Grade my gun control essay


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natedog
September 18, 2003, 10:14 PM
Mind you, it's 9th grade level, so be gentle. (Super long...)

GUN CONTROL

Guns are engrained into American society. Everyday, they are on the news, in the newspapers, and seen in movies, television, and magazines. Some wish them to be outlawed, while others would fight to keep them.
Guns killed 4,223 children in 1997. Of those, 25 were killed in school shootings. Most, however, were caused by very tragic yet very preventable accidents (Kantrowitz 39). The average age of a person arrested for homicide is between 15 and 19 (Henry 196). It seems kids everywhere have guns and are using them for crime. It has been illegal since 1968 for anyone who has committed a felony to purchase any type of firearm, and for anyone under 18 to purchase a shotgun or rifle, and anyone under 21 to purchase a handgun. That law doesn’t seem to be working very well. There is almost a 50-50 chance that a child will encounter a gun at a friend’s home while playing there, as 40% of American homes have guns (Henry 196). One solution would be to make mandatory laws on keeping all guns under lock and key or in a safe. This seems like an ideal answer, but it can’t possibly work for everyone. Not all people have small children to worry about, or irresponsible kids. Furthermore, a gun that is locked up cannot be accessed quickly if a criminal is trying to attack.
Assault weapon. Saturday Night Special. Plastic handgun. These are terms often thrown around by the media and many people don’t entirely understand their true meaning. An assault weapons ban went into place in 1994. An assault weapon is defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as being semi-automatic (the gun uses leftover energy from the fired bullet to eject the spent shell casing, feed a new bullet, and engage the hammer; the trigger must be pulled and released for each shot) and having two or more of the following features: a pistol grip, a detachable ammunition feeding device that holds more than 10 bullets, a folding shoulder stock, a flash suppressor, a bayonet lug, or a grenade or flare launcher (NRA 7). These weapons are called ‘ideal’ for criminals or mass murderers. But they too have legitimate uses. Self-defense, hunting, collecting, and target shooting are the main reasons for ownership. In fact, the AR-15, the civilian version of the Army’s M-16, dominates the national match shooting competitions and small game hunting in states that it is legal. Rifles are the least used firearm in crimes, followed by shotguns. In most crimes where a firearm is used it is a handgun. Only 1% of crimes were committed with an assault rifle before the 1994 Brady Act, which put the above regulations into law. Today, that percentage remains unchanged by that law (NRA 7).
Saturday Night Specials are usually classified as small, lightweight, easily concealed handguns of a small caliber and made of cheap, inferior materials. They are priced under $100. These, too, are considered the ‘perfect’ gun for criminals, due to their low price and concealability. But “Saturday Night Specials” are used for self-defense as well, often by poor people who cannot afford larger commercial handguns, which most commonly are in excess of $500, or by people who want a small handgun to keep with them at all times for self-defense.
In light of recent terror attacks, there has been much scrutiny put on plastic handguns, which are said to be able to pass through airport metal detectors undetected, making them the ideal weapon for hijackers. This is very false. The term “plastic handgun” is a misnomer. No handgun to date has been entirely constructed of plastic. This usually refers to the Glock 17, which has a grip frame composed of polymer compounds. The slide, barrel, chamber, and all other moving parts are made of steel. It is actually 90% steel (Newton 66).
Possibly the most controversial aspect of gun control is the Second Amendment, which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (NRA 22). Some would argue that the 2nd Amendment only protects a collective right, like that of a militia (who’s modern day counterparts are the National Guard). Others, like the Supreme Court, would say that it protects the right of an individual. In the cases Scott vs. Sanford and U.S. vs. Urguidez, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment refers to an individual right of every citizen to keep and bear arms. Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson, who originally suggested the Bill of Rights, once wrote, “No free man shall ever be debarred from the use of arms” and, “Laws that forbid carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailant”. James Madison, who was instrumental in drafting the Constitution said, “The advantage of being armed which Americans posses over the people of almost every other nation…where the governments are afraid to trust people with arms”. In addition, Samuel Adams said, “The said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience, or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms” (NRA 7).
The carrying of a concealed handgun in a public place, commonly referred to as CCW, is now lawful in over 30 states. Between 1977 and 1992, 10 states adopted the laws after an experiment with the law in Florida deemed positive results. For instance, in states that allow CCW, violent crime is 81% lower than states that don’t allow CCW. Property crime is also lower; 24% lower. Aggravated assault was lower in comparison to before these states put their CCW policies into law. They had an average of 70 cases per 100,000 people, while five years later that statistic had dropped to 50 cases. In addition, robberies had also declined; seven years before the CCW policies were accepted, there was an average of 119 robberies per 100,000 people, which decreased to 100 per 100,000. Rape also lessened slightly. Over a five year period the rape rate went from 1.68 per 100,000 to 1.54 per 100,000 residents. Moreover, there was a 77% probability that a state would have a mass shooting spree. Four years later that horrifying statistic had diminished to 1% or less (Lott 78). While many of the above figures are just speculation, and there could be other variables contributing to these drops in crime, there does seem to be some sort of connection between regular citizens carrying guns and the crime rate.
Gun control has been tried in a number of countries and cities around the world. At home in America, Boston tried a form of gun control. In 1976 Boston had the fifth highest crime rate in the US. That same year, Boston passed a law that said a person must go to jail for at least a year for carrying an unlicensed handgun. In 1981, five years later, Boston had the highest overall crime rate of any US city. Great Britain has also flirted with gun control, starting in 1960. Between 1960 and 1975, the homicide rate in America rose 30%, while England’s rose 50%. And while England does have a very low murder rate, it has the highest home invasion rate and violent crime rate among the top 17 industrial nations. Many would also point towards English gun control because of their low murder rate. However, the United Kingdom had an even lower murder rate before their gun control laws. Switzerland has 31 handgun murders a year, and they have very little gun control. In fact, every male 18 years or older must have military training and a machine gun in his home! Australia and Canada both have very restrictive gun control laws, with an average of only five handgun deaths a year. Japan has much gun control, and it has an average of 46 handgun murders a year. Israel, the country with so many terrorist attacks, has an average of 18 handgun murders per year, yet they have hardly any gun control laws. The US has 8,092 handgun murders a year. This is astonishing and shocking in comparison to other countries. But with the handguns in the US, 300,000 Americans use handguns to defend themselves every year (Sullivan 13).
Gun control is so multi-faceted and complicated that it is difficult to address. However, based on the facts, gun control is wrong. People should be able to buy guns for themselves whenever they want and be unencumbered by waiting periods or licensing. Children and criminals should be restricted from buying a gun by background checks. Everyone else, though, should be able to buy a gun, any gun, regardless of action type, size, caliber, barrel length, or other features, to defend themselves, their family, or to hunt, collect, or target shoot.










