Gun Control Is Needed

Regulation of guns is a necessary action that needs to be taken in order to
save lives. A good definition of gun control is needed to understand the sides
and issues. Gun control is an effort to stop the rise in violent crime by
strengthening laws on the ownership of firearms. Persons in the group against
gun control believe that gun control is wrong, and that it is a violation of
constitutional rights. Those in favor of gun control believe that gun control
is good, that the Second Amendment does not apply to regular citizens, and that
guns should be taken out of the hands of criminals.
There are several major anti-gun control groups. These groups include the
National Rifle Association (NRA), and the Gun Owners of America (GOA) . The NRA
is a national group dedicated to the upholding of the Second amendment of the
Constitution (See Appendix). In their magazines, American Hunter and American
Rifleman, they say "The NRA, . . . believes that every law-abiding citizen is
entitled to the ownership and legal use of firearms, . . . " The NRA does many
things to help display their beliefs and persuade others to their beliefs. This
association also has a strong pull on legislation, because it has many
lobbyists and supporters in government. This group has many members in Congress,
and former presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan are NRA members. The NRA
lobbies for several types of legislation. For example, the NRA is currently
trying to repeal the ban on assault weapons. A lot of money is spent each year
on legislation (See Appendix for figures).
The Gun Owners of America is another group that is against gun control.
The GOA preserves and defends the rights of gun owners through legislation.
They publish books, articles, and videos on gun issues and how those issues
affect people. They also conduct seminars for the press and Congress about
issues on the Second Amendment, and gun issues. The GOA opposes bans on
semiautomatic weapons, armor piercing ammunition, and handguns.
There are also many groups that are pro gun control in the United
States. The major group for gun control is Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI), which
is headed by Sarah Brady. Mrs. Brady is the wife of James Brady, who was shot
during an attempt on president Reagan's life in 1981. Another major group is
the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), which was formerly known as the
National Coalition to Ban Handguns. The CSGV believes that handguns should be
outlawed completely, with a few exceptions, such as the military, police and
sportsmen who keep their guns locked up together in a gun club.
Some accomplishments of HCI are laws prohibiting the interstate
sale of handguns, and laws prohibiting the sale of "assault weapons." The main
goal of this organization was to pass the Brady Bill. Some of its other goals
are to ban multiple sales of handguns, to create gun-free zones around all of
the schools, and to establish control over who can manufacture and sell weapons.
HCI is working very hard to achieve these goals.
The CSGV is dedicated to the total removal of guns from the hands
of citizens, with a few exceptions. The CSGV is trying very hard to put gun
banning legislation in the law. They believe that if there are fewer guns out
on the streets, then there will be fewer gun crimes committed.
The anti-gun control people believe in several major ideas. They
believe that the second amendment rights apply only to militia, which they
define as a group such as the National Guard and not regular citizens. These
people also believe that by controlling numbers of guns on the streets gun
violence can be reduced.
The national government doing working with the issue of gun
control. There have been several bills passed in the last ten years that have
to do with gun control. First, there was the Gun Control Act of 1986, which
banned all fully-automatic weapons from the hands of citizens. Then in 1988
there was the Brady Bill, which made a seven-day waiting period mandatory for
all handgun purposes, this law passed the House of Representatives in 1991, but
part of it was ruled unconstitutional in 1994. Most recently there was the ban
on assault weapons, which bans the sale and manufacture of what the government
considers assault weapons. Both the NRA and HCI have fought very hard against
one another to pass some bills, and to keep some bills from becoming law.
Both sides of this