America,the place we call home, is filled with an unceasing problem of violence. Ourneighborhoods have become a battlefield, where innocent people are being beatenfor their bags, where fragile women are easily attacked and raped, where peopleare shot in their own homes, and where children are caught in the crossfire of schoolshootings. We can’t ignore the atrocity that these criminals are causing withinour society and we must take proper action to put an end to this madness. Unfortunately,the efforts to eliminate the legal ownership of firearms does not address thereal problem we are facing, but it simply disarms the innocent law-abidingcitizens who are most in need of security and self-defense. We need to keep inmind that guns aren’t to blame, but the criminals behind the trigger are. Firearms have played a significantrole within our country. In order for us to understand the efforts behind guncontrol, we must take into consideration the history of America.
The secondamendment of the Constitution of the United States mentions that 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 (Amend. II). Although wemay disagree, there are good reasons in which we have the right to bear arms inthe society we live in today. Initially, people maintained firearms for the useof hunting, and occasionally for protection or self-defense. However, when thecolonist felt that the burden of British oppression was too much to bear, theyutilized their personal firearms and proceeded to war.
Standing against theBritish armies, these rebels found themselves opposed by the greatest militaryforce in the world. The founding fathers of the country understood that anarmed population, aided in fighting off and defeating oppression. They reinforcedthe right to keep and bear arms, a constitutionally guaranteed right. ThomasJefferson mentions in the draft of the Virginia Constitution, “No man shallever be debarred the use of arms” (Draft). We hear arguments with opposingviews on firearms and we witness advocates claiming that they want to removeguns out of criminal hands. Today, Congress continue to work diligently to passlegislation that would remove guns from hands, but forget that they are also removingguns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Law-abiding citizens who possessthese weapons in times of self-defense or protection. We need to face the factthat the efforts to reinforce stricter gun control does not address the realproblem that we have at hand.
If we pass laws restricting the use and ownershipof firearms, who does these laws really affect? The obvious answer is that guncontrol laws don’t affect the law-breaking criminals, instead it affects the law-abidingcitizens. Criminals will continue to violate these gun control laws, they willcontinue to carry their guns, and their efforts at crime will be much simpler,knowing that their victims will be unarmed and vulnerable. It’s easy to picturethis when we witness this today. We often hear news about unarmed AfricanAmericans who are shot, innocent people who become victims when the laws makeit impossible for them to defend themselves. An unarmed man stands littlechance against an armed one. Many states which include, Hawaii,Florida, and Texas, consists of citizens stating that they want to preservetheir right to bear firearms, mainly for self-defense and security reasons. Hawaii,with some of the nation’s toughest gun-related laws, keeps a tight rein on gunownership, registration, and use.
Because of this, Hawaii prosecutors reportthat gun crime levels in the state are relatively low (Find). Florida has beenissuing concealed weapons permits to law-abiding citizens and these citizenshave been carrying their firearms as defense to uncontrolled crime. Similar toHawaii, Florida has resulted to dropping numbers of incidents in violent crimeas compared to Alaska who is the leading state in firearm deaths (Frohlich). Advocateswho are against the use of firearms argue that when citizens proceed with theright to carry, we would see bloodshed or an increase in violence. But theseadvocates are quick to judge and accuse wrongly.
In the United States ofAmerica, there has been 16,358,844 active concealed permits, a 256% increase inpermits since 2007 (Guns) with only a few of those permits revoked for improperuse of firearm. These statistics make it clear for us to see that it is thelaw-abiding citizens who are following the rules. These citizens go through thislegal process in use of protection when needed and not wanting to break the law. The criminals of our society are theones who intend to continue breaking the law. These criminals will continue to seekpossession of their firearms, whether or not the law allows them to do so. With or without gun control laws inplace, criminals will always find ways to gain possession of guns. In America,we have criminalized the use, possession, sale, and transportation of manykinds narcotics, but it’s still so simple for a person to drive by a specificcorner to purchase the drug of their choice.
Just as easy as it is to gainpossession of these drugs, firearms and ammunitions are also easily attainable.Today, criminals often carry illegal weapons with disregard to the current lawsin place. When these criminals are caught, the courts dismiss these lesserweapon charges when prosecuting and focus more on the serious charges such asmurder. Gun control advocates continue toargue their case by demonizing the weapon itself, rather than addressing thereal issue, the people behind the trigger who commit these violent crimes. Thisis the main misconception in their argument. These gun control advocatescontinue to believe and argue that the possession of a gun turns people into bloodthirstymurderers.
If legal possession of firearms is the issue at hand, why are crimerates still higher in areas such as New York or Washington, D.C., states withstricter gun control laws? Why are crime rates decreasing in states such asFlorida where private ownership of weapons is encouraged? (Kurtzleben). It isobvious that legal ownership is not the issue, it isn’t the reason behind thecrime.
Does ownership of weapons cause people to become cold blood murderers?We must not fall into the trap of blaming the gun for the hand that wields it. Forcing firearms to become illegaldoes so little when trying to prevent criminals from getting guns. Gun controllaws only refrain people who are obedient to the law, the law-abiding citizenswho would utilize these weapons for legal use only. If we give people the rightto defend themselves, we find that criminals start looking for other victims infear that they will become the victims. It’s true that we must try to reducecrime in our country, but before pointing fingers, we must look at the problemas whole and create more effective plans, rather than banning the use of guns.Gun control laws are not effective in reducing crime. Instead, we should directour efforts towards controlling the criminals versus controlling the legalownership of firearms.