Bibliography
Anderson, George F. “Treating Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Could Reduce Problem.” Guns and Violence: Opposing Viewpoints. Kim, Henry H. San Diego: Greennhaven Press, 1999. p. 190-197.

Feder, Don. “Guns Should not be Blamed for Violence.” Guns and Violence: Opposing Kantrowitz, Barbara. Newsweek, August 23, 1999, p.45


Lott, John R., Jr. More Guns, Less Crime. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951

National Rifle Association. www.nra.org. January 22, 2003. Internet Online

Newton, David E. Gun Control: An Issue For the Nineties Hillside, NJ: Enslow Publishers Inc.

Sullivan, Carol O. Gun Control: Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1989

Thompson, Sara. Guns and Violence: Opposing Viewpoints. Kim, Henry H. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1999 p.133-143

Witkin, Gordon. “Should You Own a Gun?” US News and World Report. Vol. 117, No.7, August 15, 1994, p. 25-35

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TitaniumT
September 18, 2003, 10:19 PM
I would title it, RBKA instead, THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS!

It immediately sets the tone for the essay as being anRBKA supportive essay not a guncontrol essay. Other than a few grammatical errors and some syntax issues, its pretty good!!!

Standing Wolf
September 18, 2003, 10:52 PM
Mind you, it's 9th grade level, so be gentle.

I've hired college graduates who couldn't write half so well.

natedog
September 18, 2003, 10:53 PM
I was given a B-, that I think is largley because of my teacher's anit RKBA stance.... I guess the truth hurts sometimes ;)

Justin
September 18, 2003, 11:00 PM
Guns are engrained into American society. The word you are looking for is 'ingrained.'

Guns killed 4,223 children in 1997. Minor semantic point: A gun is no more capable of killing a person than a car is of driving itself to the grocery store. People used guns in the commission of 4,223 murders in 1997. (This is actually a highly disputed fact as, IIRC, this particular study included any person up to the age of 19 as a child.)

Assault weapon. Saturday Night Special. Plastic handgun. These are terms often thrown around by the media and many people don’t entirely understand their true meaning. These are fragments. It would be better to use a list. Ex: I am going to the store to pick up eggs, milk, cheese, and non-dairy coffee creamer.

