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Handgun Age:Changing The Handgun Age to Eighteen Liam Griffin EN 101 JAbstract Young adults are the most victimized of serious and violent crimes by criminals who are above the age to possess a handgun. Young Americans are not given the proper tools to defend themselves and their property. The age to possess and use a handgun should be reduced to 18 years of age. Millions of Americans every year are victims of crime because they lack the required tools to defend themselves. Proper procedures can be taken for a young adult to purchase a handgun compared to their older counterpart. Guns are not just a means to harm another person, but to prevent crime from even occurring and protecting not only the individual, but all the potential victims that could have followed.Introduction Of all age groups, 18-20 year olds are the most victimized of violent crimes (Perkins, 1997). In the United States, these citizens are old enough to die for their country, but not defend themselves. They have the ability to buy a firearm with more destructive power, but is unable to have a comfortable means to defend themselves. All around the country, young citizens are being victims of serious and violent crimes all around the United States and stand waiting to continue to be victimized. This can be solved if you view the criminals age, view gun violence as a whole, and understand the extent of the victimization.Criminal AgeIn the United States, the youth in America are often seen as the ones who commit all of the crime. This is simply not true. 18 to 21 year olds only make up 1.2 % of the prison population in the United States; the age group that make up the most of the population are 36 to 40 year olds at 18.7%. This shows that the youth is not the criminal superiority when it comes to serious and violent crimes. Serious and violent criminals are those who have previous arrests and generally have a long criminal record (Anonymous, 2017). All around the country the youth are being blamed for much of the crime that occurs but only make up a small fraction compared to those older than them. People who are old enough to protect themselves are the ones committing the crime and victimizing those who cannot defend themselves (Perkins, 1997). Many of these offender are repeat offenders with multiple victims: if young adults had the ability to effectively defend themselves, then the crimes by those individuals could have been prevented or preventing them from happening again.VictimizationAccording to the U.S Department of Justice, “Persons age 18 to 21 were the most likely to experience a serious violent crime”. Serious and Violent crimes are murder, rape, robbery, and simple/aggravated assault. In every statistic on each crime, 18 to 21 year olds are the most victimized. As the age groups get older the rate of victimization drops over time and slightly increasing after the 50 year age range (Perkins, 1997). In cases of sexual crime, “Slightly more than a fifth of all rape/sexual assault victims were age 18 to 21″; this means that 20% of all sexual assault victims are within that three year age range. Rates of sexual assaults for 18 to 21 year olds is 2.5 times higher than 25-29 year olds (Perkins, 1997). The people who are victims to these crimes have often just graduated from high school or a student at college. For many of these individuals it is the first time living on their own and they are being left with no means of defense. 35% of all murder victims are less than 25 years of age. Murder rates rise from the very young and crest at 18 to 21 then decrease (Perkins, 1997). Adults in this age range have no means of defense and as a result are the victims of more crime. Age groups who are old enough to purchase a firearm are less victimized as the years continue. Without a means of defence the numbers will only rise over time. If someone has intent to harm you and you do not have a means to defend yourself you will always be a victim.  In cases of murder, it is either your life or theirs and according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the average age of a felon is 31 to 41 (Anonymous, 2017).”…about 1 in every 2 persons who reported an aggravated assault was younger than 25”, according to the U.S Department of Justice. Aggravated assault is the most frequent serious and violent crime: it is assault with the use of a weapon or without which caused serious bodily harm; such as broken bones, missing teeth, and/or loss of consciousness (Perkins, 1997). Many of these crimes could have been prevented if the victims had the ability to properly defend themselves. According to crime data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the surplus in handguns in the United States is correlated with the decrease in crime (Planty, 2000). A handgun is not just a means to harm someone else, but a means to prevent crime and protect the safety of the individual. Gun Crime Throughout the years the surplus of guns in the United States has increased while at the same time crime has decreased. The National Crime Victimization Survey found that there was a correlation between the rise of guns and the decrease of crime in America. 90% of crime does not involve a firearm, which support the idea that possessing a weapon is not making an easier means for crime by criminals. Fewer than 1% of guns will be used in the commission of a crime, of that one percent, 68% of it is gang violence (Anonymous, 2017). Most gun violence is committed by weapons from out of state in high gun controlled areas. “Fewer than 5% of traced guns in California, many of which were not crime guns, came from neighboring Nevada and Arizona”. Highly gun controlled areas tend to have higher gun violence compared to other places with less restrictive laws. This is due to the fact that criminals are aware that people will be less able to combat them and have more chance to be successful in their crime (Anonymous, 2017). One of the most dangerous things when it comes to gun violence is unmarked guns, which makes up more than 50% of gun crimes (Planty, 2000).Solution At the age of 18 every American citizen who has no felony record should be able to purchase a handgun and register it in their name. They should be treated as the adults they are and be free to purchase a handgun as a means to protect themselves. In the United States, buying a handgun is reserved for those who are old enough to purchase and consume alcohol. In order for the youth to defend themselves they need a legal way to protect themselves and their property. 18 year olds should be able to open carry a firearm or keep one within their house as a means to protect their property and themselves. Without a firearm they will have a harder time defending themselves and can lead to becoming a target for victimization.Conclusion Victimization in America is predominantly in the youth areas of this country. In order for the rates of crime to go down, these young adults need to have the ability to properly arm and defend themselves. Young adults are the most victimized age group in our country in terms of serious and violent crimes. All adult citizens should be able to properly arm themselves to protect their personal property, regardless of whether or not they have met the age of 21. If they are old enough to fight and defend for their country, they are old enough to fight and defend themselves.ResourcesU.S Department of Justice: Age Patterns of Victims of Serious Violent Crime. (1997, July). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/apvsvc.pdfFederal Bureau of Prisons. (2017, October 28). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_age.jspGun Control and Crime. (2017, September 22). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/crime-and-guns/Michael Planty and Jennifer Truman (2000). National Crime Victimization Survey. Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf