By Gregory Luke Salt Lake Community College Sociology 1010 Table of Contents Page 2: Table of Contents Page 3: Reflection Page 1-what I knew before the research paper. Page 4: Article 1: What the Courts Really Say About the Second Amendment Page 5: Article 2: Gun Violence In America- The 13 Key Questions Page 6: Chart 1: 24 States with Strictest Gun Control Law Page 7: Article 3: False Solutions to Gun Violence Page 8: Article 4: History of Gun Control and Genocide Page 9: Chart 2: Genocide Throughout History. Page 10: Article 5: 11 Facts about Guns Page 11: Chart 3: Leading Cause of Deaths in the United States in 2011 Page 12: Chart 4: Defensive Use vs. Criminal Use of Firearms Page 13: Chart 5: Homicides in 2011 Page 14: Reflection Page 2: What I learned That I Didn’t know. Page 15: Works Cited Reflection Page 1: What I knew about the subject before my research. • Before I started my research, I didn’t know much about gun • • • • violence, gun control or even about the 2nd Amendment. I knew that all Americans had the right to own and possess a firearm. I knew that every state had different rules on firearms, but I did not know what they were. I knew that there was violence in America due to guns, but I had no idea about any of the crime statistics due to guns. I knew that our government was trying to pass laws about gun, but I didn’t know what kinds of laws they were creating. Article 1: What the Courts Really Say About the Second Amendment. by Tom Greensworth • • • • • • • The United States Constitution is a system of laws and principles that define the rights of American citizens and sets limits on what the government can or cannot do. The first ten amendments (changes to the U.S. Constitution), known as the Bill of Rights (1791), were added to the Constitution to define and protect the rights of the American people from the government . The second amendment says, "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." This simply written document of the constitution is surrounded by an unusual amount of fog. Many people will attribute the confusion on the language and words written in this document such as "militia" and "people". The anti-gun protestors don't want "people" to mean anything (because everybody then can have a gun) while pro-gun rights don't want "militia" to mean anything (because then it means that this amendment is all about military power and not citizen rights to bear arms). The United States Supreme Court has different opinions to the meaning of the Second Amendment. In 2008 case of District of Columbia vs. Heller, the Supreme Court made it clear that the right to "keep and bear arms" by the Second Amendment was an individual right not connect with services to a militia. A person could use that weapon in traditional, lawful purposes, such as self defense within the home . This right is the protection of your property, yourself and your family. This article is relevant to the subject because without the 2nd Amendment, we would not be able to have firearms in America. Article 2: Gun Violence In America- The 13 Key Questions By Jonathan Stray This article had some very interesting points about gun violence, laws, restrictions and many more things. The author starts out talking about how the United States has one of the highest rates of violent crimes and homicides, per capita, of any developed countries. This might have to do with the large number of guns already available in the U.S.; any reduction in gun violence hinges upon whether gun control laws would actually make it difficult to get a gun. In developed countries, cities with more guns, have more homicides. The U.S. has far more gun-related killings than any other developed country. Another point that the author made was that concealed carry laws decreased homicides by an average of 8%. This was a hug surprise to everyone. One of the biggest areas that this article covered was about mass shootings in America. 2012 was the most bloodiest year for mass shootings in history because of Aurora, Colorado theatres shootings and the Newton, Connecticut school shootings. With a total of 72 people dead. What stood out most about this part of the article was that 1.) Mass shootings happen all over the country. They don't happen in one place all the time. 2.) The killers used a semiautomatic handgun 75% of the time and a semiautomatic rifle 40% of the time. Both types of weapons were common tools in the massacres.3.) The guns were obtained legal in 79% of mass shootings. This means that they didn't steal it and that the criminals passed through background checks.4) Many of the shooters showed signs of mental illnesses but only 2 cases were diagnoses prior to the massacres. 