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Readers' Opinions on Gun Contol  


In Problems in Society (Issue 1) writers touch on the issue of gun control. Readers have responded with their opinions on this controversial issue.

What's your opinion of gun control?

Send it to us.

I believe that gun control will not work.

First, I believe that guns are not weapons, they are tools. How they are used is up to the person holding it. Guns themselves can't do anything it is the person with the gun that decides where the bullet goes.

Gun control will not stop violence because a violent person doesn’t need a gun to be violent. Taking guns away from violent people will not make them less violent. It might make them more violent. Violent people can use anything to be violent. Taking guns away from violent people is no more than just taking one out of a thousand more ways to hurt, rob, or kill you.

Also, gun control will not work because we already had something like it a few times and each time it has failed. Remember the Prohibition? From 1919 till 1933 owning, producing, and selling alcohol was illegal. Some people believed that alcohol was a bad thing and that it caused people to do terrible things. To these people it seemed like a good idea at the time to make alcohol illegal.

However, outlaws and gang members decided to keep making alcohol anyway. It was obvious that the Prohibition had failed. The latest ban that is having problems is the illegal drug bans.

Now many of us know that most drugs that are illegal are bad to people’s health when used. However, when drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth became illegal outlaws and gangs saw a new business and started a war with many governments especially America. Outlaws produced and sold drug illegally to the public. Even today outlaws keep making them, selling them, using them, and innocent people are still getting killed over them.

Outlaws will still find ways to smuggle, produce, and use guns to their advantage. The only thing that gun control will do is make it harder for law obeying citizens to get guns. This is one important thing to remember. Once something is outlawed only outlaws get it.

That is why gun control will not work.

Jacob Zenner, U.S.

Why would anyone be against gun control? Guns are made for one purpose, and that purpose is to kill. Guns are especially dangerous in the hands of people who don't know how to use them (i.e., kids and teenagers)as well as those who are mentally ill and/or have a temper problem.

Look at how easily young people get access to guns. This combined with an unhealthy approach to conflict resolution is what causes so many people to be killed by gunshot wounds.


I am in favor of very strict gun control AND removal of guns from the hands of criminals.

Karl Menzel, U.S.

I think too many people are getting killed with guns. I think we should not sell guns to just anyone. They should be a cop, someone in the military, or something. Well I think just this.

Erica, U.S.

Gun control laws are strict enough. We need more education about guns in schools so that the kids know how to use them safely. If someone owns a gun, they are less likely to get robbed or hurt. My dad lives in one of the worst parts of Philly. The reason why no one has given him any trouble is because they know he has a house full of firearms.

Reuben James Puccella, U.S.

Some people think guns are very bad because they generate violence, and many people kill themselves and kill other persons. The people who do not like guns always worry about them. In my opinion, when people kill, they do not have any feelings because they do not know any thing about love, compassion, liberty and promises. The only way those persons can get these feelings is when they come from family, friends and people who are close to them. Now, having a gun is not a problem; the problem is what the people feel when they use one.

Connie Faille, Colombia

My feelings and reflections concerning the firearms debate in the U.S.

For the last three or four years I have followed the debate with varying degrees of interest. I am a foreigner to you, but please do not reject my thoughts without at least reading them. One night in the early hours of a new day, I was struck, as it so often happens, by an idea or you might say though. What I came up with was a new concept of defining the way that guns work when operated by humans, or so I hope it is.

Instead of looking at guns as semiautomatic, automatic or pump action, I am prepared to give guns and their mechanical function a different angle. My concept is as follows; guns belong to one of the three following categories. Reflex operated, conscious operated or premeditatedly operated. This is because different mechanical actions give the human shot different amounts of time in which to contemplate the result and correction of his fire.

Guns differ a lot from each other in the way they work, but you can categorize them into three main groups in a purely mechanical sense, namely automatic, semiautomatic, single shot. I am aware of how crude the categories look, but bear with me for so long. Instead guns can be categorized in a slightly different way. My three categories coincide quite well with the previousl mechanically organized groups. But that is not the angle I am trying to pursue. My angle is simply concerned with the way humans interact with guns and the amount of thought or say mental workload that is required to release another round down the barrel with 9, often supersonic speed.

Therefore I have named my three categories in the following order, beginning with the least demanding mental workload, reflex, following in order is; conscious and premeditated. I will explain each after the other in order.

