Welcome to the United States, home of beer, cheeseburgers, free speech and lots of guns. We also have an entire system of laws that protects our right to enjoy all four of these things.
Our founding fathers believed that a citizen’s right to bear arms was important enough to be in our constitution. According to this document, we have an equal right to own a dog, a car or a gun; all of which can kill if not treated responsibly.
While guns may be a source of fun for some and personal safety for others, they have another role for citizens. According to our forefathers, they defend against tyranny.
In 1938, Hitler passed gun legislation that disarmed anyone who could oppose him, killing 6 million Jews in the years following. In 1929, Joseph Stalin did the same and killed nearly 20 million citizens by 1953.
These are not isolated incidents. A disarmed public is free game for any dictator or common criminal.
Fast forward to 2009. Since then, countries throughout the world like Egypt, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Turkey, Greece and recently Ukraine are either on the verge of complete collapse or engaged in a bloody civil war against their own government.
Many U.S. citizens have the naive notion that this kind of thing would never happen here; but do you trust your government that much?
Then to say that citizens don’t need guns but the police do, is hypocritical.
We allow officers to carry guns because we are convinced that they possess the responsibility to do so, despite the astronomical number of cases of police officers abusing their power.
Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the National Rifle Association, argued that anyone wishing to obtain a gun, no matter the reason, should have to go through the same rigorous training to ensure responsibility.
We should prevent guns from reaching the hands of criminals or the mentally unstable; just as we should keep driver’s licenses away from alcoholics and sex offenders from living near schools and parks. These individuals have proven to be irresponsible in society and as a result, are now restricted from certain liberties.
Restricting guns altogether is the equivalent of closing down all of the nation’s parks because they offer ease of access for child molesters.
The notion that banning guns prevents homicides is false. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the majority of guns used in violent crimes are illegally obtained. Gun control only restricts the rights of law abiding citizens.
Firearm proponents argue that the mere owning of a gun increases the risk of death in a household. This is true but it is usually because the guns are in an accessible place where they can be quickly reached in an escalated argument.
However, the second half of this study from the Harvard Law Institute, which often left out, shows that “approximately 90 percent of adult murderers have adult records,” including major felony accounts.
If all guns were banned, would those gunshot homicides turn into knife attacks instead? Those with an inclination to commit evil acts will do so regardless of firearm laws.
Make no mistake, guns are dangerous and making them easily obtainable is even more so. Dangerous things, such as booze, cars, dogs and guns need moderation and regulation. But the simple fact that these things can be dangerous should never be enough to keep them out of our hands completely. It only means that as a society, we need to act responsibly. After all, this is the home of the free.