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Death penalty-to be or not to be? Sometimes crime cannot be punished enough. Sometimes crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it. There are too many victims out there, that suffered and their attacker gets a simple painless death. I am saying painless comparing to murders that happen every day that are simply horrifying. As Paul A. Winters says "If a person commits a uniquely gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death" Winters et al. 154. So many murderers are convicted of the crime of murder and they only get years in jail. Their victims feel the pain, but imagine the pain and sorrow that the families of the victims feel, and that pain lasts for the rest of their lives. If someone from my family was killed, I wouldn't think a second what to do with the murderer. I would want him dead. Most of the families feel this way and the best way to stop the pain is to get rid off the cause of the pain. Death sentence is effective because it deters crimes, but many people argue that life without parole is much harder to serve for the person who committed the crime, "Abolitionist claim there are some alternative to the death penalty, they say that life without parole serves just as well" Guilmette 2. I agree that putting away the murderer is effective, but just isn't enough. Laws change, so do parole boards, and people forget the past. As long as the murderer there is a small possibility that he could strike again. Capital punishment is the most effective weapon against the murderers; because no executed murderer has ever killed again. You cannot say that about those sentenced to prison. Death sentence also depends on the case. I am not saying that everybody who commits the murder should be placed on the death row. There are different types of the murder and every murder that was planned or intentional should be severely punished. As Hugo Adam Badeu says, "Despicable crimes should be dealt with realistically" Badeu et al. 131. I have no mercy for the killers, and nobody should have any mercy for anybody who does harm to another human being. Who gives a right to anyone to commit crime anyway? Michael Kronenwetter says, "The death penalty has always been considered especially appropriate for the crime of murder" Kronenwetter 6. Murder is the biggest crime and biggest offense, and it should be treated like that. Over the years, public safety has become a meaningless thing, not worth defending anymore, and the death penalty has been persecuted for just that reason. Every country in the world is ready and willing to kill thousands, even millions of human beings in brutal, merciless way to defend their nation from the aggression of other countries. I don't see why public safety doesn't deserve as much respect and protection as a nation's national security does. In fact, it can be argued that supporting armies and war is far more barbarous than the death penalty is. The whole reason why nations and government exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. I think that the people in all the nations will soon realize that capital punishment, like the military or police force and even taxes is an unavoidable consequence of every civilized society, and it will no longer be the question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used. "According to polls, more than 70 percent of Americans feel that murderers deserve the death penalty" Winters et al. 168. What can you say to the parents of the kids that were killed in Columbine High School, their kids will never come back, and their killers were kids, too. What can be done about juvenile murderers? "President Clinton proposed that the age at which penalty could be applied should be reduced from 21 to 18" O'Rourke 1. I agree with that and if that law could be put in place, no killer would be protected. Everybody who is mature enough to the consequences of the things they do should be equally punished as everybody else. Most of the people don't agree with this, but that's just the way it is. As I said laws change and convicted could be out on the streets again, and they could strike again. Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment have supported their cause with many arguments. They have claimed that some have been wrongly sent to death row, while other decisions have been unfairly applied to minorities and the poor. Others argued for the sanctity of human life, as well as the expense involved in capital punishment. But those who believe in the opposition of the death penalty are often misled. They should consider the following cases that underlie the support for capital punishment, for it is certainly the only way to deal with the cruelty of crime that has infected our society. Capital punishment was once supported by the theory of deterrence, yet studies have shown weaknesses in this argument. Although the death penalty may not have an effect in deterring crime, it protects society from the threat of the same criminal committing a violation again when they are set free. A notable example is the case of Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate the Pope after he had previously been tried and convicted of murder. Opponents may often refute this by suggesting a life sentence without parole, yet research has shown that the crime rates in prisons are gradually increasing. What happens when a person sentenced with life imprisonment kills another inmate or guard during that time? This brings about reconsideration for those who advocate sentences without parole instead of capital punishment. A second way to look at the validation of capital punishment is the concept of retribution. Retribution cannot be confused with the concept of revenge. It is society"s right of intolerance to heinous crimes that bring about the need for death row. Criminals have not only injured their victims but also the important values that govern society, which is the respect for life. Society has a responsibility to protect its citizens, doing what is necessary and appropriate to those who break the laws. Thus, capital punishment is necessary to ensure the priceless value of human lives. Thirdly, some people urge to abolish the death penalty because of their concern for the sanctity of human life. That is precisely the reason why this form of crime prevention should be maintained. Capital punishment is different from murder because the person being executed had committed a crime and was tried and found guilty. An execution carried out after a trial cannot be compared to a murder committed by a criminal. Lastly, it is suggested and often proven that the death penalty discriminates against