Reflex means that the body is capable of executing the sequence involved in firing the gun without actually using the brain. The muscles and nerves interact as they were intended in the dawn of evolution, without reflexes our ancestors probably would have wound up in the belly of a cave bear or poisoned by snakes.The reflex in this case is also being boosted or augmented by a thing called stimuli, a term loaned from the field of psychology - my sincere apologies to all professional psychologists who are offended by this. The stimuli in this case is the continued stream of bullets and their effect on the target and also probably the continuous bang and the rocking motion of the recoil.

Daniel, Sweden

The only way that we can prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands is completely getting rid of all gun sales. That will never happen. My guess is that about 97% of he people who buy guns do it for hunting, collection or just shooting at a range to relax or just blow off some steam.

I'm 14 years old and I hunt with my dad. It's a lot of fun. We have never had a problem with a gun or had any accidents. It's people's constitutional right to own and possess a firearm. I can't wait till I can own a handgun, not for the reason of killing someone, just because it's fun to shoot guns.

Travis, U.S.

I think the U.S. needs more strict gun control laws. I grew up in an environment where guns are a very rare object. I have never touched a real one yet. In my country, the people who possess guns are mafia, policemen and hunters. Because they have guns, many Americans could be considered mafia in my country. Imagine, you could become a victim of firearms. If you live in a place where many people have guns, you are really lucky if you have not become a victim yet.

Kanako, Japan

As a foreigner, I don't know the situation in the U.S. well. Seeing all kinds of recent shooting incidents, I think it should be controlled more strictly than now. Somebody said that the person who has it in mind to kill another can do it without a gun, so the causes of murder are not guns but the trend of despising life in the U.S. And they also insist that there is no clear evidence that the increasing number of murders is connected with a possession of guns, so the personal right should not be restricted by the reason that there is not enough evidence.

Several month ago, I agreed with that partly. But as we know, the private groups like NRA have distorted the public opinion and lobby the member of congress to protect their profit. Other weapons such as knife, razor, bat, etc. are made for own usages. But guns are made for only one reason to kill someone. Of course, There are people who have guns to protect themselves from the criminals. But crime is getting more cruel and severe nowadays, so actually even if someone has a gun, it is impossible to guard himself completely.

As a substitute, I think, if the possession of guns is controlled more strictly, people can live safer lives than now. There are other reasons to oppose the gun control,(e.g. the possession of guns is historical inheritance and represents that people's resistance will against tyrannical government) but none of them can justify and explain today's serious situation in the U.S.

Sang-Hoon Shin, Korea

Guns do NOT kill people. People kill people! The gun is merely a tool to accomplish this end just as an ax, a hammer, a knife, baseball bat or whatever else is handy to the person who wants to kill. The media is permeated with violence. People watch television; especially young people. "As the twig is bent, so shall the tree grow". Eliminating guns will NOT eliminate killing. Changing the mind set will, however.

Bobby Walker, U.S.
Ex-Navy, Past Law Enforcement Officer & Firearms Instructor, N.R.A. Member & Instructor. Presently own a gun repair and refinishing shop.

The biggest flaw in all the arguments for gun control is that they're being voiced by individuals who have no information on the subject other than what they've been fed by politicians—how honest do you think most politicians are?

I grew up with loaded guns in the house, as did most every rural kid from my generation, and no one was ever shot "accidentally" because such tragedies happen only through ignorance and lack of training.

To fear an inanimate object is nonsensical; the only difference between an assault rifle and a sporting rifle is a loose nut behind the trigger. We don't have a gun problem, we have a people problem. The biggest fear I have is that criminals—those who prey on others to support their lifestyles—are very well armed, in spite of gun laws that are already tyrannical and excessive. Criminals by definition don't obey them, and I think too much of my loved ones not to be at least as well armed as those who accost in a dark parking lot.

Len McDougall, U.S., author of "The Complete Tracker", "Made for the Outdoors", "Practical Outdoor Survival, and the upcoming "The All Outdoors Handbook"

Guns are made for self defense, period. Police officers carry guns because they have to deal with the same people that every other citizen walking down the street has to deal with...Granted guns are not for everyone, but those of us who train and carry them responsibly and legally could someday save your life.

Blaine, U.S.

