson marched up the aisle of a crowded, evening rush hour Long Island Railroad car, shooting the passengers as the train pulled into the Merillion Avenue station. When he was finished, six were dead and 19 were injured. Ferguson was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences - about 200 years of prison time. The families of those who died and were wounded never had an answer why it happened. Gun violence like this, claims the lives of an estimated 34,000 Americans each year.

More people own guns in the United States than in any other country in the world. The U.S. has the least restricted access to firearms of any democracy. At the last count, more than 230 million firearms were believed to be in the ownership of U.S. residents, and factories were providing four to five million more each year. Guns are present in approximately 4 out of 10 households in the U.S.

Not only does America contain the most guns, it also has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. From 1985 to 1991, the U.S. homicide rate increased by 4% yearly. During the periods of 1992-1994, the homicide rate decreased a mere 1% yearly. The following years the rate began to increase again. Sadly, the United State's homicide rate is 8.4 percent per 100,000 people. It is apparent that gun control is not working and needs to be stricter.

Washington, D.C. placed a ban on handgun sales, which took effect in 1977; by the 1990s the city's murder rate had tripled. Also, Maryland banned several small handguns and restricted assault weapons; they even regulated private transfers between family members and friends. For the last decade, Maryland's murder rate has averaged 44% higher than that of the rest of the country,