The scene is all too recognizable. A troubled person pulls out a gun in a school, an office, or a shopping center, and he or she slaughters innocent men, women, and children. Recently, mass murders have occurred at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, and Omaha’s Westroads Mall (Schwartz). These tragedies are not inevitable, so people wonder one question. Are guns in our society getting out of control? Four out of every ten Americans own a gun; which leads to the perception that America has returned to the Wild Wild West.
In fact, it is to be assumed that where guns are present, there is a higher risk of drug abuse, crime, and accidents. About 31,224 people died from gun violence in 2007. In just one day, 268 people were shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, or by police intervention (Grunwald). Not only do four out of ten Americans have gun ownership, but an additional three out of four Americans believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to carry a gun. Hypothetically, these people believe that they have a right to bear arms and that right should not be infringed.
Part of the reason why there are such outrageous statistics is because there is lost momentum towards gun control (Schwartz). People are discomforted by the fact that a ridiculous 15 years have passed since there has been an urge for gun legislation on the federal level. In the 2008 presidential campaign, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama talked at all about gun control. In fact, Obama received an F for leadership on gun control to prevent gun violence from “A Brady Campaign” (Grunwald). However, Barack Obama did acknowledge the gun control dilemma only enough to make it seem unimportant in comparison to other issues he takes on.
Obama stated “We essentially have two realities when it comes to guns in this country. We can reconcile those two realities by making sure the Second Amendment is respected and that people are able to lawfully own guns, but that we also start cracking down on the kinds of abuses of firearms that we see on the streets” (Schwartz). Guns are given with laws, and when people continuously break those laws, the government should tackle the issue; America has returned to the Wild Wild West. Along with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ignoring the issue, Congress has done hardly anything to toughen gun control laws.
In truth, Congress has relaxed the laws very little. For example, in 2003, Congress passed an amendment to block the government from publicly releasing most data that trace guns used in crimes. In 2005, Congress gave gun manufacturers immunity to lawsuits if their firearms were used in crimes. Andy Goddard’s son, Nick, who was injured in the Virginia Tech shooting said, “people don’t know how poorly protected they are” (Schwartz). Along with the lost momentum towards stricter gun control, America has become more dangerous.
According to the article “In Congress, the Uphill Battle for Gun Control”, where guns are present, there are more likely to be drug abuse, crime, and accidents. Supposedly, the main challenge in discovering guns used in crimes is the insufficient amount of research on exactly which laws help cut down on gun shootings. Research by Emma Schwartz proved laws that demand owners to shield their children by keeping their guns locked or unloaded decreased deaths among children in Florida, but not in Connecticut or California.
Laws that allow people to carry weapons, which advocates say tend to discourage criminals from shooting, have brought little meaningful decrease in crime. Therefore, America is violently out of control. Also, the article “Fire Away” states, “Nationally, less than 1% of all gun deaths involve self-defense; the rest are homicides, suicides, and accidents. In a study of 23 high-income countries, the U. S. had 80% of the gun deaths, along with a gun homicide rate nearly 20 times higher than the rest of the sample. Also, in one year, more than 100,000 people die from gun violence in America (Grunwald). Some people question the president’s concern. At one time, Barack Obama promised to reinstate a federal ban on certain semiautomatic assault guns. The ban was initially passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 1994 and lapsed five years ago. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, is extremely impatient with the party’s silence. With every right to be impatient, a gunman randomly fired on a Long Island commuter train on Dec. , 1993 and murdered her husband while severely injuring her son. However, when she addressed the issue to Obama, the response given was, “that’s not for now, that’s for later” (Isikoff). To emphasize that America has become an unsafe society; On the morning of April 4, 2010, Richard Poplawski got into an argument with his mother. The argument was over the family‘s dog urinating on the carpet. Richard’s mother called the police to have her 22-year-old son confiscated from her house. Richard Poplawski and his mother live in what portrays to be, a rough neighborhood.
Responding as police would to any other situation, two officers responded to the call, assuming that it was a typical familial dispute. Margaret Poplawski greeted them by saying, “Come and take his ass. ” But little did they know Richard Poplawski, who recently was fired from his job in a glass factory, had other ideas. He went to a private, hidden section of the house, where he grabbed his guns and put on a bulletproof vest. Poplawski shot officer Paul J. Sciullo II, 37, inside the house and hit 29-year-old Stephen Mayhle on the stoop. Immediately, both men feel dead.
Looking calm and collected, Poplawski stood in the doorway and fired two or three more bullets into Mayhle’s body, according to a witness. Then, he ran back into the house and fired hundreds of rounds, using an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons to slay off a police SWAT team for four hours. He killed another officer, 41-year-old Eric Kelly, and wounded a cop (Isikoff). Poplawski’s cringing story is an ideal example of how America lacks gun control. Years ago, national political leaders would have raised questions or concerns about how such a person like Poplawski could easily get his hands on high-powered guns.
They might have been even more driven because Poplawski’s cop-killing rampage was part of a rise of mass homicides that have caused 58 people dead over the past month. Or the fact that Mexico’s high violent drug cartels equip themselves with high-powered weapons, purchased at U. S. gun control measures are silent. These are including Obama White House officials who have put the lid on any talk in pushing further gun-control measures (Isikoff). With the increasing numbers in drug abuse, crime, and accidents, America has a bad reputation.
Sadly, there is lost momentum towards gun control including relaxed gun laws, Obama ignoring the issue, and Congress doing hardly anything. Four out of every ten Americans own a gun; which leads to the perception that America has returned to the Wild Wild West. The fact that there were mass murders at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, and Omaha’s Westroads Mall is not okay. The fact that 31,224 people were dead from gun violence in the year of 2007 is not normal. The fact that four out of every ten Americans own a gun is not tolerable. Because America has lenient gun control makes our country wilder than the Wild Wild West.
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