When our fore fathers first came onto this land, they were oppressed by their rulers. These wise men decided to stage a revolt against their government and start up a new government, with a set of rules, laws and rights. They did not stage this massive revolt by negotiation, or arbitration but with bloodshed on both sides. When the revolt was over, the fore fathers had risen to victory through the use of warfare and guns. They then decided to make a bill stating the basic rights that every man in the country could have. There were ten of these basic rights, among them were the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the right of free speech, and most importantly, the right too keep and bear arms in order to protect their families, gather food, and preserve their rights, from all threats. However, in these times of increased violence with guns and wild over population, is keeping guns available too dangerous to be continued? If so, how can we justify taking away one of the most basic and sacred rights that has been held throughout the ages? If we do this, are we any better than our previous rulers who used control as an excuse for oppression?
The opposition of gun rights say that the amendment states that The Second Amendment was never intended as a gun license for the entire American populace. As originally drafted—and as consistently interpreted by the courts for more than a century—the Amendment does not grant any blanket right to own a gun nor does it stand in the way of rational, effective gun control. They also say that the idea of gun ownership as an American Birthright is just a myth. However, this is not true. The amendment states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Clearly stated, this says that the right of people to have and use guns shall not be taken away.
The modern day anti-gun advocate cries out that if guns were outlawed, then the violent crime rate would drop dramatically. Were this true, I would agree with them, however, this is the true myth in the situation. Were guns still outlawed, the criminal with a desire to attain a gun would still be able to get them. In the first place, most violent criminals do not buy guns legally in the first place, they usually buy them from black market dealers. Second, the crime rate does not come from the availability of firearms but from the lack respect in today’s society for other people’s lives and property. Were guns make illegal, the same effect as de-legalizing narcotics and, in the 20’s, alcohol had, absolutely nothing. Those individuals that wanted to get these things, would still get them without any trouble at all.
In the March 1994 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, writer Daniel Polsby wrote this:
During the 1960s and 1970s the robbery rate in the United States increased six fold, and the murder rate doubled; the rate of handgun ownership nearly doubled in that period as well. Handguns and criminal violence grew together apace, and national opinion leaders did not fail to remark on that coincidence. It has now become the battle cry of the anti-gun lobbyist that increased gun ownership goes hand in hand with increased violence. This is however not true. Again, over population, disrespect, and greed are the main contributors to increased violence in today’s society.
Everyone knows that possessing a handgun makes it easier to intimidate, wound, or kill someone. But the implication of this point for social policy has not been so well understood. It is easy to count the bodies of those who have been killed or wounded with guns, but not easy to count the people who have avoided harm because they had access to weapons. Think about uniformed police officers, who carry handguns in plain view not in order to kill people but simply to daunt potential attackers. And it works. Criminals generally do not single out police officers for opportunistic attack. Though officers can expect to draw their guns from time to time, few even in big-city departments will actually fire a shot (except in target practice) in the course of a year. This observation points to an important truth: people who are armed make comparatively unattractive victims. A criminal might not know if any one civilian is armed, but if it becomes known that a larger number of civilians do carry weapons, criminals will become warier.
However, most small time thugs, which are known to attack people singly most likely could not get access to guns under strong anti-gun provisions, which is probably true. However, statistics do show that most criminals that perform these kinds of crimes do not use guns, but knives, bludgeoning weapons, or a “fake” gun in order to gain what they want. The average Joe on the street could not carry such a weapon in order to protect themselves, and so would fall easy target to criminals.
Which weapons laws are the right kinds can be decided only after considering two related questions. First, what is the connection between civilian possession of firearms and social violence? Second, how can we expect gun-control laws to alter people’s behavior? Most recent scholarship raises serious questions about the “weapons increase violence” hypothesis. The second question is emphasized here, because it is routinely overlooked and often mocked when noticed; yet it is crucial. Rational gun control requires understanding not only the relationship between weapons and violence but also the relationship between laws and people’s behavior. Some things are very hard to accomplish with laws. The purpose of a law and its likely effects are not always the same thing. Many statutes are notorious for the way in which their unintended effects have swamped their intended ones.
We also must remember that guns are a major economic trade item. Without the manufacture, distribution, and trade of firearms, thousands of jobs would be lost. You probably don’t think it would be that many, however, how many thousands of people make and sell guns? It sure isn’t more that 2,000. But what about the other people that would be indirectly affected by gun control? If guns were illegal to own, that would ultimately mean that sports hunting would be outlawed. This would put thousands of game wardens, and employees of the Department of Fish and Game out of work. Taxidermy services would be obsolete, for there would be no animals to provide these services to. Not to mention the environmental impacts. Without sports hunting, game populations would skyrocket. Many would say that they were not that bad before humans, which is true enough. However, because of development, there is not as many habitats for wild game to live on, which causes over population, starvation, and disease, which without sports hunting would cause major declines in animal populations.
In short, guns may be a problem in today’s overcrowded cities, but it is not the fault of the guns. Eliminating guns would not solve these problems in the cities, and may end up causing more problems in the cities than what it solves. In addition, the environmental and economic impacts that it would cause would far exceed what problems it may or may not solve. Strong gun control is a bad idea, and those who say otherwise are fooling themselves by not looking at the big picture.