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Transcript of Gun Control
Gun Control Debate during the 21st Century
During the twenty-first century, following tragic mass shootings, a political ritual occurs in which conservatives and progressives are eager to propose resolutions rather than leave those inflicted in pain to suffer.
Conflicting partisan views, as reflected within various articles, are based upon differing ideological perceptions.
“The [liberals] argue that it is about “collective rights”: that the Second Amendment was meant only to limit the ability of Congress to regulate firearms in a way that would keep state governments from protecting themselves” (Chemerinsky 478).
The varying perspectives of individual and communities towards the impending debate of gun control reflect their arguments on "collective rights" or "individual rights" (Chemerinksky 478).
As Michael Boylan , Ph.D. analyzes, " From the point of view of those advocating gun control, the entire tenor of the social environment changes when there are guns” (Boylan 23).
Further, demographics and political attributions of rural and urban societies present a correlation between their perspectives toward gun control legislation and culture.
Effectiveness of Gun Control Legislation
Based upon Michael Boylan Ph.D.'s empirical research, the perception of safety due to weapons in which the “damage coefficient weighs practice over potentially," is a "cruel illusion" (18,26).
Within a scholarly article composed by Charles W. Collier, he highlights the absurdity of permitting assault weapons as possession of individuals within society as he states, "With ever more guns in circulation, it becomes ever more “reasonable” to suspect (or fear) that someone else has one-and to shoot first" (Collier 82).
Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
The gun control debate, dominated by various perspectives of the Second Amendment, highlight different aspects of the rights stated.
As defenders of the amendment suggest, the rights provided are crucial for the establishment of a republican citizenship.
Further, it is imperative to recognize the perspectives of the Founders who composed the amendment as they sought to assure that a central government would not monopolize violence within society.
Power of the National Rifle Associaton (NRA)
As Richard Feldman states in a Frontline documentary titled
Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA
, "Fear is a much greater motivator in American politics than anything else, the fear of losing rights that you perceive you have."
Further, as the NRA thrives to communicate its perspective among citizens, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, reflects that a gun is the only means of absolute safety as he states "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
Thus, despite the aspect of the gun control debate, citizens, as well as institutions, implore officials to propose a resolution and prevent the loss of human lives.
Gun control, in America’s early stages, had a strong support.
The Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment stating the "right to bear arms”, laws banned concealed weapons that were passed in many states (especially in the South, where more people owned guns).
"These laws were later challenged, as courts upheld the bans as constitutional"(Rosenfeld).
The NRA, founded in 1871 as a sporting and hunting association, supported most gun control regulation for its first 100 years.
Gun Control in the 1900s (1950-2000)
The Gun Control Act of 1968
People don't care about the consequences that come with using a gun incorrectly
some people are not careful with weapons
Guns are sold to people without background checks
New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois and Massachussets are the only 4 states to require background checks and permits for all gun purchases
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island are the only states that require background checks on gun purchases in gun shows
John F. Kennedy's assassingation sparked the nation's concern for gun control.
"In May 1967, two dozen Black Panther Party members walked into the California Statehouse carrying rifles to protest a gun-control bill, prompting then-Gov. Ronald Reagan to comment, 'There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.'"(Rosenfeld).
The Act allowed the government to regulate firearm owners and firearm industries.
"It added a minimum age for gun buyers, required guns have serial numbers and expanded people barred from owning guns from felons to include the mentally ill and drug addicts. Only federally licensed dealers and collectors could ship guns over state lines. People buying certain kinds of bullets had to show I.D."
The Brady Handgun
Violence Protection Act
"On March 30, 1981, twenty-five-year-old John W. Hinckley, Jr., lurked in a crowd of people clustering around a Washington, D.C., hotel waiting for President Ronald Reagan to finish delivering a speech. As President Reagan emerged from the hotel waving to the crowd and heading for his limousine, Hinckley took aim with a .22 caliber Rohm RG-14 revolver and fired off six rounds"(Eakins).
Losing various initial battles, those in favor of the Brady Act failed to give up and eventually had it passed in 1993.
"The only thing that stops
a bad guy with a gun is a good
guy with a gun."
Wayne LaPierre, president of
the National Rifle Association (Overby).
"You can have all the gun control laws in the country, but if you don't enforce them, people are going to find a way to protect themselves. We need to recognize that bad people are doing bad things with these weapons. It's not the law-abiding citizens, it's not the person who uses it as a hobby."
The NRA and their steps of progess
The Act proclaimed that all gun owners require background checks before purchasing a firearm weapon.
Debates began on whether or not the act was constitutional which caused its effect to be delayed.
