Since the days of the pioneers of the United States, firearms

have been part of the American tradition as protection and a means of

hunting or sport. As we near the end of the 20th century the use of

guns has changed significantly. Because of fast and steady increase in

crime and the fight for the right to own a hand gun, the introduction

of legislation for gun control, to try to reduce the crime in the

United States, has been a hotly debated issue in recent years.

Although many people feel that gun control violates the right

of the people, given in the second amendment "the right to bear arms",

controlling distribution and sales and the registration of guns and

gun owners is necessary because of the homicide rate involving guns

and the violence by criminals using guns.

Many people feel that gun control violates the right of the

people given in the second amendment the right "to bear arms".

Opponents of gun control, including the National Rifle Association,

better known as the NRA, argue that the "right To bear arms" is

guaranteed in the second amendment of the Constitution of the United

States of America and licensing restrictions penalize law-abiding

citizens while in no way preventing criminal use of handguns. It is

also argued that by making it difficult for guns to be bought and

registered for the American public there is a threat to the personal

safety of American families everywhere.

However controlling the sale and distribution of firearms is

necessary because of the homicide rate involving guns. In 1988 there

were 9000 handgun related murders in America. Metropolitan centers and

some suburban communities of America are setting new records for

homicides by handguns. Larger Metropolitan centers have ten times the

murder rate of all Western Europe. For example in Washington,D.C.

there was an estimated 400 homicides including guns.

In addition gun control has been seen as necessary because of

the violence by criminals using guns. Gun control is wrapped in a

series of social issues such as crime and drugs. Guns have become

closely linked to drugs and murder in the public mind. Drug dealing

and high tech weaponry have escalated the warfare in cities between

long established loosely knit gangs. Predominantly guns of crime are

used by gang members. Many police officers are killed every year due

to drug and gang related incidents involving guns. For example in 1988

on February 26 rookie New York City police officer Edward Byre was

sitting alone in his police car guarding the house of a drug trial

witness in South Jamaica, Queens where he was shot four times in the

head and killed.

In conclusion, there are valid reasons for why certain people

feel that gun control is unfair. People against gun control feel that

it is a violation of the Constitution to control the sale and

distribution and the registration of guns and gun owners. But it is

necessary for there to be certain limits on the way that firearms are

handled in this country because of the homicide rate involving guns

and because of the violence created by criminals using guns. If gun

control legislation were to go through there would be a significant

decline in gun related crimes and fatalities.

Word Count: 545

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