March 16, 2017

Group Argumentative Essay

I would like to present you the argumentative essay that was our group project in my English 102 class. I wrote this in conjunction with three other students. Or rather, I attached my writing to the writing of three of my fellow students... we didn't actually work together on this for more than a few minutes. At the end, I will present you with the grade received, the instructor comments, and my thoughts on the paper as a project. I present it here as submitted, with the only edits being the removal of the header and  a reorganizing of the attribution block for the class.


The Argument for Guns
by
Chen, Kaiser, Perham, and McCarrick
March 15, 2017

Gun ownership, the most controversial topic in America today. In today's society, there is a divide between pro gun and gun control. Many believe that personal gun rights should be abolished because of high criminal activities with such weapons. Firearms are not the problem to criminal activities it’s the person pulling the trigger who are. Guns should be legal because they are in the bill of rights, they are invaluable for protection, hunting, and recreation, and there is a significant monetary boost for the states.

For instance, guns are used by American citizens everyday. In most cases, guns are being used for self defense to defend themselves from home burglars. A recent article from Gun Owners of America stated that “ Guns used 2.5 million times a year in self defense. Law abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves as many as 2.5 million times a year -- or about 6,850 times a day” (Gun Owners of America). Firearms for self defense are now being looked down upon in today's society. Many Americans believe that we should follow the footsteps of Australia and England by banning civilian gun ownership. In Australia armed robbery has increased 69% since their ban on guns. In the UK firearms used in crimes have doubled since their personal handgun termination. This is a clear indication that the common people need guns to scare off robbers if they attempt any criminal activities.

A common place for a firearm would be in one's home for protection. A ban on firearms would be detrimental to homeowners and their loved ones. If families were to call 911 a dispatcher would take up to 10 minutes to arrive at the house before they could even help the families in danger. More importantly, without a legal firearm in the household how would they defend themselves against an armed robber?

The states make a lot of money off guns because of their taxes. Each state is different and sales tax rates vary a lot. Shotguns and rifles typically have an 11% tax rate while some other types of guns are around 10%. The FAET, Firearms and Ammunition Excise, is the tax on production and sales of guns. This is a huge way for the government to make money so there is really no reason to stop it.

Hunting and recreational use of guns is a much needed privilege and right for the environment and the citizens of the United States. Without this privilege and right people are being infringed on an American pastime. Guns should continue being legal because over 300 million Americans have and use guns legally for recreational and hunting purposes.

Guns are much needed for hunting purposes because it is a quick and humane way to hunt compared some forms of trapping. Hunting does a lot for the world and people it provides food for people and their families with also maintaining the balance in ecosystems. If animals aren’t hunted and too many are alive and in an ecosystem especially in Michigan in the winters there is not enough food for all of them and most starve to death. Another reason people should be able to hunt is because of large population sizes, in Michigan deer are a huge problem if there gets to be too many, they can starve if there isn’t enough food, they fight over territory because there isn’t enough room for all of them, and in seasons where there’s a lot more deer there are a lot more car accidents related to deer. Also hunting in a way helps lower car insurance for people because the less accidents related to deer the less your car insurance costs. These reasons involving hunting is why I believe gun control should be left how it is.

Americans use recreational gun use as a way to bond with people, blow off steam, and as a hobby. Shooting skeet, and shooting targets has been an American tradition since 1921. Shooting skeet has been a sport for almost 100 years now and brings in mass amounts of income into the community's, government and economy for years. Over 7 million people go skeet shooting annually and that is not including people that do it at home just people that do it at shooting ranges.

One of the biggest arguments against pro guns is that guns are used to kill people illegally. This is correct because yes a lot of people are killed by guns, more than 100,000 people are killed by guns each year whether it be by suicide, murder, or assault (Firearms and Ammunition). In the United states gun violence and deaths is one of the leading causes of deaths however at least two thirds of these deaths are caused by criminals that had the guns illegally (Everytown). Another argument they use is that for every person killed due to gun violence another two are injured. A lot of people are killed and injured yearly by guns, very few are killed by accidents, however the majority of the deaths and injuries have to do with crime. Although people dying is tragic and a lot of deaths are caused by guns the majority of those deaths are due to crimes and people who do not legally have the guns in the first place thus is should not be a claim held against all gun owners/users.

There are many reasons why guns should stay legal in the U.S. because for the most part it only benefits us. Our country makes taxes off selling guns. Keeping guns gives us the safety that we need incase of an emergency so we’re always prepared. Taking away guns would take away of a lot of rights for self protection. Recreational use is also important, and people won't be able to hunt if guns were illegal.

Gun ownership is an American right, and one that cannot be unduly limited or revoked. This has been the case since the founding of our country and is the basis for the freedom and liberty of our populace. The case for gun ownership is set forth in the earliest additions to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, which clearly grants the citizenry of the United States the right “to keep and bear arms” and goes on to explicitly state that this right “shall not be infringed.” As such, the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights acts as clear evidence that the founding fathers saw the right of gun ownership as a fundamental liberty of every law-abiding citizen.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court has upheld this view of the Second Amendment in case after case. In McDonald v. Chicago, the court invalidated a Chicago handgun ban and ruled that the Second Amendment applies to the states. Another case, District of Columbia Et al. v. Heller, affirmed “an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” And in
U.S. v. Cruikshank, where the court ruled that both the First and Second Amendments were in place to act as limitations on the Federal government. These are but three examples of the court standing on the side of the individual’s right to gun ownership. In total, the Supreme Court has come down on the side of gun ownership in all seven cases involving the Second Amendment that have come before it.

