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Gun Control

This essay will examine the gun control issue. It will provide a brief history, statistics, and quotes from gun control experts to describe the present state of gun control in the United States. In addition, it will offer a brief analysis of gun control efforts. This examination and analysis will demonstrate that stronger gun control is necessary to reduce gun violence and ensure the safe use of guns in the United States.

Gun Control

Gun control is nothing new in the United States, and neither is the controversy surrounding the control of gun ownership. According to an author , gun control has been an issue since at least 1934, when Congress passed a law restricting machine guns and sawed-off shotguns . An Author points out that after the assassinations of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, a law was passed that banned the importation of inexpensive handguns called "Saturday Night Specials;" in 1993, the Brady Bill was passed, which required background checks for handgun purchases; and a 1994 law banned the sale of semiautomatic assault guns .

Since 1994, there has been very little gun control legislation. An author cites several incidents that produced gun control debate, but no legislation: the assassination of president Kennedy and the assassination attempt on President Reagan; the shooting of Federal agents by the heavily armed followers of David Koresh in Waco, Texas; and the April '99 killings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Usually events such as these leads to strict controls on guns, but the past and current administration are not interested in controlling guns, according to their legislative records.

That is not to say that there is not a strong need for gun control legislation. According to an author , the United States has the highest per capita gun ownership among all developed nations. Americans own approximately 200,000,000 guns, of which approximately 70,000,000 are handguns, according to an author . In an extensive firearm survey, the National Institute of Justice reported guns present in thirty-five per cent of households . Furthermore, there is a great deal more gun violence in the United States than in other industrialized nations . The Centers for Disease Control, reports that the United States has  "the highest firearm mortality rate" . In addition, the CDC reports that Americans murder each other with guns at a rate 19 times higher than any of the 25 richest nations they surveyed; "since 1960, more than 1,000,000 Americans have died from firearm homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. Moreover, for every firearm death, there are six nonfatal injuries".

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