5.) Lastly, there were no cases where a armed civilian fired back (except an off duty police officer in the shooting at Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah 2007). This article is greatly connected to my research topic because it helps people understand the gun statistics, violence committed with firearms, what the most common use of firearms in mass shootings, or homicides are, gun control laws and what could be done to reduce gun violence. All these significant topics are covered in the article. Chart 1: 24 States with Strictest Gun Control Laws These are 24 of most strictest gun control states in America. It shows how many homicides are committed without a gun versus how many are with a gun. These statistics are important to know because guns are not the only tool use in a crime. Even states with strict control laws have gun violence and murders committed by firearms. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm Article 3: False Solutions to Gun Violence by William Jasper • In this article the author states the different loopholes in our politician's proposed gun control and assault rifle bills they were trying to pass. He views that their programs are aimed at enacting more legislation and more regulations through expectative orders that would restrict the rights of Americans to bear and keep arms, even more then it already is. • He states that banning high capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, requiring universal background checks on all firearms sales, and banning assault rifles is a huge infringement on the 2nd Amendment and that I won't necessarily do any good. Look at an example of Adam Lanza who brought an assault rifle into school (illegal), transported a loaded gun in a car (illegal), shot a gun under the influence of drugs (illegal), was under 21 and carried guns without a permit (illegal). Would another law, including the ones proposed by president Obama, have stopped Adam Lanza or any mass murdering-shooters? Obviously not! Armed police might have helped a little bit or even if the teachers were armed, it might have helped. • Gun control is not a solution to our problems. Limiting private firearms sales, lifting gun free zones, and arming citizens can help prevent violence in schools or even in the streets. • This article relates to the topic greatly because it helps us understand why more rules and regulations don't necessarily help reduce gun violence. Gun control sometimes even limits the ability of good people to help. This article points out huge holes in our politician's think about guns and proposes possible solutions on preventing gun violence. Article 4: History of Gun Control and Genocide by Dave Melstrand In this article the author points out how throughout history, governments have disarmed their citizens only to tyrannize them once they were disarmed. There are 7 governments in history that are known for genocide throughout the years; Ottoman Turkey 1915-1917 killed 1.5 million Armenian people, Soviet Union 19291953 murdered 20 million Russian people who were anti-communists or antiStalinists, Nazi Germany 1933-1945 killed 13 million Jews, Gypsies and Anti-Nazis, China 1949-1952,1957-1960,1966-1976, killed 20 million Anti-Communists, Rural populations and Pro-reforms groups, Guatemala 1960-1981 slaughtered 100,000 Mayan Indians, Uganda 1971-1979 killed 300,000 Christians and political rivals, and Cambodia 1975-1979 killed 1 million people. All these massacres could have been avoided if the populaces wasn't disarmed by their governments in the first place. This article connect history and guns control together. This is the reason why our founding fathers created the 2nd Amendment in the first place, to keep the citizens armed against a tyrannical government. The loss of this freedom can have grave consequences. This chart shows the genocide committed by various countries throughout world history. All these countries imposed some sort of gun control laws before committing these atrocities. http://www.mercyseat.net/gun_genocide.html Article 5: 11 Facts about Guns by Timothy Blake This article has 11 really interesting fact about guns. These fact include how many guns are owned by Americans; which is close to 270 million firearms. How many firearms were manufactured in America in 2010; 5.5 new million guns. This article goes into how many people died from guns in 2011 or were victims of gun related crimes; a rough estimate of 100,00. And most importantly, it looks into what the government is planning on doing about the private sales of firearms to criminals or people who didn't pass background checks. These are all really good facts about gun control laws, shootings, and guns in general because It helps people understand the magnitude of gun violence in America and what needs to be done. Chart 3: Leading Cause of Deaths in the United States in 2011 I wanted to compare the leading causes of deaths to deaths caused by guns in the United States. I thought that comparing these different stats might help people understand that there are greater problems in our country then gun violence. People are 13 times more apt to die from heart disease in American rather than by a gun. Gun violence is awful but our country has many bigger problems on its plate. http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm Chart 4: Defensive Use vs. Criminal Use of Firearms This pie chart helps us understand the percentage of users who