illers?IntroductionThere are presently in excess of 200 million guns in the United States,according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Each year this numbergrows by 4 to 5 million.
There are 60 to 65 million legal owners of one or moreguns.1 There is a firearm on the premises of more than half the households inAmerica. Most of them keep guns for protection. The others keep them forhunting, target shooting, collecting, and similar pursuits.In recent years nearly 35,000 people have been killed annually by gunsin the United States. These deaths include 15,000 murders, 18,000 suicides, and1,500 accidents.
2 It is because of these statistics that many would like to banguns altogether. But is that really in your best interest? Would it reallybenefit this country, or reduce the number of murders in this country? Consider the evidence in this article and you will see that guns should not beoutlawed and that less gun control in necessary to preserve what the founders ofthis country believed in.Guns are BeneficialGuns can help prevent crime. This is a view held by many opponents togun control. The criminals themselves agree. As part of a three – year studyby the U. S. Department of Justice, criminals in prisons across the nation wereinterviewed.
Sixty percent feared being shot by an armed citizen more thanbeing shot by the police. fifty – three percent did not commit a specificcrime because they were afraid the victim was armed.Fifty – seven percent ofthem were scared off by an armed victim who either brandished a gun or actuallyfired it.3 This alone shows that crime would drop if more citizens owned,carried and knew how to use guns.
One such case involved eleven – year old Jason Green of Houston, Texas.Home alone one night, he heard noises in the house. Arming himself with hisfather’s shotgun he investigated and caught a burglar in the act. Just then hismother pulled up outside in the family car. Fearing the burglar might harm hismother Jason fired. His mother reacted by bursting into the house and firingher revolver.
Hit by bullets from both guns the burglar died.Jason’s mother, like Jason, was defending her house against an intruder.There are about 645,000 defensive uses of handguns each year, according to GaryKleck, a professor at Florida State University. He bases his figure on severalsurveys on handgun use, including one done for an organization that favorsbanning all guns.
Kleck also concluded that hand guns used in self – defense,or some other legally justified cause kill 1,500 to 2,800 criminals every year. If other types of firearms besides handguns are included, then over 1,000,000law – abiding citizens use guns for self – defense annually.Guns also provide vulnerable women with some form of protection againstrape and other violent crime. Recently, Orlando, Florida saw an increase in thenumber of rapes over a twelve – month period from 12.8 per 100,000 to 35.
9per100,000. Women in Orlando were afraid to go out alone, even in the daytime.Citizens of Orlando demanded that something be done.Something was done.
the Orlando Police Department set up a program totrain women to use handguns. Over three thousand women armed themselves andtook training courses. As a result, Orlando’s rape figure dropped to 4.1 per100,000 – a 90 percent drop from the previous high. Similar programs inDetroit and Highland Park, Michigan, and Montgomery, Alabama saw impressivereductions in crimes against women, including both rape and robbery.One woman victim decided on her own that she had enough. A fifty – oneyear old woman of Los Angeles, California, twice raped by the same man, purchased a handgun and took lesions to learn how to use it. When the manreturn a third time she shot and killed him.
These are just a handful of examples of why handguns help prevent crime.There are literally thousands of these stories. The bottom line though iscriminals will have guns and other weapons whether the government takes themaway from law – abiding citizens or not. The plain and simply fact is guns givepeople an effective way to arm yourself and protect yourself when the policearen’t around. Whether or not proponents of gun control want to admit it or notthis is a proven fact.Is Banning Guns a Good Idea?The answer is clear, NO.
Why not you may ask? Ask yourself this, ifthe government were to ban the sale and use and ownership of guns wouldcriminals comply with this law? The problem with most gun control measures isthat gun violence relates not to the number of guns but to who owns them. Aperson who is willing to commit a crime is not likely to abide by gunregistration laws or even bans. James D. Wright a professor of sociology at theuniversity of Massachusetts asks, Why should we expect felons to comply with agun law when they readily violate laws against robbery, assault and murder?”4 For this reason, many people argue, restrictive laws will not reducecrime because criminals will still have guns. And if criminals still have gunsviolence will continue. New York City, for example, has very tight handgunrestrictions.
To buy a handgun, city residents must apply to the police for apermit. Very few permits are given out. They primarily go to active duty andretired police officers, security guards and bodyguards. In addition anyonecaught carrying a concealed handgun without a permit faces a felony charge and amandatory prison sentence. Because of these restrictions, as of April 1991there were only 61,497 legally owned handguns in New York City, a city ofnearly 8 million people.5Yet research indicates that there are at least750,000 hand guns in the city and gun – related crime remains high.
