OutlineThesis: Handguns should be outlawed with the exception of law enforcementpurposes. I. Why Not Real Gun Control?A. Handguns are too easily accessible to America’s youth.
II. Kids: A Deadly Force. A. Kids are killing each other all across America.
III. A Look At The Brady BillIV. The Economics of Crime. A. Americans are spending too much money each year to protectthemselves.
V. Charts and Figures. A. Where Americans are spending all their money on protection. Handguns should be outlawed in the United States with the exception oflaw enforcement purposes.
Two weeks before Christmas Day, 1987, 17 year-oldKendall Merriweather was shot and killed a few blocks from his high school insoutheast Washington, D. C. Police arrested two teenage students who theybelieve killed Merriweather while trying to steal his “boom box” radio. A fewdays earlier, in Pasadena, Texas, a 14-year-old eight grader at Deepwater JuniorHigh School whipped a snub-nosed . 38 out of his jacket and held the assistantprincipal hostage for two hours.
Police said the boy was distraught over hisparents’ recent separation. (Stanza 19) These were not isolated incidents. Allacross America, the number of kids using- and being harmed by-guns is rising atan alarming rate. According to the U. S.
Department of Justice, more than 27,000youths between 12 and 15 were handgun victims in 1985, up from an average of16,500 for each of the previous years (Stanza 19). The increase in gun useoften stems from urban crack trade. Many crack gangs have more firepower thana small police department. Whatever the cause, authorities are finding the useof handguns by youngsters an extremely diff-icult trend to stop ( Stanza 19). As long as pistols are as easily accessible as candy, people of all ages willcontinue to be on both ends of the barrel. Kids in America have reached a new level of criminal violence that seemslinked to the nation’s ever-expanding arsenal of handguns.
Guns are everywhere,and they are being used in increasingly horrific ways (Morganthau 33). According to Thomas Morganthau, author of Why Not Real Gun Controll?, in America,firearms kill more people between the ages of 15 and 24 than do all naturalcauses combined. According to a survey taken in 1993, gun deaths, includingsuicides, now total more than 37,000 a year, and handgun homicides have reached13,000 a year. The big question that everyone is asking now, is “What should we do aboutthis?”. The answer outraged voters say in poll after poll, is to pass morerestrictive laws to control handguns.
This mood is moving a reluctant Congresstoward renewed consideration of the Brady Bill, named after Jim Brady, who waspermanently disabled in John Hickney’s attempt to assassin-ate Ronald Regan in1981 ( Morganthau 33). The Brady Bill is a common sensical and an ad-mittedlymodest attempt to impose a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns,and to require local police agencies to make a “reasonable” effort to ensurethat the buyer does not have a criminal record (Morganthau 34). But the billrests on a largely unsupported assumption that the combination of a waitingperiod and police background checks will somehow reduce handgun crime. Thereis no real proof of this, because of the simple fact that background checkscannot catch crime-minded “wanna-be’s” who do not have records yet (Morganthau34). Handgun Control Inc. , the lobbying group that is the prime backer for theBrady bill, contends that the bill will work and that it is only a first steptoward a “sensible” national gun-control policy that need not include anoutright ban on handguns or some form of licensing for gun owners (Morganthau34).
The real problem, according to President Bill Clinton, is handguns, whichare easily concealed and widely available on the street. But no one thinksCongress will be able to conquer its fear of the National Rifle Association todo anything much about limiting handgun sales any time soon. And that, in allprobability, means America’s tragic obsession with lethal weaponry willcontinue for years to come ( Morganthau 34). The cost of crime in America is adding up at a surprisingly quick rate. Americans are scared.
The fear of crime permeates their lives. They worryabout being raped or mugged in parking lots at gunpoint. A high percentage ofthese muggers and rapists are kids who get their hands on illegal handguns.Kids these days