An assault weapon is defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as being semi-automatic (the gun uses leftover energy from the fired bullet to eject the spent shell casing, feed a new bullet, and engage the hammer; the trigger must be pulled and released for each shot) and having two or more of the following features: a pistol grip, a detachable ammunition feeding device that holds more than 10 bullets, a folding shoulder stock, a flash suppressor, a bayonet lug, or a grenade or flare launcher (NRA 7). Just a minor nitpick here- you'd probably be better off using the military definition of what an assault rifle is rather than the BATF definition. The military's def. came first and isn't subject to change based on political whim.

In fact, the AR-15, the civilian version of the Army’s M-16, dominates the national match shooting competitions and small game hunting in states that it is legal.Well put!

Saturday Night Specials are usually classified as small, lightweight, easily concealed handguns of a small caliber and made of cheap, inferior materials.You'd do well to look up the historical origin of the term 'Saturday Night Special.' It is inextricably linked with racism. (as is all modern gun control.)

Well, that's it for now. I'm sure that others will chime in with more suggestions and ideas as well.

Frohickey
September 18, 2003, 11:18 PM
Nice read.

TheMotivationalSpeaker
September 19, 2003, 01:57 AM
I've hired college graduates who couldn't write half so well.

I agree!

Good job on the essay.

Lightsped
September 19, 2003, 07:49 AM
Nice job.

The best thing is that YOU are hopefully teaching your teacher a thing or two. Whether the teacher wants to admit it or not.....

Carlos Cabeza
September 19, 2003, 09:54 AM
You have good writing skills Natedog ! If I were your teacher I would have given you an A+ and then taken the entire class on a field trip to the range........Well done !:cool:

DontShootMe
September 19, 2003, 01:19 PM
Words: 1504
Characters: 7268
Sentences: 81

Words per sentence: 18.5
Characters per word: 4.6

Passive sentences: 14%
Flesch reading ease: 54.0
Flesch-Kincaid grade level: 10.1

bogie
September 19, 2003, 01:47 PM
And remember that a "higher" grade reading level isn't always best - in fact, if you're writing a letter to the editor, etc., you want it to be simple - a simple message, stated in simple terms, that a simple person can understand without a lot of work.

MeekandMild
September 19, 2003, 05:47 PM
I was given a B-, that I think is largley because of my teacher's anit RKBA stance.... I guess the truth hurts sometimes I would probably have given a ninth grader a B or a C but I would have given a 12th grader a D or an F.

You are capable of better grammer. Just for fun I'd suggest you put your paper up on a high shelf for six months then re-write it. Do this first from memory then use the old paper as a content outline.

Also I'd suggest reading the classics (http://classics.mit.edu/) and by classic, I don't mean James Brown's greatest hits.

jdege
September 19, 2003, 05:53 PM
Most, however, were caused by very tragic yet very preventable accidents (Kantrowitz 39).

That's not even close to being true.

Of those 4000+ firearms deaths, fewer than 200 were accidents.

Standing Wolf
September 19, 2003, 06:24 PM
Guns are engrained into American society.
The word you are looking for is 'ingrained.'

Both "ingrained" and "engrained" are legitimate. "Engrained" is more common on the other side of the Atlantic, but it's perfectly acceptable American English. Things are engrained or ingrained in rather than into, and for some reason, "engrained" and "ingrained" usually follow the word "deeply."

St. Gunner
September 19, 2003, 10:56 PM
And remember that a "higher" grade reading level isn't always best - in fact, if you're writing a letter to the editor, etc., you want it to be simple - a simple message, stated in simple terms, that a simple person can understand without a lot of work.

Yep and it applies to most High School English teachers anymore. I'm a recent college grad and I used to help proof read other students papers that where preparing to graduate. It was pretty dang sad what they came up with before it was edited for grammar and content. A slew of them where preparing to go out into the world and teach your children. The education system faltered and failed somewhere along the line.

I actually had a proff my last semester give me a "C" on a paper, because she said she had to use a dictionary in order to understand what I was trying to say. I really didn't think it was that difficult, but I guess 20+yrs in that Liberal cesspool ruined her brain. Let's just say she and I had a serious discussion, then she had a serious discussion with the Dean of the English Department, then she was looking for a new job. The sad part was, she wasn't the only one who made comments along those lines, but she was the only one to dock my grades. :(

On the essay itself, you should be commended for even broaching that subject in an educational enviroment. Just remember one simple fact, their can be repurcussions for such writing, I could give you some first hand examples; but won't bore you with about 9,000 words worth of stories about it.:D

The first thing that is glaring at me out of the paper is the use of citations, you depend to much upon them for the paper. Digest the information and write it in your own words, try to cite only facts and figures. The reason being, it appears you are letting citations write the paper. While to a few proffs and teachers this seems to be a good idea, we are supposed to be a nation of individual free thinkers, hence we should express our opinion and our feelings and not parrot those of others.

