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James Wilson’s article ‘Just Take Away Their Guns’ argues that gun control policies have little effect on the issue of gun violence. With school shootings like Sandyhook in Newtown, Connecticut and the Orlando massacre in Florida, there has been a strong personal opinion from many people that there should be stricter gun control legislation. He proposes a particular method to assist gun control laws in our country. Wilson states that the most effective way to bring down the high levels of illegal gun carrying is by having police departments implement and carry out street frisks. He shows reasoning and fairness to the opposing sides to his arguments, but lacks evidence to convince his audience that police frisks will solve the gun violence issues, instead he assumes his solution is a better option than the gun legislation. His claim that people need guns to defend themselves is at times convincing, but his problem solving skills lack deliberation. Wilson’s lack of consideration for the consequences of increased police frisking along with his dismissal of gun control advocates render his weak and ineffective argument.
Wilson provides us with statistics that he believes proves that most gun violence is committed with illegally owned guns. But he quickly delves into the constitutionality of the act, using the Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio as justification for its Legality. He first states that his solution will decrease gun violence, which was police frisking. Then, Wilson provided us with reasons that police departments and officers are currently not frisking many people, due to shortage of officers fearing accusations of police harassment. Towards the end of his essay, Wilson criticizes the pro-gun control argument, before informing that frisking can disproportionately be performed on minority men.
His first issue he ignores are the potential negatives of his proposal. He acknowledges at the end about racial profiling being an issue, but passes it like it is inconvenient, and refers to it as ‘complaints,’ which suggests that he doesn’t see the argument as legitimate. If the capacity of federal or local prisons is at its maximum, how will authorities fit criminals into a jail cell? Wilson’s ‘stop and frisk policy will only increase the numbers of run-ins between law enforcement and gun wielding criminals. These encounters which at any time can escalate to the criminal or the officer being injured or killed in the line of duty. For example, the U.S. has recorded that there were ‘number of 39,773 firearm-related deaths, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’.
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