the poor and minority groups. One must see that this problem does not concern the justification of the penalty, but the unfair way in which it is distributed. This problem may be improved by properly reviewing the cases, imposing decisions without regard to race or class. This can be achieved so that all defendants receive equal protection ground. Capital punishment has proven to have good benefits upon the country in determining the consequences that criminals deserve. This is needed to ensure the safety and moral values of society. If this is the case, there is no need for us to consider the expenses involved in the death penalty. Certainly human lives are more important, for it may easily be yours. We should not abolish capital punishment, but hold our country accountable for properly exercising the death penalty upon those who deserve it. Many criminals don"t fear the judicial system. They know that they will get out in ten years if they murder someone. They are not afraid of jail or their punishment. How can we force them to stop killing or stealing if they are not afraid of the punishment we give them. Most rational men are afraid of death. They don"t want to die. There are also men that don"t fear death, but enjoy killing. They must be controlled, but if they are sentenced to life they are soon free to kill again. Again, I am not saying we should kill all the men in jail and any other criminal in the world. That is not the answer either, but we must have the death penalty as an option so that they will be afraid to break the law, and to control those who don"t fear death but love to break the law. What do you do with men who do not fear the loss of their life? One criminal of America, Carl Panzram was quoted in saying, "In my life I have murdered 21 human beings. I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than 1000 male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don"t believe in Man, God nor devil. I hate the whole damned human race including myself" Panzram 1. Men like this who do not care for any law and do every unthinkable act are being supported in some jails around the world. What do you do with people who only want to kill and cause chaos? There is very little you can do, especially if they do not care if they are imprisoned. Panzram cares for nothing. He doesn"t mind his fifteen years in prison, or even his twenty-five. Panzram was executed and can no longer bother man kind, but there are others like him. Australia has abolished the death sentence. They can no longer control the men like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. He is now being supported by the people of Australia. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. This cannot be the case in other countries, so that those criminals like Panzram and Bryant, will be able to do what they want and not be executed for it. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don"t fear imprisonment. The death penalty should be maintained"¦
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Death penalty-to be or not to be? Sometimes crime cannot be punished enough. Sometimes crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it. There are too many victims out there, that suffered and their attacker gets a simple painless death. I am saying painless comparing to murders that happen every day that are simply horrifying. As Paul A. Winters says "If a person commits a uniquely gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death" Winters et al. 154. So many murderers are convicted of the crime of murder and they only get years in jail. Their...
like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. He is now being supported by the people of Australia. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. This cannot be the case in other countries, so that those criminals like Panzram and Bryant, will be able to do what they want and not be executed for it. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don"t fear imprisonment.

The death penalty should be maintained…

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It has been well-established feature of...It has been well-established feature of the English legal system that rules of criminal law are addressed to rational and responsible persons who have the capacity to control their actions and understand and comply with rules. Persons lacking such capacity should not be held criminally culpable even if some wrong may have been done, as it is believed that they are "sick rather than evil." It is from this central concept that the defences of Insanity and, to some extent, Diminished Responsibility derive. Whilst the latter was more recently established by the Homicide Act in 1957, Insanity is stems from an 1843 common law authority and has perpetually been at the centre of controversy. Although in principle it plays an important role in both protecting interests of mentally disordered by providing means for their treatment and protecting public interests in subjecting such dangerous persons to restraint, the lack of clarity over its precise scope accentuated by its antiquity has led to absurd decisions which undermine its credibility. The extent to which diminished responsibility alleviates its inherent deficiencies and provides a better guide to kinds of mental disorders that should exempt persons from criminal liability is however questionable. The main difficulty for both lies in determining a dividing line between sanity and responsibility on one hand and insanity and irresponsibility on the other. The question of insanity may arise at the time of the trial if there are concerns that the defendant is unable to appreciate the significance of the trial and is thus 'unfit to plead.' Whilst prior to 1991, such an individual would be incarcerated in a mental institution without proof that the crime had been committed, the Criminal Procedure Unfitness to Plead Act holds that if a there is a finding of 'unfitness' the defendant may only be incarcerated after the definitional elements of the crime have been proved before a jury. This has strengthened the law and brought it more in line with human right requirements. More significantly, where the defendant is considered fit to plead there is the vital question of the defendant's state of mind at the time of the alleged offence. The rules that provide guidance in determining this issue were laid down in M'Naughton 1843 in which the House of Lords delineated the circumstances in which the accused cannot be held legally culpable for his conduct. Rules state that a person is presumed sane unless it can be proved that at the time of the offence he was suffering from "such a defect of