We have a constitution which says that the government may not infringe on our freedom to keep and bear arms. Gun control is unconstitutional.

Patrick, U.S.

Greetings. I would respectfully submit that the gentlepersons whose opinions are illustrated on your web page are stuck on a technicality and do not understand the scope of things. As an American Citizen and the owner of several weapons of various sorts, I can honestly say that EDUCATION is the key to lowering both the crime rate and the death rate,

I was raised by parents involved in Law Enforcement and EVERY weapon in our home was always loaded. My father still sleeps with a loaded pistol under his pillow. Not one single firearms accident ever occurred in my house. When the children were old enough (7 or 8), we were taken to an authorized shooting range and taught how to respect weapons as machines capable of protection or destruction, not toys or movie props.

I am currently teaching my three children, as they grow, the lessons I learned that have kept me safe and well armed in my life. My handguns lay in their holsters, loaded and within reach, and will sit there for years without "jumping up" and shooting anyone! No weapon has ever killed of its own free will, it has to be operated by a person to be dangerous. Thank you for a chance to talk.

Ken, U.S.

I am an 18 year old college student who has grown up around guns my entire life. I am avid gun collector and a hunter. The one point that I would like get across is the fact that guns are not the root cause of violence in America.

There are many causes that attribute to the high crime rate present in America today. Mainly, the failure of the criminal justice system to punish criminals and keep them off of the streets causes the majority of the problem.

Also, children must be educated about guns at a very young age because chances are that some day they will come across one. Accidents would fall dramatically if the children were just shown what to do if they come across a gun.

Just because guns are available to me does not mean that I will shoot a person out of rage or for any reason. In other words, a possessing a gun does not cause someone to murder, etc. The problem is within that person's mind. If someone has the intention to murder, etc., they will do so with whatever weapon is available, gun or not.

Chris Ahmed, U.S.

In my opinion the problem we Americans face is the decline of the family structure and values. We want more strict laws to inhibit crime and we do not want to take the blame for why we have the problems we do. If our children we brought up with better values we would probably have a less violent society.

C. Sabella, U.S.

I would like to respectfully observe and bring to the attention of those posting responses that Japan *does* have a gun problem in some ways similar to large American cities. News accounts of violent gun-involved gang activity in Japan are frequent. This, despite the fact that Japan has the most oppressive gun prohibitions in the world. It illustrates that controlling the criminal element is the issue, not the tools that the criminal chooses to use. Laws are in place in both countries sufficient to remove from society those antisocials that choose to wreak destruction with firearms.

On another note, our cultural differences in attitudes towards gun ownership can be traced to the dynastic histories of our countries. The US was formed in the common law tradition of western Europe with personal responsibility both for one's safety and one's actions held paramount. Japan's history has been one of rule by monarchy/oligarchy with weapons *never* allowed for the lower or serf classes. I welcome your responses and thoughts.

Dr. Timothy Albers, U.S.

Guns, deadly and hazardous to all others who are near or know someone who has one. In my opinion anyone who has a gun, especially people underage should get rid of it. People don't understand the danger it holds, don't realize what can happen just by cleaning it or if a younger sibling gets a hold of it. I was in a situation recently where no one got hurt but close to it. This weapon is fatal and we don't need teens, kids, anyone to have them. Society can get along without guns.

Anonymous, U.S.

I am a rancher near Austin, Texas USA. Because much of my property is in a remote part of the country, I need to defend my property and cattle from stock thieves (rustlers) and wild dogs. I use a night scope and night glasses (this allows me to see and shoot at night). I have concluded that wild dogs (once domestic animals that owners have abandoned) are the most dangerous predators in my area. The wild life (coyotes and an occasional puma) tend to feed on deer, mice, rabbits and squirrels -- they don't bother me and I don't bother them. I lost 45 animals to thieves that cut a fence. This will never happen again. You ask if I would shoot—of course—that is why I carry a gun.

Texas Rancher, U.S.

The problem is the lack of family values, the lack of proper upbringing and enforcement of the present laws. We need to make parents responsible for their children. Too many parents today do not control their children. Until we again hold people responsible for their actions, we will continue to have the problems of violence and crime.

Anonymous, U.S.

A criminal does not buy his or her gun in a gun shop. They buy their guns on the street from people who don't care about gun control or what guns do to anyone.

Anonymous, U.S.

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