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Government Mandated Gun-Free Zones
THERE SHOULD BE NO GOVERNMENT MANDATED GUN-FREE ZONES IN PUBLIC SPACE.
Banning guns for masses and establishing gun-free zones are one of the most controversial topics in American politics. There are clearly two schools of thoughts on this subject. The right to keep a gun and displaying it publically is directly related to individual's rights under the second amendment of the prevailing constitution. However, despite the recognition of the citizens' rights, one cannot ignore the dangers of gun-free zones. Every year, there are cases reported, resulting from arms used in the gun-free zones. Maximum cases were reported in educational institutions where ammunition was used by children and teenagers. Publically mandated gun-free zones have resulted in loss of many precious lives.
There have been many cases reported where emotionally unstable individuals killed number of individuals in the public place. Majority of these massacres took place in educational organizations. The most recent one took place in University of Pittsburgh in March, 2012 where seven individuals were injured brutally by a man called John Shick.
One cannot ignore the fact that carrying a gun with responsibility and concealing it, is a less harmful crime as compared to murder or an attempt of it as those with psychiatric disorders don't really pay much attention to abiding laws. However, it is easy to understand that many of these shootings took place from the hands of those who were qualified by legislation, to keep their own ammunition. Since, it is difficult to enunciate a countrywide ban on weapons, there is always a chance that some mentally unstable individual will open fire in public, threatening the lives of those around him.
Although a lot of educational institutions and other organizations, have an anti-weapon policy where keep a gun or concealing it, can result in serious consequences. However, these policies are doing more harm than good. This is so because where majority of individuals are abiding by the rules and regulations; these places actually act as open shooting ranges where innocent individuals are at the mercy of those carrying guns illegally.
One of the most important Act supporting Gun-free zones is the Gun-free School Zone Act. The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 severely limited where a person may legally carry a firearm, although this was voided by United States v. Lopez as exceeding Congress' Commerce Clause authority. The act made it generally unlawful for an armed citizen to travel on any public sidewalk, road, or highway, which passes within one-thousand (1000) feet of the property-line of any K-12 school in the nation. Only if one has a state permit to carry a firearm are they exempt from the one-thousand foot rule, although they are still prohibited from carrying on school grounds. "(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm -- ...(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located" (United States vs. Lopez, 1995)
In 2004, the only hope against gun-free zone died when the Assault Weapons Ban expired. Attempts were made to reestablish it; which were not successful. Although a bill was passed by Congress that restricted arms for mentally challenged. The bill was a result of manslaughter by the student in University of Virginia Tech which resulted in the loss of thirty two lives (William and Schulte, 2007). But, it is quite easy to doubt the effectiveness of this bill as determination of mental health is rather difficult for a regular vender of guns.
Furthermore, the National Rifle Association also opposed the restrictions on keeping guns. Bud Eyman, a representative of NRA stated that we oppose anything which is considered as interference in the constitutional rights of any honest U.S. citizen and this includes owning the ammunition (Honor 23). As a matter of fact, they laid emphasis on NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) Improvement Act which made the background checks mandatory before selling the firearms. But the research conducted by Centre of Disease Control and Prevention resulted in reaching a conclusion that these laws were ineffective in restricting violence caused by federally allowing the existence of Gun-free zones (CDC Report, 2003). An identical study was conducted by National Research Council of the National Academies which reached the same conclusions as CDCP (Wellford, Pepper, and Petrie).
In August, 2011, Republican Representative Ron Paul presented a bill which allowed teachers to carry weapons on school grounds (Patrick, 2003). This was criticized greatly by several political groups claiming it to be presented under the influence of NRA and considered it completely against the School Safety Act. And As Ron Paul puts it in his words
"Gun-control advocates tell us that removing guns from society makes us safer. But that is simply impossible. The fact is that firearm technology exists. It cannot be un-invented. As long as there is metalworking and welding capability, it matters not what gun laws are imposed upon law-abiding people. Those who wish to have guns, and disregard the law, will have guns. Paradoxically, gun control clears a path for violence and makes aggression more likely, whether the aggressor is a terrorist or a government. I don't really believe "gun-free" zones make any difference. If they did, why would the worst shootings consistently happen in gun-free zones such as schools? And while accidents do happen, aggressive, terroristic shootings like this are unheard of at gun and knife shows, the antithesis of a gun-free zone. It bears repeating that an armed society truly is a polite society. Even if you don't like guns and don't want to own them, you benefit from those who do."
What this bill didn't present was who guarantees the safety of students if the teacher is mentally challenged. If this can be the view of those who have power to influence our government system, then one can be highly hopeless about any betterment.
Gun free zones act as a fertile soil on which horror and brutality grows. Furthermore, they attract terrorists greatly which is dangerous to over all safety of United States. Terrorist experts have warned that future attacks on the United States from abroad may not come from airline hijackings but from smaller attacks on soft targets. For example, on November 28, 2003 Nuradin Abdi was arrested in Kentucky for his part in a plot to attack a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio. According to court documents, he wanted to bring "death and destruction" to Columbus by staging a mass shooting and/or bombing at a mall. Fortunately the authorities were able to stop the attack. (White, 2010)
There is a particular school of thought who believes that rather than having a gun-free zone, it is better to carry a gun and conceal it. William Turner in his book mentioned an attempt of passing a bill in state of Missouri which supported conceal and carry act. While briefing this bill HB349, he wrote that Missourians (those who were 21 and above) were given a right to carry and conceal the guns in public places and also they were allowed to transport it. Furthermore, businessmen were allowed to declare their establishments the gun free zones. Furthermore, places like police stations and hospitals were also considered as gun free zones (Hornor 195).
There have been several attempts to pass a legislation which support conceal and carry rather than complete ban on carrying weapons. However, attempts can be made to ensure that public is completely safe in such gun-free zones. Measures like metal detectors, armed guards etc. can ensure the effectiveness of gun-free zones.
Gun-free zones have been a heated topic in American Politics for decades. There have been a lot of questions on their effectiveness. History and statistics have showed that there have been more open fires in gun-free…[continue]
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