In 1989, 70percent of the city’s twenty – two hundred homicides were caused by gunfire. The BATF says that 96 percent of all handguns used for criminal purposes comefrom outside the city. This means that criminals still obtain handguns forillicit purposes despite New York’s tough laws. But should the government havethe right and the power to take guns away from citizens? This will be discussedin the next section.
The Second AmendmentThe second amendment is a very simple idea that many people will try tocomplicate. Why? Because they try to twist it’s concept to support their ownideas. But the second amendment to the constitution is a very straight forward,simple statement. The second amendment simply says” A well – regulatedmilitia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of thepeople to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Gun control proponentargue that this only applies to a state militia and not the right of anindividual to own and carry a gun. Let us examine the constitution to see ifthis is indeed the case.
Let us begin by examining the first amendment. It states ” Congressshall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting thefree exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; orthe right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Governmentfor a redress of grievances.” Notice first of all that in this single amendmentto the constitution there are actually six rights guaranteed to the “people”. This will be significant in later discussion.
Next, notice the significance ofthe word “people”. This word simply means “the persons composing a community ortribe or race or nation.” or “the subjects or citizens of a state”. Notice thatit doesn’t mean the public as a whole or one but rather it means eachindividual.
With that said let us move on to the amendment in questioned, the second.” 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.” Let usexamine this one part at a time.
“A well regulated militia being necessary tothe security of a free state comma”. This is ensuring the right of each stateto have and regulate it’s own militia. At the time of the writing of theconstitution people were afraid of an over powering, dominating government likethe government of England that they overthrew.
This right would ensure that theFederal army wouldn’t have total power as in the case of England. This wouldalso give the states the independence they wanted while maintaining the unity ofthe whole country. Again, notice the comma. A comma is used to indicate theseparation of ideas in a list. This comma can only mean one thing. This is werethe idea of more than one right in an amendment come into play. Similar to thefirst amendment, this amendment guarantees more than one right. What is thesecond right guaranteed in the second amendment?The amendment continues ” the right of the ‘people’ to keep and beararms shall not be infringed.
“Here it is spelled out in black and white, in asimple statement. The people or each citizen has the right to keep and bear firearms. Proponents of gun control seem to forget this simple statement. Theytry to twist these simple idea to get people to believe that this only appliesto the state militia. As we see here though, from a simple discussion and alittle reasoning we can see just how simple an idea this is.
ConclusionIn this paper it was shown just how regular citizens were able to defendthemselves with the use of a gun. This was because they were trained in the useof the firearm as well as the safety aspects of its use. It has been shown thatcriminals are afraid of citizens armed with a gun. It has been shown thatarming one self with a firearm can not only be a deterrent to crime but asuccessful defense. It was shown that if guns were outlawed then only outlawswould have guns. It has been shown that owning and caring a gun is yourconstitution right as laid out in the second amendment.
Whether you agreewith the evidence presented in this paper or not this are the facts. Some guncontrol proponents will try to distort these facts to hide the truth. But thisis the truth. It is because of public option, fear and a misunderstanding ofguns that many people feel that guns should be made illegal. But outlawing gunsis not the answer. Alleviating the fear and misunderstanding about firearms is.It is only then that many people will see the benefit of the firearm.
Takingguns away from law – abiding citizens while felons continue to use them is notthe answer. It is your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Clearly wehave seen that outlaw guns would not be in our best interest. We have seen thatdoing so would not reduce the number of innocent people killed each year. Thisis why guns should not be outlawed and less gun control in necessary to preservethe idea and philosophies set out in the constitution of the United States.Endnotes1. Ted Gottfried, Gun Control and The Right to Bear Arms (Brookfield,Ct.: Millbrook Press, 1993 ), pg.
132. Ibid pg 173. Ibid pg. 484. Neil Bernard, Gun Control ( San Diego, Ca., Lucent Books, 1991 )pg 685.
Ibid pg. 56BibliographyAitkens, Maggi. Should We Have Gun Control. Minniapolis, Minn: ., LernerPublications. 1992.Bernard, Neil.
Gun Control. San Diego, Ca.: Lucent Books. 1991.Gottfried, Ted., Gun Control and The Right to Bear Arms. Brookfield, Ct.
: The Millbrook Press., 1993Gottlieb, Alan. Gun Rights Fact Book Bellevue, Washington: Merril Press, 1988.Robers, Joseph Jr.The Armed Citizen. Washington D.
C. : The Nation RifileAssociation of America. 1989.