I am writing in response to a number of articles I have read in various publications over the past several months. I have found that the subject of gun control is being pounded into the ground. I find it absurd that some Americans have over looked the importance of guns to our society. Many Americans, including myself, enjoy collecting or shooting firearms for recreation. Whether it be pistols, rifles or assault weapons, we just enjoy them. If you have never fired a firearm before than you might not understand why this would be such an important part of our lives.
As I have watched all of this controversy build over the use of handguns and assault weapons, I have been outraged. The problem is not the guns, it is the shooter. According to the 1995 NRA firearms fact card, found in the Jan./Feb. issue of the American Hunter magazine, there are "approximately 200 million firearms in the United States." Of those 200 million firearms "less than 0.2 percent of firearms and less than 0.4 percent of handguns" are misused by criminals yearly, according to the same fact card. So why are we constantly placing the blame on honest, lawful gun owners in America? Why should we be punished? If we are going to outlaw guns because of the deaths that have been caused from them then we should also ban automobiles and alcohol. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that of the 12 leading causes of death in the United States, firearms is not even in the top four (1995 fact card). Being surpassed by heart disease, cancer, strokes and accidents of various kinds.
I would like to leave on the idea that guns are not one of the biggest problems that America faces. As I see it the problem lies in the way that kids are being raised in our society and how our judicial system handles problems within our society. According to the 1995 fact card, between 1980 and 1990 juvenile gang killings increased 208 percent." However, "only 1.5 percent of juvenile offenders were sent to adult or criminal court in 1991, and, of those, 85.3 percent were not sent to prison. Why does it seem that the majority of those people who commit crimes with guns are young kids 14 to 20 years old who spend most of their time out on the streets hanging around in gangs. Now I don't know if you have noticed, but I certainly have, these kids aren't even old enough to purchase a gun. So where do they get them? Even if guns are someday banned and our Second Amendment rights taken away, criminals will still get their weapons. They have no problems finding them now and they won't have any problems finding them later.
Agricultural Education Freshman
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