Of course, opponents of this view on gun ownership will point to the Second Amendment and say that it is explicit in its allowance of maintaining and regulating state militias, and not in providing or protecting the individual’s right to gun ownership. That it is written to guarantee the right of the states to form and maintain individual national guard militias. And I would agree, that the Second Amendment does indeed allow for the formation of state national guard, however, to stop at that point in one’s interpretation of the intention of the writing is the result of a very limited reading of the Second Amendment.

Certainly, such a limited reading would lead one to the conclusion that gun control and the limiting of gun ownership is the purview of the government, state or federal. But as mentioned above, the Supreme Court has continually come down against that view and that reading of the Second Amendment. Instead, it must be said that the court has been of the belief that the right of the individual to bear arms is not explicitly granted in the Constitution, because it believes that such a right did pre-exist that document. The right of the individual to own the means for armed self-defense is implicit in the ideals of American liberty. It is this right that ensures protection of the state from threats both without and within.

Gun ownership is intrinsic to the American way of life and stricter gun control laws will only result in black market gun sales and a United States where only criminals have guns. Studies have shown that criminals do not buy their guns at the local firearms shop, they are not undergoing background checks, and they are not stealing their guns from law-abiding citizens. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has stated that only 10% of gun crime is committed with stolen guns. So where are they getting these guns from?

Perhaps the best, most accurate answer comes from the criminals themselves. Researchers, Philip J. Cook, Susan T. Parker, and Harold A. Pollack, conducted prisoner interviews at Chicago’s Cook County Jail to determine where criminals were getting their guns. What they found agrees with the assentation that criminals are not going through legal channels to get their guns. They are not subjecting themselves to any of the requirements or checks put forward by the gun control advocates. They are using a “black market” of purchase and trade options, from sources like fences, gangs, gun brokers, third and fourth hand sales, and various “street connections” (Sources 30). No amount of gun control legislation will eliminate these transactions. But instead will only serve to eliminate legitimate, legal gun sales to law-abiding citizens.

It is true that most mass murders use legal weapons, and that perhaps some percentage of those could be averted with more background checks or psycho-analysis prior to gun purchases. But mass murders are not the majority of gun crimes. Per the FBI, in 2012 there were 8,897 firearm related homicides in the US; 88 of those deaths occurred in mass shootings. Mass shootings are a media event, they are not the problem. Criminals with guns are the problem, and taking the guns away from law-abiding citizens does not get those guns out of criminal hands. Instead, it pushes those citizens looking for protection into that same black market that provides the criminal with guns.

The goal should be to eliminate this black market and remove guns from the hands of criminals. However, closing down gun shows and gun shops is not going to affect that outcome. Increasing the restrictions on legal sales of guns to law abiding citizens will not alter the criminal firearm economy. Increasing the requirements and wait times is not the solution. All these restrictions serve to do is remove guns from responsible citizens and feed into a black market of second or third hand guns. A law-abiding citizen should have free and unrestricted access to purchase legal firearms, as is guaranteed in the constitution.

Works Cited

Cook, Philip J., Susan T. Parker, and Harold A. Pollack. "Sources of Guns to Dangerous People: What We Learn by Asking Them." Preventive Medicine 79 (2015): 28-36. Web.
"The Constitution of the United States," Amendment 2.
"Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives." Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
<https://www.gunowners.org/sk0802htm.htm>.
"Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2014 | NSSF." Firearms and
Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2014 | NSSF. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2014 | NSSF." Firearms and
Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report 2014 | NSSF. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"Gun Violence by the Numbers." EverytownResearch.org. N.p., 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"McDonald v. Chicago." Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2009/08-1521. Accessed 13 Mar.
2017.
"District of Columbia v. Heller." Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2007/07-290. Accessed 13
Mar. 2017.
“U.S. v. Cruikshank.” FindLaw, http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/92/542.html.
Accessed 13 Mar. 2017



This paper is a train wreck. Everything from "Gun ownership is an American Right," at the start of the 10th, down to the "Works Cited" is mine. I was working on another part of the assignment as my cohorts stitched this together and submitted it, and while I am not innocent of the crime, I was doing another part of the group assignment while they discussed last weekend. The two arguments I wrote aren't perfect, hell, I didn't even do my citations. And neither of my arguments was supposed to act as the conclusion to the paper. It's very frustrating. And for fucks sake, they didn't even edit this thing. They stuck everybody's work together, tossed off an introduction, combined the cited works, and submitted it for a grade. I'm unhappy with the final results and glad that this is my only group project for this class.

Oh, yeah, comments and grade...
  • Gun ownership, the most........ incomplete thought.  Also, are there statistics to support that statement? Some would argue.
  • Firearms are not the problem to criminal activities; it's the person pulling the trigger who are? Very awkward sentence.
  • Strong claim.
  • This is a clear indication that the common people.......again you are making a broad generalization. Be careful.
  • Your graph enhanced and improved your argument.
  • Guns are much needed (redundant)
  • Hunting does a lot....... (run-on sentence)
  • 7 million - any number between zero and ten is spelled out.
  • One of the biggest arguments........(phrasing is confusing). Try this: Those that argue against gun ownership often believe that guns are only used to kill people. 
  • Strong refutation and use of transitions. Your paper flowed well and stayed on topic.
I'm not convinced you're looking at the same paper I am and that graph was thrown in at the last minute because somebody said it would score points... seems like it did. I guess it's the grade that matters. 

I don't believe it was deserved, but apparently that is what an A paper looks like. 90/100.