reason, from a disease of the mind as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing or if he did know, that he did not know what he was doing was wrong." Due to presumption of sanity, the burden of proof is on the defence to prove insanity on balance of probabilities although in exceptional circumstances judge or prosecution may also raise issue of insanity where facts so indicate. However this conflicts with principle that in criminal cases burden of proof should always be on prosecution and may potentially be a contravention of Article 62 of ECHR whereby defendant is always innocent until proven guilty, although some speculate that it merely imposes an evidential onus on the defence. Nevertheless, in order for a successful plea, the defence must establish various elements: The main area of contentions has been the interpretation of 'disease of the mind,' the definition of this which has sparked the most controversy. The definition is a legal one and remains distinct from the medical one even though the Criminal Procedure Unfitness to Plead Act 1991 requires evidence to be given by 2 or more medical practitioners before insanity can be established. However this is not of great significance as the courts have interpreted term so as to include states of mind which doctors would be unlikely to characterise as being a 'disease of the mind,' deciding that it is not merely confined to diseases of the brain alone but covers the mind in all its aspects. This was clarified in Kemp 1957 in which it was held that the defence was available to the defendant who suffered from arteriosclerosis and attacked his wife whilst in a state of unconsciousness. This condition was not considered a 'disease of the mind' in medical terms but it was held that for the purposes of insanity, 'disease of the mind' meant any internal disorder affecting the "ordinary mental faculties of reason, memory and understanding" so that the "condition of the brain was irrelevant." This has had far reaching consequences so that conditions such as epilepsy, sleepwalking and cerebral tumours can also give rise to a finding of legal insanity. In Sullivan 1984 the defendant kicked and injured a friend during an epileptic seizure. Despite medical evidence indicating that epilepsy was not a 'disease of the mind' since in medical terms a disease of the mind is a disorder of the brain functions, which must be prolonged for a period of time, the court held that this was irrelevant. Even though the defendant's condition was "temporary and intermittent" it was a disease of the mind as during a seizure, mental faculties could be impaired to the extent of causing a defect of reason. The policy reasons for rendering such conditions as 'diseases of the mind' were explained by Lord Denning in Bratty 'v' A-G for N Ireland 1963 "Any mental disorder which manifests itself in violence and is prone to recur is a disease of the mind." Cleary one can understand the desire to protect the public from violence, yet not only are there some mental disorders which do not manifest themselves in violence, such as Kleptomania which therefore would not be diseases of mind for purposes of the defence, it seems absurd to render epileptics as dangerous as individuals suffering from severe psychosis. This absurdity has been perpetuated by the courts through drawing of illogical distinctions. A limiting factor on what constitutes a disease of the mind is that the condition must arise from an internal factor so that a state of automatism engendered by external factors is not sufficient for legal insanity. The rigidity of this internal/external divide was illustrated in Quick 1973 in which a diabetic committed an assault whilst in a hypoglycaemic state. The Court of Appeal held that insanity was not available to him as the condition was caused by the failure to take food after taking insulin, which was an external factor. However an illogical distinction was drawn in Hennessy 1989 in which the accused who was also a diabetic failed to take insulin due to stress and depression becoming hyperglycaemic. Having been charged with driving whilst disqualified, it was held that insanity was the appropriate defence since his condition was symptom of his diabetes and this was 'internal' to him. A similar line of reasoning was used in Burgess 1935 where the defendant attacked a friend but claimed that he has been sleepwalking and thus had acted unconsciously. Defence of non-insane automatism was denied to him since sleepwalking was "a transitory disorder due to an internal factor which had manifested itself in violence and was prone to recurrence." Lord Lane did accept that it was incongruous" to label such conditions as insanity. The distinction between internal and external causes is fundamentally flawed. We are forced to conclude that epileptics and sleepwalkers are insane if they commit an act whilst unconscious, and the problem is particularly acute with diabetics; the law maintains that a diabetic in a hyperglycaemic state is insane whilst one in a hypoglycaemic state is not when the results of their conditions are medically similar. They are essentially attempting to draw a distinction between conditions caused by a 'disease of the mind', which may recur and are thus a threat to the public and those caused by an external factor such as concussion which can be easily treated and have the feature of an accident. The difficulty clearly appears to be in delineating a dividing line between insanity and non insane automatism. If it is decided that the defendant is suffering from a 'disease of the mind' it must be proved that it induced a defect of reason. The courts have taken this to mean a complete loss of the power of reasoning, not mere confusion or absentmindedness as in Clarke 1972. This defect of reason must be such that the defendant does not know the nature and quality of his act. In Codhere 1916 this was held to mean the physical rather than moral nature of the act. Thus it is necessary for the defendant to prove that due to 'disease of the mind' he was unaware of what he was doing or did not appreciate the consequences of his act. Prof. Kenny provided an example of "the madman who cuts a womans throat under the idea that he is cutting a loaf of bread. However this is a highly stringent test as it is argued that even a radically psychotic person will appreciate the nature and quality of their acts in this limited sense. In a similar manner the requirement that the defendant must not have knowledge that his act is wrong has been narrowly interpreted. In Windle 1952 it was held that this meant legally 'wrong' so that even if a defendant is aware his act is morally wrong, the defence will