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Gun Control

             The rate of crime and violence involving handguns in the United States of America is at an unacceptable level. In 1993, "of the 1.4 million Americans who were victimized by criminals carrying guns and committing crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault, 1.1 million of those incidents (86 percent) involved handguns."(Spitzer Pg.50). In 1998, firearms were used in 65 percent of homicides, and 52 percent of homicides were committed with a handgun(Source 5). The United States must take action to impose stiffer regulations on the sale of handguns. Regulations such as a waiting period, vigorous background check, as well as mandatory classes on gun safety need to be administered immediately. Furthermore, childproofing needs to be a feature on all handguns, and parents seeking to purchase a handgun should be required to attend additional educational classes.
             Handguns account for 52 percent of all murders, yet make up only 20 percent of all firearms in this country(Source 7). Handguns are appealing to criminals because they are relatively small and easy to conceal. The United States government needs to lower the amount of violent crime involving handguns. A waiting period must be mandatory for all persons who want to purchase a handgun. The waiting period should be as long as it takes to conduct an extensive search of the prospective gun owner's background, including mental health records, but should be no less than five days. Furthermore, the police will be informed, and legal action will be taken upon any prospective gun owner who is found to be wanted for a crime during his/her background search, and no persons with a criminal record will be awarded the right to purchase a handgun. This will deter criminals from attempting to purchase a handgun because if they are wanted for a crime or have already been convicted of a crime, they will not be able to purchase one. Between 1994, when the Brady Law was enacted, and 1996, crimes with firearms dropped faster than violent crime overall, and Background checks of handgun buyers, required by the Brady Law, prevented 173,000 gun transactions (Source 6).

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