The second is the topic you chose was to broad, you could have written a book on what you tried to cover. Choose to dispell the myth of the plastic gun or explain the true meaning of the word assualt weapon. Choose to confront the meaning of the second amendment or talk about the postive social impact of concealed carry. What you do by streamlining a topic and only broaching that one, is you make it possible to really get to the meat of the issue and pull dozens of outside sources. You fail to pursuede when you take on to much, you loose the reader.

Others have touched on grammar issues, so I won't go there, but you did a decent job. Somebody touched on revision, that is truly the secret of all this, some folks can sit down and write a paper 4 hrs before it is due, and some people think they can. On the day it is assigned, write a rough draft on your topic, don't worry about citations and such. Skip a day, come back with citations to back up what YOU wrote the first day, at that point in time examine the paper and make any corrections you need. Skip a day and revise citations and grammar. Skip another day if you have time and then revise again, read the paper backwords, it'll help you find miss spells and other mistakes. Finally hand it off to someone else to revise, not a thing is wrong with that, I have a friend who writes for hunting mags, I proof his articles for him. In fact today I interviewed for a company that publishes text books, I interviewed for an editor position. So even the guys who write your books have folks look over their work.

Learn to love to write, it is something we should all enjoy, how else do we intend to pass on the lessons we learn in life.

If you ever need a proof on something else, PM me here and i'll send you my email address.

St. Gunner
September 19, 2003, 11:20 PM
Nate,

This isn't exactly great, but it was all I could find on the hard drive. It is a response to a proffesor who was urging the class to go and view "Bowling for Columbine" :barf: I came home to his garbage in my inbox and a way to recieve a free screening. I was a tad inflamed when I wrote this and sent it, but it should give you an idea of where to head. I has a few quotations but not any citations. The numbers in the bottom half about genocide where researched by myself and a buddy when I saw them posted on another board years ago with no citations. The figures are easily verified through research, I wasn't going to do it again for him, but if I was going to turn this in for a grade, I would have a simple footnote explaining where the info could be found.

I can also suggest if you ever blow your gasket like this, you not be the only one in class who wears a Remington Ball Cap to school. :D

Now it got done what I wanted done, he apologized in time, he didn't like it, but after a few back and forth emails he came to the realization the only honorable thing to do was back off. Course I did email this to the entire class after he told me he wouldn't apologize even if I held him at gunpoint. :D



Bowling for
Auschwitz, Vidor, Cars, and Swimming pools…


Have you ever opened your email box only to discover an invite to a KKK meeting? How about opening it up to an invite to a provocative, exasperating, and funny cinematic essay on how to gay bash? Wouldn’t be to funny would it? Might raise your blood pressure a few points, make you wonder who the inconsiderate hate monger happened to be, and why they felt they had the right to send you that email. Then imagine that you paid $442 to take a class and that is one of the things you paid for, to get an invite to an event sponsored by a radical hate group. Would you feel cheated, violated, and angered?

I’m one of 80 million law abiding gun owners in this country, exercising a right that the Constitution enumerates, a right that many constitutional scholars, the United States Congress, and assorted Courts have upheld as a personal liberty, an individual right. How would you feel if you opened an email and attached to it was one from a group whose supporters have said things like, “Charlton Heston ought to be shot right in the head” as Spike Lee did. “Gun owners should all be locked up in prison” as Rosie O’Donnel did. How would you feel if the namesake of the organization routinely tried to infringe upon liberties you happen to hold dear to your heart? The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is to 80 million law abiding gun owners what the Klan is to African Americans, an organization designed, funded, and supported to remove from the American scene a certain cultural group. Now imagine you received that message from a professor who is supposed to be teaching an English class. Would it make you question why you spent $442 to enter into a class with a professor who supports a hate group, a group that wants to see you killed, jailed, or stripped of your liberties?

Every year 40,000 people die in auto accidents, 4,300 die from drowning, 3,500 from inhalation of a foreign object, 2,700 from medical procedure complications, and accidental shootings 1,600 based on a population of 270 million. 2.5 million times per year honest law abiding gun owners use a firearm to protect themselves, their family, or others. They stop murderers, rapists, robbers, and kidnappers and the Brady campaign wishes to take that right away, to leave the criminal element an unarmed pool of victims to choose from.