fail if he knew his act was prohibited by the law and that it transgresses the ordinary standards adopted by reasonable men. Critics argue that "knowledge of the law is hardly an appropriate test upon which to base ascription of responsibility to the mentally disordered." It is indeed a narrow ground of exemption as even the grossly disturbed will be aware, for instance, that murder is an offence by law. In Sutcliffe 1981 the defendant undertook his divinely endorsed mission to kill prostitutes. Even though he was severely schizophrenic he knew his actions were contrary to law and thus failed to satisfy test for insanity. This indicates that this is certainly not a satisfactory test of criminal responsibility. Although much effort is made to rationalise insanity, it is in practice rarely invoked "“ at present only 2/3 cases are brought each year. For many the consequence of a successful plea is a strong deterrent, as it does not result in an unqualified acquittal but the defendant receives a special verdict of 'not guilty by reason of insanity.' Previously the result of a special verdict was automatic committal to a mental institution with prospect of indefinite detention. A defendant faced with such a possibility often pleaded guilty rather than use of a defence that was in principle available to them, even when they were not morally liable or medically insane. This was clearly an unsatisfactory state of affairs. Although the outcome remains where the charge is murder, the Criminal Procedure Unfitness to Plead Act 1991 provides judges with a range of non penal measures which has increased flexibility so that the sentence can now more closely reflect the seriousness of the offence committed. Although this is definitely an improvement it has still not led to a rise in insanity pleas. Where the charge is murder, most prefer to use the specific defence of 'diminished responsibility' as the period of imprisonment is shorter and is considered a more acceptable alternative than indefinite incarceration in a mental institution. As can be seen there are many weaknesses of the defence of insanity. The M'Naughton rules, have in particular been criticised not only due to the archaic terminology which have little congruence to modern language of psychiatry, it has been said that they are based on "too limited a concept of the nature of mental disorder." They provide an exclusively cognitive test for determining insanity, which is narrow and deficit. However Lord Devlin has supported this emphasis on cognition since it is "reason which makes a man responsible to law"¦which distinguishes him from animals which emotional order does not. So it is fitting that nothing other than a defect of reason should give complete absolution." This reflects the courts unwillingness to develop the law in order to take account of medical progress. When the test was first developed insanity was indeed associated with power to reason but now it is understood that insanity in fact affects not only this but the whole personality. Thus a person who is medically 'insane' may know nature and quality of their act and that it is wrong yet perform it under impulse. However under current state of affairs, they would fail the legal test of insanity and although it has been proposed that insanity should accommodate such individuals who act on irresistible impulse, as they are the ones who are a "danger to society," Lord Steward stated that this was a "fantastic theory"¦which if were to become part of criminal law would be merely subversive." However whilst schizophrenics are not considered insane, the rules have been "broadened and stretched" so that they are wide enough to cover diabetics and epileptics who in any other context would be not be considered 'insane.' Although the courts have continued to maintain that the legal definition may remain reasonably separate from the medical, this is becoming more difficult to uphold without absurdity. It is anticipated that the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 may prompt change in this area, as it requires a stronger relationship between legal and medical criteria used to assess insanity. Article 51 allows the "lawful detention of persons with unsound mind" but holds the question of unsoundness must be resolved by reference to "objective medical expertise." Even though the 1991 Act requires evidence from two medical practitioners, this does not preclude the detention of those such as Sullivan and Burgess who by the standards of the medical profession are not of 'unsound mind.' In Quick Lawton LJ argued "common sense is affronted by the prospect of a diabetic being sent to hospital when in most cases the medical condition can be rectified by quickly pushing a lump of sugar into defendants mouth." This constitutes a fundamental contravention of human rights. However under Section 6 courts are obliged to apply convention rights even if this means departing from previous precedent so that in the near future cases such as Sullivan may be a rarity. This will certainly strengthen the current law immensely and is especially desirable given that many other proposals for reform have been ignored by successive Governments, so that the law has remained static and rigid. The defence of diminished responsibility has alleviated many of the deficiencies of insanity, although since it is a specific defence, it may only be pleaded to charge of murder and thus any change is only noticeable where homicide is concerned "“ the position with regards to other less serious offences is likely to remain the same. Further a successful plea will only constitute a partial excuse lowering conviction to manslaughter, although this is still considered a more acceptable alternative than indefinite incarceration in an institution. Unlike insanity, it is defined in statute, under section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957 which states that person may be found guilty of manslaughter "if he was suffering from such an abnormality of mind, whether arising from a condition of retarded development of the mind or any inherent causes induced by disease or injury, as substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his actions." Given the difficulty of establishing insanity, diminished responsibility is seen as more accessible due to its wider scope. It encompasses a greater variety of conditions as it makes an allowance for lesser degrees of mental impairment "“ it requires proof of only impaired responsibility not complete absence of responsibility. Thus unlike insanity it accommodates cases where the defendant acts under irresistible impulses as in Byrne 1960 where the defendant was a sexual psychopath