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Holden Sumner English 1102 Carrie Sippy 4/26/2013 Academic Essay Gun Control There are many different

current political issues that Americans are dealing with right now but only a few deals with the safety of the American people. Gun control has been an issue of the past few years because political figures are talking about putting restrictions on certain guns which is making a lot of people unhappy. Today I saw a video on Facebook that had the best explanation of why there should not be gun control. The video does not name the man speaking but the name of the video is Virtual President. He has been green screened in talking to a group of politicians and is not any form of authority but does bring up some interesting points. His first point of the speech was the most meaningful to me the man said The American people today dont want to ban guns they want to ban violence, criminals and insanity. This cannot be banned ( Virtual President ). He makes a very good point in this spee ch and is worth watching to anyone who has strong feelings about gun control. Guns have always been an issue and people have always talked about controlling them. David Lester wrote Gun Control: Issues and answers in 1985 and a lot of the arguments that he made still apply today. For example, David researched Berkowitz and LePage who were two authors that in 1967 wrote an article about violence and gun effects. The conclusion of their article basically stated that after all of their findings there was not enough evidence to show that guns effect on people is the cause of violence (Lester 13). The same problem still stands today.

The reason that it is such a blow up issue is technology and the media. Its not because guns cause violence it is the way Americans interpret what they see. Denise Bissler wrote The Harms of Crime Media. She found that the media can make the crime worse because of people who are interpreting the issue differently. Crime attracts the viewers, entertains them, and gives them something to voice an opinion about (Bissler 4). The media is a very big factor in why so many people think that guns are the work of the devil or this big evil thing when they are not. I have a friend who is a lifetime hunter and has the greatest respect for guns. This past semester he had went raccoon hunting with his father and had too pistols with him for protection just in case he came across something bigger than a raccoon. He accidentally left the guns in the backseat of his truck and drove to school. In the middle of the day the policeman arrested him and escorted him out of the school. By the end of the day it was all over Facebook and the local news even had a few words to say. The crime that he had committed was honest and harmless. Although I do think that punishment was necessary for being careless I do not believe it was the guns fault. This is what media can do to the gun control; they can take the mistake made by a human being a place it on the gun. Mohammad Shafii talks about how to prevent these kinds of accusations by educating the children of America and the parents. He states Youth violence is an impact of social and cultural forces on the children these can be stopped by the correct education (Shafii 48). Imagine the following conversation between two different people with very similar ways to solve gun control. Mohammad: Parents need to play a role in keeping the kids from bringing the guns in schools, and there should be policemen on duty on every campus. Other than that I am

not sure how to keep outsiders from bringing guns in like they did in Connecticut. What can the general population do? (Shafii 49) Me: People are going to be violent. There has been crime and wars for thousands of years. Ever since the invention of the weapon there has been gun related deaths. So the best way to solve this current issue in my opinion is to go to the source of the violence. People are the problem not guns. Of course there is no way to stop it but if the people are targeted in different ways the problem can be lessened. It is a fact that a gun is not harmful to anything without the person pulling the trigger. With education, therapy for unstable citizens, harder background checks, and many other areas the threat of gun violence would not be as lethal it is currently. There are many people in todays time that only think with their emotions that impacts gun control in a very negative way. For example, when there is some big media story about someone being shot people tend to point the fault towards the gun. I do not believe that is fair because the Second Amendment is not there just for people to be able to protect themselves from their neighbors it is also there for the citizens of America to protect themselves from the government as well. In many of the communist countries the government has complete power over the people and a good way to do this is to take away the populations protection. For those people who want to changes lives by saving lives instead of targeting an inanimate object like a gun target the person behind. Here is where that gets tricky if the person is unstable or has crimes is it even right to take their privilege of arming themselves from the government and neighbors?

Even if certain people are banned from guns it does not mean that they will not be able to get a gun. It just means it will be harder for them to get one. Also if they are caught with possession of one the gun can be taken from them and they could be sentenced to jail time. My opinion goes along with Jeff Neligan and the articles that he wrote about. I believe that there should be loopholes fixed in the background check so people that are not American or criminals cannot legally own a gun. I am not saying that Americans are not responsible for the crime because they certainly have been. The point of not letting foreigners own a gun in America is to keep the number of unregistered gun owners lower. This will help the law enforcement keep schools safer. I know that laws only target honest people but if the law is changed to where on American law abiding citizens can own a gun then it would give law enforcement a chance to have the authority to take action and make this country safer. My father Marty Sumner is the chief of police for High Point North Carolina so as you can imagine I get a lot of the law enforcement side of gun control. I interviewed him an asked him the question If a citizen in High Point asked you want you are going to do about gun control what would you say. He talked to me for fifteen minutes off of tha t one question so I did not get all of the information. He said that the term Gun Control should even be used because it is not possible to control guns. The term that Americans are looking for is gun violence. He made a point that the police department does a whole lot more work on this issue than the public is aware of. For example, the AFC (American Firearm Control) sends the police department a monthly statement of all of the guns that were sold in the area that month. Then all the officers have to do is look at the guns that were used in crimes and find out where the criminal bought the guns.

The best way to control the gun violence is to put pressure on places that sale guns to known felons. To prove that guns do not have to be restricted to receive results in the past year gun violence in High Point has decreased fifty percent and there have been no changes in gun control. There is one area where he stated that could make the gun violence drop is the law was allowed. The law enforcement does not have access of any mental health records. So this means if someone was let out of a mental hospital yesterday they would be able to buy a gun. Even though there is a law that people with mental problems cannot own a gun there is no way for the police to enforce it because they are not allowed access to private health information (Sumner, Marty). In some of the recent shootings such as The Connecticut shooting the shooter has had mental health issues in the past. This means is the law can have access to that information then crime like this one could be prevented. There is still a chance that the shooter could steal a gun or buy one illegally but if the police men knew who to keep watch on they would be able to stop the person. A good example of this in action is the use of illegal drugs. The difference with the drugs is the police department has access to criminal records so they know who has past records of being a drug dealer so they can periodically go by and check up on them. If this situation were true for mental health patients many lives could be saved. What is to be done about honest people who just go crazy and decided they want someone dead? Amanda Wilkins is a colleague in my English class and she posed a very interesting question. This is a very hard question to answer and the sad truth is there is no way to stop someone without taking away their freedom. With freedom comes risks but I do believe myself that most people would agree that having freedom

in America is worth the risks. In my lifetime I have seen many violent cases on the news including September 11th and I would like to keep the freedom our country has been fighting for ever since that day.

Works Cited Bissler, Denise L. , and Joan L. Conners. The Harms of Crime Media essays on the Perpetuation of Racism, Sexism and Class Stereotypes. Jefferson, Oregon:

McFarland & Company Inc., 2012. Print. Evans, Karen. Crime Prevention Critical Introduction. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2011. Print. Lester, David. Gun Control Issues and Answers. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 1984. Print. Neligan, Jeff. Gun Control: Opportunities to Close Loopholes in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Closing Loopholes in NCIS July 2002: 1-72. Print Shafii, Mohammad, and Sharon Lee Shafii. School Violence: Assessment, Management, Prevention. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2001. Print Sumner, Marty. Personal interview. 26 Apr. 2013. "Virtual President Giving Speech On Gun Control - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <>.