Gun control, as we know it, consists of the government restricting the ability of individual citizens to purchase weapons. The different types of gun control vary from waiting periods between when you purchase the gun and when you actually get it, background checks so that high-risk people can't purchase guns through legal channels, and completely banning certain types of guns. There are countless ways for criminals to avoid these government regulations, causing them to only render the ability of innocent citizens protecting their home and family's ability to purchase guns.
The "waiting period" method of gun control is basically a two-step process. The first step in the procedure is that the person wanting a gun goes to his local shop (or calls a reputable mail order outlet) to place the initial order. Then, he must wait one to two weeks while the government performs a small background check for past criminal activities, disorderly conduct, or lack of mental/emotional stability. During this time, if the purchaser of the gun wanted the gun for impulse reasons (out of rage), it is hoped that they will not still want to cause bodily harm after a couple weeks.
The problem with this method of gun control is that it stops the ordinary citizen from purchasing a gun on the whim, but it actually protects the common criminal. Underage buyers and other delinquents can purchase mass quantities of weapons through "dummy buyers" that have clean backgrounds. So if a burglar enters a house with full intention to maim or kill, the innocent victim (who can't get a gun to protect his family because he was arrested for drunk driving seven years ago) is simply a victim of a law that supports black market trade. There are over 200 million registered guns in circulation (Larson), and they are the ones that will not be killing our children. The unregistered ones are owned by murderers, rapists, and thieves.
Another practiced technique of preventing dangerous firearms from killing honest people is to ban an entire type of weapon. The AK-47 is a commonly-used example of that. Again, the criminals still have limited access to the weapon through underground channels, but these banned weapons are so powerful that there is really is not practical purpose for them in the home (or in hunting).
This can easily be adverted by the common criminal who knows anything about the way guns are assembled. A semi-automatic machine gun can be converted into a fully-automatic gun with a little handcraft. A shotgun can become a bloody powerful weapon by sawing-off the tip of it. Obviously, new methods of gun control are needed to produce desired results. In the first half of 1991, fifty children under the age of seventeen had been shot to death. If we continue to monitor the sale of firearms, there must be new techniques that can watch where the guns end up. And if we decide that we can/will not go down that track, we must make that judgement earnestly, and without haste, because it will decide the future of The United State of America as we know it.
- Larson, Erik. "The Story of a Gun", The Atlantic Monthly. January 1993
- Pooley, Eric. "Kids with Guns." , New York. August 5, 1991.