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by: Ryan Smith
We as a people need to grasp a reality that has been hanging over our
for quite some time. We can not keep tucking away the thought of gun control in the back of our minds, pretending that it is not there. It is. The right to carry guns is a big privilege that is constantly abused in the United States. Every day, someone dies from a gun shot wound.
It is no longer necessary to go to a sporting goods shop to buy a gun. Every minute of every day someone buys a gun right off the street. On the street, a gun is cheap, easy to use, and there is no wait to get it. With a bargain like that, what criminal is going to apply for a permit? How can law enforcement officials possibly control the use of handguns when they have no idea of who has one?
The August 24, 1997 edition of the LA Times published an article that included a conversation between a gun salesmen and an undercover reporter who was working on an expose of the handgun situation. The conversation took place at a Nevada Gun show. During the conversation, the dealer tries to sell a Poly Tech AK 47 to a potential buyer from California. Keep in mind that this particular gun is highly illegal and that the potential buyer is actually the reporter.
"You could fit this under a coat," the dealer suggests. "You can sling it over your shoulder and walk out of here and no one will notice."
"Even though it is illegal?"
"This is a private party transaction, there is no wait."
"I could walk out of here with this today?íí
"What do you do with a gun like this, shoot deer?"
"The only kind of hunting this is good for is the two legged kind."
"Two legged, you meanÖ"
This is an ideal example of how easy it could be to beat the system. It didnít matter to the gun dealer that it was illegal to sell that gun or even that it was illegal just to have that gun in his possession. Nor did it matter to him that his potential buyer could not legally carry the gun back into the state in which he lived. To that dealer, and to many others just like him, laws are unimportant. They are disregarded as if they never existed in the first place. The same goes for his potential customers. It is obvious that the current legal system isnít preventing the availability of illegal handguns. Itís time to take a different approach.
In the same article, the Times states that many gun manufacturers who once fled to other countries to sell guns which had been banned in the United States, have now returned to this country with "Copycats" for sale. "Copycats" are legal assault rifles that are cosmetically different from
the ones that have been restricted, but pack the same lethal punch. In the June 9, 1997 edition of U.S. News, they reported that not only is the remanufacturing of illegal guns high, but somewhere between 10 and 32 percent of guns used in crimes in the United States are stolen. On top of that, the governmentís National Crime Victimization Survey reveals that about 80 percent of the guns stolen yearly come from privately owned homes. If we put my idea into effect, people would not have to worry about someone breaking into their homes for a gun.
I strongly believe that gun control is not the answer. My proposal is this--legalize guns. Let people carry them around in the public. The state of proved that crime and death will go down if guns are made legal to carry. After passing a law that declared guns legal to carry at all times, that state noticed that crimes like murder, theft, and robbery dropped to an all time low.
If this would work in other states as well, which I believe it would, it would enable law enforcement officials to shift their focus from gun control to teaching people responsibility for their guns. If people are going to be able to carry around a gun, they should at least know how to use it properly. They should have to take a course
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Gun politics in the United States, Concealed carry in the United States, Gun control, Handgun, Gun shows in the United States, Gun buyback program, Overview of gun laws by nation
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