utilize a firearm for personal defense, or in legal situations verse people who exploit guns in criminal situations such as robbery, murder and rape. http://www.toraradical.com/2012/07/does-research-and-statistics-support.html Chart 5: Homicides in 2011 One of the most important thing to understand about his topic of guns and gun control, is that many crimes are committed by other weapons. Assault rifles may be the tool of a psychopath in a school, by most of the crimes are committed with handguns, knives, blunt objects and even our own bodies. http://blogs.marketwatch.com/election/2013/01/16/assault-rifles-are-not-involved-inmany-u-s-murders-a-look-at-the-data/ Reflection 2: What I learned That I Didn’t know. This research paper about gun, gun violence and gun control was very informative. I learned many things such as the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, what the crime rates are from firearms, historical facts about gun disarmaments, what the different laws are about guns and many more things. Overall this paper helped me understand the topic about gun violence in America. A good place to start on what I learned is about the 2nd Amendment. Every American has the right to bear arms and use them in personal defense. Many states have different laws about carrying a weapon though. It is important to understand those laws before entering a new state because a person can get in huge trouble for carrying a weapon. In the state of Utah, a person can legal carry around a handgun or assault rifle in plain view. The weapon cannot be loaded and must be 3 steps away from firing. These threes step are; 1.) Safety off. 2.) Cocking the gun. and 3.) Pulling the trigger. A person can get a concealed weapon permit and those three steps do not apply anymore. The most important rule of all is that a person cannot wield a weapon in an "attack position" in public, unless the citizen is using it for personal protection. One of the greatest things that surprised me was violence statistics about guns and other weapons of destruction. Since our politicians were on fire about assault rifles, I just assumed that criminals were using these weapons for most of their crimes. I was wrong. Handguns were the most common tool used in many crimes. I was confused on why our politicians were not going after our handguns since they were the biggest culprits in committing homicides. This helped me understand why many of the laws that our government was trying to impose on the citizens was not going to work. Crimes are still going to be committed by desperate criminals but the only difference would be that the victims would be left defenseless. This research opened up my eyes wide open on the crime rates in United States. There are many ways that I can use this information that I learned about this topic. Firstly, I know my 2nd Amendment rights in the state of Utah. If a law enforcement officer or federal agent wants to take my guns away from me unlawfully, I have the right to defend myself and my property. I know that if they try to confiscate any of my firearms, that they face prison time (new Utah law that just passed-House Bill 114). The second way that I can use this information is by filtering news media that gives misguided information about guns. Since I have a better understanding of my rights, guns, and violence statistics I can understand when politicians are giving out false information. Lastly, I can use this information to change policies on gun control in the future by voting for the right politicians. This information helps me understand what I stand for and helps me identify leaders who can make a difference about this issue. I can take all this data and information I learned from the report and use it in my everyday life. Works Cited Blake, Timothy. "11 Facts About Guns." Do Something. DoSomething.org, 2 Feb. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2013. <http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-guns>. Greensworth, Tom. "What the Courts Really Say About the Second Amendment." What the Courts Really Say About the Second Amendment. Ethical Spectacle, 3 May 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. <http://www.spectacle.org/996/2d.html>. Jasper, William F. "False Solutions to Gun Violence." False Solutions to Gun Violence. The New America, 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/14797-false-solutions-togun-violence>. Melstrand, Dave. "Gun Control and Genocide." Gun Control and Genocide. Mercy Seat Christian Church, 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2013. <http://www.mercyseat.net/gun_genocide.html>. Stray, Jonathan. "Gun Violence in America: The 13 Key Questions (With 13 Concise Answers)." The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/02/gun-violence-in-america-the-13key-questions-with-13-concise-answers/272727/>. United States. Center for Disease Control. National Center of Health Statistics. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. United States Government, 24 July 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm>.