Gun Control

In 1988, handguns killed 7 people in Great Britain, 19 in Sweden, 53 in Switzerland, 25 in Israel, 13 in Australia, 8 in Canada, and 8,915 in the United States. These figures are shocking and there doesn\'t seem to be a solution. Gun control is a problem that our country has got to face. (Gun Control).

One of the most alarming issues dealing with gun control is juvenile violence. A large percent of crimes committed with guns are by children. No one has yet been able to pinpoint the exact reason children committed such a terrible crime. Many experts feel that risk factors associated with juvenile crime are poverty, repeated exposure to violence, drugs, easy access to firearms, and unstable family life. All of these issues play a big role in the increase of juvenile crime. Possibly out of all of these issues the most important, is the deteration of the family. Many of these children are not being brought up in a nice environment at home. (Reasons).

Juveniles are not the only ones committing crimes with guns. Adults are just as guilty at contributing to the nations violence. It is even easier for an adult to purchase a firearm. Even if the adult has a felony, it is still easy for them to get a gun. There are many people willing to sell a felon a gun, if the price is right. If they can not buy one, they can easily pay someone to buy one for them. If an individual wants a firearm bad enough, chances are they will get one. (Brennen and Polsby 2).

Myth #1: Guns cause crime. There is no relationship between the number of guns and the amount of crime in the United States. Between 1973 and 1992, the rate of gun ownership increased by 45% while the homicide rate during that period fell by nearly 10%.

Myth #2: Gun control laws reduce crime. Firearms have not been regulated in the United States for most the past thirty years. The number of firearms in private hands has increased continuously by millions per year. Yet the rate of crime, violent crime,
and homicide has shown no significant correlation.

Myth #3: Gun control laws stop friends from killing friends. Most murderers and victims of homicide have criminal records and they are likely to have other criminals as friends. While it is true that in many cases of homicide the offender and victim know each other, it is not true that these friends killing friends are the plain ordinary folks often portrayed in the anti-gun propaganda.

Myth #4: Gun control laws keep criminals from obtaining guns. In surveys of prisoners, only 7% of criminals\' handguns were obtained from legitimate sources. Three-fourths of the felons report that they would have no trouble obtaining a gun when they were released.

Myth #5: Required waiting periods would prevent some of the most vicious crimes. The Brady Bill waiting period imposes waiting periods on handguns, the least deadly type of firearm, while imposing no such restriction on much more deadly weapons such as rifles or shotguns. While handguns are preferred by criminals because of their portability and concealability not every criminal who planned to use a handgun will abandon his criminal plans when confronted by a waiting period.

Myth #6: Guns don\'t work as self-protection against criminals. Guns are about as valuable to civilians as they are to police officers. As many as 65 lives are protected by guns for every life lost to a gun. Every year potential victims kill between 2,000 and 3,000 criminals, and wound an additional 9,000 to 17,000. Private citizens mistakenly kill innocent people only thirty times a year, compared to about 310 mistaken killings by police. Criminals succeed in taking a gun away from an armed victim less than 1% of the time. Myth #7: Guns aren\'t needed as self-protection. Approximately 83% of the population will be victims in their lives, and there is only one police officer for every 3,300 people.

Myth #8: Gun control laws are needed to prevent the purchase of Saturday Night Specials and assault weapons. Inexpensive handguns are involved in only 1% to 3% of violent crimes; criminals generally prefer larger caliber and more expensive handguns. In the past fifty years no civilian has ever used a legally owned machine gun in