Psychological relations to Gun violence:
up to 60% of perpetrators of mass shootings in the United States since 1970 displayed symptoms including acute paranoia, delusions, and depression before committing their crimes (Metzl and MacLiesh)
Adam Lanza was an undiagnosed schizophrenic
A psychiatrist stated that more than half of mass shootings done by people with mental illnesses could have been prevented if they were being treated (Torrey qtd. in Metzl and MacLiesh).
According to Appelbaum, less than 3% to 5% of US crimes involve people with mental illness, and the percentages of crimes that involve guns are lower than the national average for persons not diagnosed with mental illness. (Metzl and MacLeish).
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
Fearful of crime, the 1990s took serious action in an attempt to limit not only gun violence but crimes in general.
Only one of four sections of the Act focuses on gun control.
"It called for a 10-year ban on the manufacture, transfer, or possession of 19 semi-automatic assault weapons. Certain kinds of revolving-cylinder shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols, and ammunition magazines were also banned. The act also outlawed the ownership of handguns by juveniles"(West's Encyclopedia of American Law).
Boylan, Michael, Ph.D. "Gun Control in the United States: Ethical Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century." CLINICAL ORTHOPEDICS AND RELATED RESEARCH (n.d.): 17-27. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Collier, Charles W. "Gun Control in America: An Autopsy Report." Dissent 60.3 (2013): 81-86. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Chemerinsky, Erwin. "Putting Gun Control Debate in Social Perspective." Fordham Law Review 73.2 (n.d.): 477-85. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Eakins, Keith Rollins, and "Brady Bill." Dictionary of American History. 2003. "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993)." Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 2004. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
Ehrenfreund, Max. "11 Essential Facts about Guns and Mass Shootings in America." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.
Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA. PBS, 2015. Frontline, 6 Jan. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Isreal, Josh. "After Columbine Shooting, NRA Supported Gun Free School Zones It Now Opposes." ThinkProgress After Columbine Shooting NRA Supported Gun Free School Zones It Now Opposes Comments. Think Progress, 16 Jan. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
King, Stephen. "Guns." Good Reads. Good Reads, 2015. Web.
Konnikova, Maria. "Is There A Link Between Mental Health and Gun Violence? - The New Yorker." The New Yorker. N.p., 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.
Metzl, Jonathan M., and Kenneth T. MacLeish. "Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms." American Journal of Public Health. American Public Health Association, Feb. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.
Primm, Eric, Robert M. Regoli, and John D. Hewitt. "Race, Fear, and Firearms: The Roles of Demographics and Guilt Assuagement in the Creation of a Political Partition." Journal of African American Studies J Afr Am St 13.1 (2008): 63-73. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Overby, Peter. "NRA: 'Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With A Gun Is A Good Guy With A Gun'" NPR. NPR, 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.
Rogers, Simon. "Gun Homicides and Gun Ownership Listed by Country." The Guardian. The Guardian, 22 July 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.
ROSENFELD, STEVEN. "The NRA Once Supported Gun Control." Saloncom RSS. Alternet, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
Statement, Mission. "Universal Background Checks - Coalition to Stop Gun Violence." Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Stop Gun Violence, 06 May 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
"Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994." West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. 2008. The Gale Group 20 Oct. 2015.
Wilkinson, Peter. "Dunblane: UK School Massacre." CNN. Cable News Network, 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
Psychological relations to Gun violence (continued):
The 1968 Gun Control Act prohibited anyone who had ever been committed to a mental hospital from purchasing firearms.
It has only become more strictly enforced in recent years, In 2013, New York passed the Safe Act, which mandated that mental-health professionals file reports on patients “likely to engage in conduct that would result in harm to self or others”; those patients, who now number more than thirty-four thousand, have had their guns seized and have been prevented from buying new ones (Konnikova).
The occurrence of violence alongside mental illness was more closely associated with whether someone was male, poor, and abusing either alcohol or drugs and that those three factors alone could predict violent behavior with or without any sign of mental illness. (Swanson qtd. in Konnikova).
If someone fit those categories, they were more likely to commit a crime regarding gun violence even if they weren't mentally ill. Similarly, if someone fit none, even if they were mentally ill, then it was highly unlikely to be predictive of violence.
“That study debunked two myths, One: people with mental illness are all dangerous. Well, the vast majority are not. And the other myth: that there’s no connection at all. There is one. It’s quite small, but it’s not completely nonexistent.” (Swanson qtd. in Konnikova).
BY: Kelly Molina, Manav Patel, Minjal Patel, and Andrea Velasquez
Pro Gun Control vs Anti Gun Control
Actions the White House has made toward Gun Control
“How many have to die before we will give up these dangerous toys?”
"We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. My belief is that we have to enforce the laws we've already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes to enforcement. But weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap hand guns." – Barrack Obama, Presidential debate, Oct. 16, 2012.