Brief Writing Project – Con section
Following these instructions are two sentences in bold font (A and B), one in front of the other. Choose one of the sentences to agree with (If you can’t decide then choose one at random. You need to support one side of the issue for this assignment). Use the points that disagree with the sentence you chose to write a con section. So, if you like sentence A you will write about sentence B and vice versa.
In section one of the BWP, paraphrase the bold face sentence your chose (A or B again) and then paraphrase one of the points you don’t agree with that you think is a stupid point. Make sure to introduce the point as a con, so for example you write, “A point that disagrees with me is…” or “In direct opposition to my opinion is this point: ….” Spend the rest of this first section (1-2 paragraphs) explaining why the point is stupid and then in your last sentence reiterate your first sentence.
In section two, paraphrase another point you don’t agree with that you think is unimportant. Spend the rest of section two (another 1-2 paragraphs) explaining why the point has some validity but is not important enough to care about. In your last sentence reiterate the first sentence of section one again. You should have 2-4 paragraphs by now, typed and double spaced. Put your name on it and turn it in.
(Sentence A) United States Citizens should be able to carry concealed handguns.
(Points that support sentence A) Criminals are less likely to attack someone that they believe might be armed. The deterrent effect of concealed carry benefits the individual carrying a handgun as well as the general public because criminals never know who is armed.
According to a 2000 study by John Lott, PhD, "shall-issue" laws have reduced homicides by 8.5%, aggravated assaults by 7%, rapes by 5%, and robberies by 3%. Lott argued that if states that did not permit concealed handguns in 1992 had permitted them in 1977, 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults, and 12,000 robberies would have been prevented between 1977 and 1992.
The right to carry concealed handguns is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the Dec. 11, 2012 case Moore v. Madigan, struck down a 1962 Illinois state law that broadly prohibited carrying a gun in public. Judge Richard Posner, speaking for the majority, said that the Second Amendment's right to bear arms "must be interpreted to include a right to have a concealed gun in public, to have it ready for use, and to have it for self-defense."
According to a 1997 study of National Crime Victimization Survey data, "robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self-protection or those who did not resist at all.”
Even if an adult never needs to draw a concealed handgun for self-defense, a person may feel safer being armed and feel freer to go outside at night or in dangerous areas.
A majority of adults who legally carry concealed handguns are law-abiding citizens who do not misuse their firearms. According to a 2000 report by engineering statistician William Sturdevant published on the Texas Concealed Handgun Association website, the general public is 5.7 times more likely to be arrested for violent offenses, and 13.5 times more likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses, than concealed carry weapon permit holders.
Carrying a concealed handgun could aid in ending public shooting sprees. The Apr. 20, 1999 Columbine High School massacre and Apr. 17, 2007 Virginia Tech shooting could have been ended and lives saved by an armed citizen shooting the assailants.
The government cannot guarantee the safety of its citizens. Protecting oneself and family is a personal duty and the government should not impede the ability of responsible adults to defend themselves.
Criminals carry concealed weapons regardless of their legality. Responsible citizens should have the same advantages when it comes to protecting themselves from armed attackers.
Concealed handguns are an effective non-lethal form of self-defense a majority of the time. An Autumn 1995 peer-reviewed study by Gary Kleck, PhD, published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, found that when someone draws a concealed gun in self-defense, the criminal simply retreats 55.5% of the time.
(Sentence B) United States citizens should not be allowed to carry concealed handguns.
(Points that support sentence B) Concealed handguns are not an effective form of self-defense. A Nov. 2009 peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Public Health by Charles Branas, PhD, et al. found that someone carrying a gun for self-defense was 4.5 times more likely to be shot during an assault than an assault victim without a gun. Attackers often surprise victims, making it difficult to use a concealed handgun.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution allows citizens to bear arms for a well-regulated militia, not for concealed personal carry. The Second Amendment statement "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" does not mention concealed handguns.
The Supreme Court's 5-4 majority decision in District of Columbia v. Heller reasoned that Second Amendment rights have limits and that bans on concealed carry have been legal. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited… [C]ommentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose… For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues."
Responsible adults can still be a threat to public safety if they are armed. Between 1996 and 2000, the Violence Policy Center found that concealed handgun permit holders in Texas were arrested for weapon-related offenses at a rate 81% higher than the general Texas population. Between May 2007 and Mar. 24, 2010, at least nine law enforcement officers and 142 private citizens were killed nationally by concealed handgun permit holders (approximately 0.003% of all murders in that time period).
The concealed carrying of handguns increases the likelihood of unintended shootings taking place. According to a July 2001 peer-reviewed study appearing in Accident Analysis and Prevention by Matthew Miller, PhD, Deborah Azrael, PhD, and David Hemenway, PhD, approximately 50 people are unintentionally shot each day in America and a child under 15 years of age dies every other day from unintended gunfire.
Carrying concealed handguns increases the risk of suicide because one-third to four-fifths of all suicide attempts are impulsive and carrying a handgun gives individuals the means to act on their impulses. Suicide attempts involving firearms are more likely to be fatal. In 2005, 53% of all suicides in the US involved a firearm, resulting in an average of 46 suicides from guns each day. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Americans 40 years of age or younger.
Criminals are more likely to arm themselves with firearms if they suspect that victims may also be armed. Felons report that they often carry firearms to deter victims from resisting. A victim drawing a gun during an attack sends a signal to the offender that more force must be used to overpower the victim during an attack.
Adults who carry concealed handguns are often inadequately trained. Some states do not require any hands-on training before receiving a concealed carry permit. Public safety should be left to trained police officers who are less likely to shoot innocent bystanders.