Gun Control

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Gun Control encompasses all of the efforts to legislate public policy attempting to limit gun crimes by restricting access to guns

Effective gun control in some advanced industrial countries (Britain and Japan) has dramatically reduced the numbers of gun violence victims though it has not affected the violent crime rates of these or any other country. Shamefully, the United States has the highest gun violence rates among advanced industrial societies. The victims and perpetrators of gun violence in the United States come disproportionately from racial and ethnic minorities.


An issue of rights

Unlike Japan or England which haven't had a frontier in centuries America had one till recently (and some would say it still does) thus a gun culture of sorts was born.

Thomas Jefferson himself advocated this culture:

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks."

-- --Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. ME 5:85, Papers 8:407 [1]

The words of Jefferson make it clear that he considered the right to firearms to be an individual right and one that he felt America needed.

The problem

Jefferson could never have forseen the Uzi. Are we justified in seeking direction from the 18th century for a 21st century problem?


See Also

Further Reading

  • Non-fiction
    • Robert J. Spitzer. 1998. The Politics of Gun Control, 2nd Ed.. Chatham House. ISBN 1566430720.
    • Joseph Heath & Andrew Potter. 2004. Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture. Harper Collins. ISBN 006074586X. Pp. 142-143.
  • Fiction
    • Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell. 2000. The Trigger. Bantam Books. 0553576208.

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