Sensible gun laws to the Brady campaign is simply put, no guns at all, not lets put criminals behind bars, not lets admit that gun laws have no effect on the criminal element, whose job it is to break laws. Gun laws have worked so well in England and Australia that violent crime has skyrocketed, criminals have been given a government guarantee of a pool of defenseless victims. England has a flourishing trade in full automatic machine guns, guns not allowed without severe restrictions and intensive background checks that last over 90 days in America, with every one of the 225,000 cataloged by the Bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. The largest importer of these black market machine guns, China, a country with gun laws so strict they would make the Brady campaign rejoice about their progressive gun laws

The first gun laws in America where instituted not to control crime, shootings, or as sensible precautions; Gun laws where the first of the Jim Crow laws. Bob Klansman with a white sheet and a burning cross wouldn’t want a minority they viewed as lower than trash shooting them dead before they could drag him out for the weekly Klan lynching. Members of the Bi-partisan anti-Chinese committee wouldn’t appreciate being killed by armed Chinese they happened to be exploiting in the building of a railroad. Gun control has always been, and will always been about one thing, “Control.”

History is replete with examples of the results of reasonable gun laws and where they led. Turkey established reasonable gun laws in 1911, from 1915 to 1917 one point five million Armenians, where rounded up and exterminated, they had no way of defending themselves. The Soviet Union established reasonable gun laws in 1929, from then until 1953, twenty million political dissidents where slaughtered. China established reasonable gun laws in 1935, between 1948-1952 twenty million political dissidents where brutally exterminated. Germany enacted reasonable gun laws in 1938, from 1939-1945 thirteen million Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and mentally ill people where exterminated in a quest for a pure socialist utopia. Cambodia got their reasonable gun laws in 1956, from 1975-1977 one million educated people where killed off. Guatemala established reasonable gun laws in 1964, from them until 1981 one hundred thousand Mayan Indians where killed. Uganda established reasonable gun laws in 1970, from 1971 to 1979, three hundred thousand Christians where slaughtered. The list goes on, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, and dozens of atrocities in Africa, all related by one common theme, they got reasonable gun laws, and brutal ethnic, cultural, and religious cleansing took place soon after. So please forgive me if it makes me angry when a so-called educated member of American society, asks me to sign up for reasonable gun laws. Can’t happen here; study the history of the Bonus Marchers, right here on American soil after WWI. Unarmed peaceful protestors where marched back by United States Calvary, and slaughtered, their shelters burned. Randy Weaver after not paying $200 tax on a gun the government felt needed to be controlled had his son shot, his wife murdered, and he received a 3.5 million dollar settlement from the United States Government because of their brutal tactics, have you ever owed $200 in taxes?

So when someone tells me I need to support reasonable gun laws, I ask myself, what do they stand to gain? Do they want socialist based programs that most gun owners find un-American? Is it because they object to rapists, murderers, and other criminal being killed in the commission of their crimes? Or like so many times in history is it the basic reason that political dissidents cause unneeded problems?

Among the many misdeeds of the British Rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.
--Mohandas Gandi

Both the oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms.
--Aristotle

One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purpose without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms.
--Joseph Story (1840)

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
--Abraham Lincoln (first inaugural address, March 4, 1861.)

Funny thing about history, how modern society who has never faced severe oppression, tyranny, and fascism can discount so many who have with a wave of their hand and simple phrase, “If it saves just one life.” What is it they say about those who fail to remember history being doomed to repeat it? Funny how the supposed elitist educated can dismiss such a simple lesson and a Southern white trash beer drinking redneck can take it to heart and practice it. What does that say about our education systems in this country, and those who stand at podiums in an attempt to indoctrinate? What does it say about those who graduate and parrot the same things those professors said? Leads this redneck to ask some simple questions of his own, “Are we the home of the brave, or a nation of sheep?” Do you supposed Hitler ever asked his victims, “Would you like your payment for supporting reasonable gun laws with Zyklon-B or just a fiery furnace,” what would I be offered today?


An emailed apology to the class for your pushing political ideals from the podium of education would be appreciated. Just as it would if I had sent an invitation to some hate group sponsored activity of my political leanings.


Not exactly a sheep, but not stupid enough to sign my name and watch my grade plummet.

Don’t Tread on Me,
Bubba Redneck



P.s. How is that for a provocative, exasperating, and funny essay on the truths about gun control.

natedog
March 1, 2004, 10:24 PM
Meek and Mild, I just went through my paper and sorta did that. As i re-read it, I can find many mistakes that I missed the first time through. Actually, this paper was written as an 8th grade term paper, not 9th.

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