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After reading Jimmy Carter’s essay on assault weapons, I have come to an agreement with his position that the government should reinstate a ban on assault weapons. Americans do not need to be in possession of semiautomatic assault weapons like AK-47, AR-15,and Uzis. There is rarely a necessity for the average American to even use or own them.
Part of the reason why we don’t need assault weapons is largely due to our proficient law enforcement. In the U.S, people can walk outside and not have to worry about getting shot and killed, people don’t have to constantly be watching their backs. On the other hand, in most Latin American country’s such as Honduras, the people have to always be alert and aware because the law enforcement is very inadequate. In Honduras, being held at gunpoint is practically the norm. The U.S. Law enforcement encourages an environment for ordinary citizens to roam freely without having to carry weapons.
The banning of assault weapons would benefit society. It would decrease the possibilities of large massacres from occurring and the total death toll as well. Mass shootings like the one in columbine high school, Colorado and Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut which involved the use of assault weapons, could have ether been prevented or less severe. The purpose of an assault weapon is not to defend but to eradicate. I can understand why Wheeler thinks that its pointless to put a ban on assault weapons because the National Institute of Justice noted that less than eight percent of all gun crimes committed in the United States involved assault weapons. The actual gun of choice for a criminal is a handgun because its very easy to conceal when committing a crime.
Also the news have been misrepresenting assault weapons as machine guns, showing numerous videos of crimes being committed with assault weapons when its actually machine guns (machine guns are not assault weapons). Wheeler points out how the gun controllers have been trying to ban other guns just because they have been used in other crimes just like the .50 caliber-rifle; they claim its the new favorite choice of gun for terrorists, when there is only one reported case of a .50-caliber ever used.
This goes to show that they will continue to put a ban on guns left and right just because they are being used in crimes. The way this is going, Its just a matter of time before all guns are banned. Wheeler provides a valid point on his argument of how assault weapons are being perceived as killing machines and how they are barely used in crimes. But According to Mark Follman, Since the expiration of the gun ban in 2004, the number of shootings per year has doubled, and the number of victims per year has nearly tripled. It goes to show that stating a ban on assault weapons does decrease the the number of victims killed even if assault weapons are being used or not.
Overall, I believe like Jimmy Carter, that people should be able to carry small firearms for the purpose of protection. I believe assault weapons should be banned. If they cannot, then at least it should be restricted and monitored so that it doesn’t carelessly fall into the wrong hands.
Wang, Sam. “Princeton Election Consortium.” Princeton Election Consortium RSS. Princeton Election Consortium, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2013 “Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting: What Happened?” CNN. Cable News Network, 2013. Web. 01 Feb. 2013.