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Guns A Necessary Evil Few issues have inflamed American public debate more than gun control From coast to coast channel to channel the nation is engaged in a deafening argument over guns Guns are getting into the hands of people who should not have them and are being used in ways they should not be However that is where the agreement ends From there the issue explodes into a range of opposed views posing questions with no easy answers Using real-life surveys and criminal data obtained from the National Institute of Justice Don B Kates in his article Shot Down states that widespread gun ownership is a net benefit for society 711 In A Peaceful Woman Explains Why She Carries a Gun Linda M Hasselstrom speaks about how different events in her life over the years have forced her to carry a pistol handgun in an effort to protect herself Even though Kates and Hasselstrom write from different perspectives their articles share a common message guns shift the balance of power from the criminal to the victim Although Kates does not draw from personal experience in Shot Down he does use credible research findings to support his conclusions about gun ownership and the use of guns One of the researchers Kates draws from in his article is Gary Kleck Kleck is the first person to conduct an in-depth study of gun ownership and gun violence at Florida State Universitys School of Criminology Klecks research indicated three general findings First ordinary citizens who own guns are not the problem Rather lawbreakers who use guns as a tool in their crimes pose a danger to society Second even if we attempt to ban criminals from possessing guns this will only make a marginal difference unless the dangerous behavior itself is changed In other words taking a gun away from a potential criminal only removes one of his tools while the desire to commit crimes remains Klecks
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