who attacked and mutilated his victims due to perverted sexual urges, stronger than normal impulses, which he was unable to control. However it is still a dubious issue for the courts to resolve due to the narrow dividing line between "he did not resist his impulse and he could not resist his impulse." Essentially the question is one for the jury to resolve, deducing from medical evidence whether the accused was suffering from an abnormality of mind, defined as the "lack of ability to form rational judgement or exercise willpower to control ones acts"¦wide enough to cover minds activities in all its aspects." This abnormality must have been caused by an inherent source which is much wider than the requirement for insanity that 'disease of the mind' be caused by an internal factor as it includes any malfunctioning of the mind. However emotions such as rage, hatred or external factors such as drugs and alcohol cannot be put forward for obvious reasons of policy. Yet some flexibility is retained as although intoxication will not support a defence, alcoholism may suffice when arising from "disease or injury" as when there is gross impairment of judgement or if drinking was involuntary arising from a craving, which the defendant could not resist as reinforced in Tandy 1989. Thus it is clear that a person does not have to be 'mentally disordered' to be exempted from full liability; in Miller it was allowed for someone who killed in a fit of jealousy and in Smith for a woman suffering from pre menstrual tension. However even if the jury are satisfied that the defendant suffered from an abnormality of mind there remains the important question of whether it was sufficient to have substantially impaired his responsibility i.e. was the difficulty in controlling the impulse substantially greater than would be experienced by an ordinary person. As established in Simcox 1964 the impairment need not be total but must be more than trivial. There should also be evidence to support this contention and this is where the defence begins to become less clear and a less reliable guide on the mental disorders that will exempt individuals from liability; It has been speculated that Section 2 encourages role confusion between the judge, jury and medical profession. It is argued that it is in the hands of psychiatrists and doctors to establish or rebut the defence with medical evidence, which is undesirable, as they should not be delivering opinions on legal and moral responsibility, these being jury issues. However in practice despite the importance of medical evidence, it is ultimately for the jury to decide whether abnormality of mind is sufficient to have substantially impaired judgement and they are in a position to reject unanimous medical evidence as in Sanders 1991 in which the accused conviction for the murder of his mistress was upheld despite the fact that two psychiatrists had testified that he was suffering from depression at the time. Ultimately the question resolves itself into a moral one for the jury "“ whether they believed that the accused deserved to be convicted of murder. This led Glanville Williams to state, "the defence is interpreted in accordance with the morality of the case rather than as an application of psychiatric concepts." In Sutcliffe, for instance, there was unequivocal evidence of the defendant's abnormality, as he had been compelled to act due to irresistible impulses, yet the jury convicted him of murder. It was desirable that a man accused of such notorious crimes, if guilty should bear the label of murderer. This leads to inconsistency and arbitrary development of the law so that the concept is no longer a reliable guide on the disorders that will lead to exemption. Ultimately, despite being statutorily defined, diminished responsibility, although a definite improvement on previous state of affairs, suffers from similar problems as insanity in terms of imprecision of scope. On one hand the definition of Section 2 is considered intensely loose as it has been suggested that it too readily available for defendants who kill, for instance, but then produce medical evidence of long term depression which is sufficient for a successful plea and on the other, it appears that the defence may sometimes be wrongly refused on the grounds of policy as in Sutcliffe. It is to be hoped that between the narrow scope of insanity and wide scope of diminished responsibility, defendants who lack the capacity to think rationally and control their actions due to mental disorder are ensured justice.   

It has been well-established feature of the English legal system that rules of criminal law are addressed to rational and responsible persons who have the capacity to control their actions and understand and comply with rules. Persons lacking such capacity should not be held criminally culpable even if some wrong...

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Handguns and other firearms have a...Handguns and other firearms have a long tradition in American civilization. The right to bear arms is an American right featured in the second Amendment of the Constitution. In the 18th century, when the constitution was written, times were different; there was a need for armed citizens to insure the safety of the society as a whole. Contemporarily the police department preserves the safety of society and the need for armed citizens is out of date. The founding fathers of the Constitution could presumably never imagine the horrendous outcome of their actions. Every year too many lives are claimed as the result of the American government's inability to fully face up to effects of the issue. Compared to other western countries that have considerably stricter gun control laws America is still viewed as "The Wild-Wild West". The growing gun related death toll in the U.S. has to come to a turning point. Stripping away the constitutional right to bear arms might have the effect that only criminals will have access to guns. It is important to understand that in a society where both criminals and law abiding citizens have access to guns the likeliness of an innocent person getting shot, when both parties are waving guns, is probably greater than if only criminals have guns. A ban on firearms might not be appealing as a short-term solution but it is important that people don't limit their thinking to their generation and not think about the safety of their children, grandchildren and the society people are creating today for them to live in. The main obstacle in removing firearms from citizens in the U.S. is the second Amendment of the Constitution. It reads: "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." The second