James Q. Wilson's Just Take Away Their Guns

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Gun control has been extremely controversial in society for years. In the essay “Just Take Away Their Guns,” James Q. Wilson argues his view on stricter gun control laws. He writes, “Legal restraints on the lawful purchase of guns will have little effect on the illegal use of guns” (Wilson, 1994, p.125). He backs up his statement with the statistics that 5/6 of handguns used in crimes are either stolen or purchased privately. With this being said, he displays that increasing legal restraints on purchasing guns will have little to no effect on the use of guns to commit crimes. He also defends his opinion saying the only thing stricter gun laws will do is prevent law abiding citizens from being able to purchase guns. In his essay, James Q. Wilson …show more content…
This idea could eliminate many of the guns being carried illegally. Not only would it help discover hidden weapons, but it would also give officers a “heads up” that an assailant may be armed. It also employs the officer with an acceptable reason to conduct a frisk search. Wilson suggests, that the people who would work on this product would be underemployed nuclear physicists or electronics engineers, in view of the fact that they have the knowledge it takes to design and produce a product like this gun detector. This is a better solution than random street frisks because it grants an officer probable cause to frisk a person which will help avoid lawsuits pertaining to harassment and racial discrimination. The invention of the gun detector would produce a difference in the efforts to get illegal guns off the streets. Wilson’s essay was full of great facts to back up his stance on stricter gun control laws. The statistics Wilson used regarding the number of illegal guns used to commit crimes was an excellent way to promote his argument. However, his idea of random street frisking had numerous faults in it, including harassment, racial profiling, and abuse of compensation. Overall, his point that instead of disarming law-abiding citizens, the government should be more focused on finding ways to get illegal guns off of the street is commendable. There is no “quick fix” to the complex problem of gun

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