13 Feb 2011
Guns: The Real Truth
The public’s policy on guns is a very controversial issue. Some people believe guns should have very strict policies so they are hard to obtain or in some cases just ban them all together as they are only used just for senseless violence. Others think that we should relish the freedom to have guns since they offer protection and can be used for recreational purposes, competitive events or hunting. After careful thought and consideration I believe firearms should be available for anyone to use along with a few exceptions. Firearms are not to be taken lightly but they have their pros and cons just like millions of other objects in the world. If firearms were not made available to our U.S. Citizens that would go against our constitutional rights as well as make citizens more prone to violence since we would not be able to defend ourselves. Knowing if someone could potentially have weapons would deter violence and result in less crime. Should our country be denied rights that have been with us for hundreds of years already? If our government could take away our right to bear arms they could potentially take away any right they wanted to.
Safety is the most important aspect when the issue of gun control arises. In America there is about one firearm for everyone person. We are the leading country when it comes to firearms owned and by a substantial margin. According to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were 16,259 murders and 11,078 were deaths by firearms. There were 2,468,435 deaths in the United States in 2010, so if we took a closer look, firearm-related deaths made up less than 1% of all deaths. We are more likely to die from Septicemia, Pneumonia, heart disease, cancers, Parkinson’s or even driving to work. These statistics have varied marginally but have been decreasing every year. In 1994 Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University produced a survey claiming that firearms are used more than two million times a year for self-defense purposes. The National Rifle Association (NRA) lives by this statistic and claims it is true. The Violence Policy Center (VPC), an anti-firearm corporation, claimed that firearms are used for self-defense only around 68,000 times a year. Nothing close to two million but if this is true far more victims would be saved than killed. This does not include instances of self-defense that were not reported to the police department. Once in a blue moon, mass murders and tragedies are reported and we are shocked by the occurrence. It has always been the same story of a person with a history of depression, mental illnesses and anger issues killing their family or significant other and then arriving at a place their well acquainted with and proceed to killing innocent people and then committing suicide. I do believe that there can be more done to keep guns away from people of that nature by having every firearm retailer perform a background check before purchasing a gun. Although measures could be taken to help take away guns from these monstrous people we should not let them be the judge of our constitutional right. The reason guns have not been banned is because we have already done so before. But it didn’t work. In 1994 a gun ban on assault rifles was put in place to decrease mass murders and multiple gunshot wound victims. This ban lasted until 2004 and it had no effect on the rate of firearm related homicide. Availability of firearms does not judge how many crimes there will be with them, it is determined by how effectively they are handled and the people that are handling them control what the outcome will be when wielding a firearm.
What does the right to bear arms exactly mean? The second amendment of the constitution states, 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