Amendment can be interpreted as every citizen right to bear arms. However the key word is "Militia", meaning soldiers or defenders of the State. In the late 18th century, when the Constitution was written, times were very different than those of contemporary America. People were scared of possible invasions from Native Americans, the English, and other nationalities. By "a well regulated Militia"¦" the founding fathers probably meant that citizens could have a muscot standing in the corner just in case anything would happen. Note that the writers of the Constitution added, "a well regulated"¦" in front of the word Militia. That would most likely reveal a controversy in writing this Amendment, some of the founding fathers might have foreseen the possibility of a misinterpretation of this Amendment. In the U.S. there are approximately 200 million privately owned guns, which is statistically close to a gun per person and places more than one gun per home on average O'Donnell 771. In other words, guns are all around. This effects, without a doubt, the whole society structure and the citizens that live within its boundaries. The children that live within a gun infested society are going to suffer the consequences. In fact, kids between the ages 16 and 19 have the highest handgun victimization rate among all age groups O'Donnel 771. It's not hard to understand why, since there are on average more than one gun per household, kids are likely to find firearm and in some cases even use it. In March 1998 two children, 11 and 13 years of age gunned down a total of 13 people in a school in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Of the 13, nine survived and five people, classmates and teacher, died as a result of the shooting Liesen, Owens. One of the boys had taken two rifles from his grandfather. They positioned themselves about a 100 yards from the schoolyard and when the bell for recession sounded and people started to exit the school building the two boys opened fire. This is a horrendous event that proves that if guns are present within a household or within a family, odds are that kids will know about where they are kept and perhaps even be curious enough to actually use them. In October, 1997 a 16 year old boy shot and killed his girlfriend and her best friend while they were exiting a Mississippi school leaving six others wounded Liesen, Owens. The spontaneity of young children and guns are a lethal combination as illustrated in these two examples. In a study made across high schools in Seattle, 47% of males and 22% of females reported that they had easy access to handguns and 11.4% were gun-owning males O"Donnel 772. The access to guns might prove to be a deadly for both innocent bystanders and the holder of the gun. Children should not be able to own guns. One of the prerequisites for owning a gun should be that the person is responsible enough to own a firearm. Since there are no guarantees for that, guns should only be issued in extensively controlled forms otherwise the government jeopardizes the safety of the people they"ve sworn to protect. In ages 10-14 72%, and in the ages 15-19, 85% of all homicides are committed with firearms. In addition to that 60 % of all suicides among youths is committed with a handgun. The total firearm death rate concerning white males in their teens now exceed natural causes O'Donnell 771. These are alarming statistics show the brutal reality of firearms in the U.S. A study made by the American Psychological Association, Commission on Violence and Youth showed, in a study made in Seattle in 1993, that 6% of males in the 11th grade had at least once brought a handgun to school O"Donnel 772. More than 1 in 20 had brought a handgun to school, in other words it was quite a common practice among youths. How does that effect the rest of us? Parents might just get the news from police officers that their son or daughter had become victim to a stray bullet while attending history class. The lawmakers in the United States are addressing the problem by putting up metal detectors in schools. In the case of metal detectors, officials have realized that preventing the possession of firearms inside the boundary of the school is necessary for the safety of the students and teachers. This is a temporary solution to ever-growing problem. The risk of a student or a teacher getting shot inside the school property has probably been reduced, which is positive. But the fact remains that outside of the school property the risk of being a victimized is growing every year. In order for these types of events not to occur legislators and other professionals are emphasizing precautionary actions of the gun owners and most of the time a ban on guns isn't mentioned. "Why I should be denied the same right my father and grandfather had?" Skelton. Because times have changed, guns are not solely created and used for hunting anymore, and with today's technology, in the form of automatic guns and high impact ammunition, guns have become deadlier, which leaves a greater responsibility on the owners. Are people ready for that responsibility? A quite common phrase is: "Guns don't kill people, it is the people that pull the trigger." Yes, people do the killing, but does that justify the government providing the citizens with the instruments of death. In theory, if all people were to act totally responsibly this dilemma wouldn't exist. The fact of the matter is that a lot of killings occur when a person's judgment is clouded by means of drugs or emotions. In these conditions not many people act responsibly, which is a condition for allowing people the right to arm themselves. One of the reasons why governments exist is to protect us from ourselves in times of rage, greed, anger and other emotions for the maintaining equality in society. The government is not protecting the rights of the individual when they are allowing people to own firearms in knowing the consequential price of death and injury that is paid by so many year after year. International incidents such as the school massacre in Dunblane, Great Britain or the mass shooting in Tasmania, Australia triggered immediate effects in strengthening further the very strict existing gun control laws in their respective countries "America and Guns" 16. Governments in other western countries usually make adjustments to their gun laws in direct relationship to violent incidents. Massacres like these don't seem to spark the same enthusiasm among politicians to change any gun control laws significantly. The fact is that in 1996 two people in New Zealand, 15 in Japan, 30 in Britain, 106 in Canada, 211 in Germany and 9,390 in the U.S.A. were murdered with handguns. There are about 500,000 incidents, from assault to murder, that involve firearms every year and they results in 35,000 deaths, including suicides and accidents, in the U.S. every year "America and Guns" 16. Compared with other countries the statistics are alarming. It seems as the Americans wants to keep their guns no matter what the price. The National Rifle Association is the leading pro-gun organization in the United States. On their Internet site they describe many aspects of their organization. An excerpt from the page describing the members of their organization's common interest reads: What members share with every other member is an appreciation of the shooting sports, belief in our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and, most of all, a commitment to safety, responsibility and freedom. NRA Whether or not the NRA are one of the contributing factors or not to the incredibly high firearm death statistics in the U.S., the NRA has very much political power and will do all they can to uphold the second Amendment. The part about the gun organization having a pledge to "safety, responsibility and freedom" doesn't make sense. In a survey conducted by John Hopkins Center for Gun and Policy Research and the University of Chicago revealed that most American citizens would like to see guns more strictly regulated. That means that not only do other international governments see a direct relationship between guns and death but even the American people. In 1991, one year's misuse of guns claimed as many lives as the Korean War. One and a half year's total death toll from guns equaled the number of dead in Vietnam. Nine years of deaths due to misuses of firearms equals the entire death toll for World War II O'Donnel 771. Do people in the U.S. really understand how many lives that are being wasted every year because of the misuse of firearms? By 1998 legislation in 31 states, 9 since 1995 has passed laws issuing concealed weapons licenses to citizens "America and Guns" 18. Some experts claim that letting people obtain licenses for carrying a gun while walking around in the streets is the cheapest way in lowering the horrendous statistics. Other experts claim that arming people is never a good answer to this problem because it adds to the risk of people getting shot in anger. Actually it doesn't really matter what the experts derive out of the situation; the scariest detail is that legislators in these states have come to the conclusion that the most effective way to make America safer is to carry guns in the streets. A study of the murder rate in Washington D.C. showed that within three years of the passage of a law prohibiting the sale of handguns in the city the murder rate dropped by 25% Kruschke 22. The state of South Carolina and the city of Boston experienced similar results when stricter gun control laws were recently enforced. In Boston the homicide rate dropped by 39% and in South Carolina the murder rate dropped by 28% Kruschke 23. These are just some example of cities and states that have realized that strict gun control is one way of decreasing high murder rates. According to a survey conducted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research revealed that the majority of Americans would like to see guns more tightly regulated "Fire Control". Let's face it, a shooting is national news in most western countries but in the U.S. it is merely an every day occurrence that often doesn't even get national coverage by the media. The American public is feeling the horrendous effects of violence that the second Amendment brings and many realize that something has to be done to decrease the annual death toll due to guns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was attempt by the government to restrict the sale of guns by making sellers of guns licensed and prohibited the sale of guns or ammunition to people that are convicted felons, minors, drug users, illegal aliens or people who have been discharged from the military. This Act was passed during the wake of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy. It was huge reaction to a growing usage of handguns in the U.S. The legislators figured out that the liberty of bearing arms wasn't for everyone. Gun Control Act of 1968 has very likely contributed to a lowering the number of deaths each year than the alternative of not having laws that regulate the possession and distribution of guns. Since then things haven't become better and 30 years of people shooting each other legislators are bound to realize that the personal liberty of bearing arms doesn't need to be modified but to be cancelled once and for all. One common argument in the debate about gun control is that if guns are banned then cars will also have to be banned because cars are also responsible for many deaths each year. The truth is that the usage for cars and guns are totally. The purpose of cars is transportation and guns to launch a bullet into a target. Yes, many accidents occur with cars every year that claims the lives of many innocent people but it is very seldom that people are being hurt intentionally by drivers of cars or other vehicles. Guns nevertheless are very often used as an intentional device for killing or harming another individual. It is important to focus on the easiness of pointing a gun in a direction and pulling the trigger, it doesn't take very long time and it might just claim the lives of one or more persons. There is not much time for second thoughts and not much time for people to react. If someone were to do intentionally murder one or more people with a car the event would take longer time, which leaves more time for the person behind the wheel to think over his or her decision. Not to mention the person or persons intended of being murdered have a lot more time to react to a speeding car than a bullet. There are a lot of things that can be used to murder someone such as: a kitchen knife, a baseball bat, a screwdriver, a sharp pencil etc. The main reason for not banning these items is that they are not easy instruments to inflict harm with and their purpose is not to hurt people. Guns should be banned because it doesn't take much out of a person to point it and pull the trigger. The key word in this argument is easiness; the easiness to end peoples lives and that's why guns are lethal instrument that ultimately should be banned.   

Handguns and other firearms have a long tradition in American civilization. The right to bear arms is an American right featured in the second Amendment of the Constitution. In the 18th century, when the constitution was written, times were different; there was a need for armed citizens to insure the...

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This question can be easily answered...This question can be easily answered with a resounding "no". No gun background check, weapon ban, or gun buyback will ever prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. Even with the hundreds if not thousands of gun laws already on the books, gun crime is still prevalent in our society. Why? Simple, all you have to do is look at our lax laws regarding punishment for criminals. Prison should be hard work, not sitting in a cell working out and eating well. Criminals should be forced to work for their food and board. If we continue to allow criminals to sit back, relax, and wait for probation, whom are we really protecting? Legally owned guns account for two percent 2% of all gun crimes. This should show you as it shows me that gun laws can only prevent two-percent of all gun crimes in the first place. Is a two-percent decrease worth the loss of our freedoms? This tells me that instead of trying to create new laws, we should try and enforce the hundreds if not thousands we already have. This also leads to what I would like to focus on- pointless gun laws. As I pointed out earlier, we already have too many gun laws and to try and add more restrictions will not reduce crime. Take the following proposal to the House Committee of Ways and Means. Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999 Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999 Introduced in the House HR 2127 IH 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2127 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate certain 50 caliber sniper weapons in the same manner as machine guns and other firearms. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 10, 1999 Mr. BLAGOJEVICH for himself, Mr. WAXMAN, and Ms. NORTON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means A BILL To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate certain 50 caliber sniper weapons in the same manner as machine guns and other firearms. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999". SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds that-- 1 certain firearms originally designed and built for use as long-range 50 caliber military sniper weapons are increasingly sold in the domestic civilian market; What relevance does this have to anything? Almost all military gear and equipment is available to civilians. De-milled Cobra Attack Helicopters have been purchased and are currently in use by civilians. In the last ten years we have sold our F-16 Falcon fighters to Israel, licensed the F-15 Eagle to Mitsubishi for manufacture in Japan, and gave our Abrams main battle tank to Britain. This tells me that liberals think we can trust other countries, but not our own people. Maybe because "our people" is all of the illegal immigrants that should be kicked out but stay as long as they vote liberal. 2 the intended use of these long-range firearms, and an increasing number of models derived directly from them, is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices; First off, there is no record anywhere of anyone committing a crime with a 50-caliber rifle. Why? The reasons are endless! First, the cheapest 50-caliber rifle available is the AR-50. This "cheap" weapon rings in at $3,300. The most popular 50-caliber rifle, the Barret M-82A1, costs $7,300! Which criminal is going to spend this much to rob a liquor store or a bank? Second 50-caliber weapons are big. They weigh a lot and kick harder then a 10-gauge shotgun. The only effective way to fire them is from the prone laying on your stomach. Third, to fire a weapon with this kind of kick in an accurate manner, you must be well trained. Not many criminals would deal with 50-calibers when they'd have better luck pulling off their robbery with a butter knife. According to these liberals on Ways and Means, the 50-caliber can be used to take out armored vehicles. Do they consider Humvees to be armored? The only armored vehicle a 50-caliber could penetrate is a lightly armored limousine. Now I see what they mean by national security. They consider themselves to be national security. A 50-caliber BMG rifle cannot penetrate U.S. military armored vehicles. A Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle has two inches of armor. Yet, even that s enough to stop projectiles up to 30mm, including Light Rockets. The Abrams Main Battle Tank has fourteen inches of armor. That will stop everything except 100mm+ SABOT rounds. I won't even talk about the stupidity of shooting at microwaves and radar dishes but wouldn't a sledge hammer work just as well if not better? Besides who would shoot at radar towers- Middle Eastern terrorists? 3 these firearms are neither designed nor used in any significant number for legitimate sporting or hunting purposes and are clearly distinguishable from rifles intended for sporting and hunting use; Wrong"¦there are multiple 50-caliber shooting clubs and 50-caliber rifles are not clearly distinguishable from rifles intended for sporting or hunting use. If they are designed for killing people as these liberals state. What does that mean the Remington 700 was designed for? That is the hunting rifle that the Army M-24 Sniper Rifle and the Marines M-40 Sniper rifle are based on. 4 extraordinarily destructive ammunition for these weapons, including armor-piercing and armor-piercing incendiary ammunition, is freely sold in interstate commerce; and Armour piercing ammo is available for all types of weapons including pistols. It is usually not meant for piercing armor such as tanks due to the fact that tanks armor is too thick. It is meant for piercing body armor. Armor piercing means that the point of the round is sharp and hard. Modern body armor such as KM2 with rifle and stab plates would stop Armor Piercing AP rounds as well as normal rounds. Normal police forces still use level II Kevlar without stab plates. This is called soft body armor. 5 the virtually unrestricted availability of these firearms and ammunition, given the uses intended in their design and manufacture, present a serious and substantial threat to the national security. The use intended of any weapon depends on who's using it. While a Marine Corp or Army sniper may use it for killing the enemy and protecting national security, I may use it for sport and the badass bark that the rifle screams when you squeeze the trigger. SEC. 3. COVERAGE OF 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPONS UNDER NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT. a IN GENERAL- Subsection a of section 5845 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 defining firearm is amended by striking `6 a machine gun; 7 any silencer as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and 8 a destructive device." and inserting `6 a 50 caliber sniper weapon; 7 a machine gun; 8 any silencer as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and 9 a destructive device." b 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPON- 1 IN GENERAL- Section 5845 of such Code is amended by redesignating subsections d through m as subsections e through n, respectively, and by inserting after subsection c the following new subsection: `d 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPON- The term `50 caliber sniper weapon" means a rifle capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in 50 caliber, .50 BMG caliber, any other variant of 50 caliber, or any metric equivalent of such calibers." 2 MODIFICATION TO DEFINITION OF RIFLE- Subsection c of section 5845 of such Code is amended by inserting `or from a bipod or other support" after `shoulder". c EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. In conclusion, it must be pointed out that gun control doesn't work. We have more gun laws now than ever before yet our crime rate is at an all time high. Instead of trying to control weapons, safety and respect for weapons should be taught. Why should everyone lose their rights and privileges because a select few abuse them?   

This question can be easily answered with a resounding "no". No gun background check, weapon ban, or gun buyback will ever prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. Even with the hundreds if not thousands of gun laws already on the books, gun crime is still prevalent in...

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