Guns and Freedom

April 16, 2008
By Emilie Henrie, Grand Junction, CO

On April 16, 2007, a gunman went on a rampage on the campus of Virginia Tech.
By the time he committed suicide; he had killed 32 people and injured 15 others. This is not the first school shooting to happen, and it won’t be the last. There have been many other schools-- Columbine High School, Northern Illinois University, West Nickel Mines Amish School-- that have been victims of school shootings. Could some of these attacks been prevented if the staff and students had had a weapon of self- defense? People should have the right to bear arms.

The Founding Fathers wanted to prevent a tyrannical government. Richard Henry Lee said, “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” Citizens should be allowed to learn how to defend themselves and be taught how to properly use guns. If a corrupted government disarms the people then the people cannot fight back, which is what the Founding Fathers wanted to keep from happening. The Second Amendment was designed to protect our freedom.

Crime rates have been shown to increase when guns are banned. A popular saying is, “If you outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns.” If normal citizens can no longer carry guns then only criminals will be the ones with guns. More guns can also act as a deterrent from crime. Most criminals are less likely to commit a crime if there is a bigger risk. About 74% of felony prisoners in 11 prisons across 10 states say they avoid stealing from houses when occupants are at home because they don’t want to be shot (Unruh). In 1987 Florida allowed the general public to carry concealed weapons and the crime rate declined around 21%. Crime will go down if more people could carry concealed weapons.

Citizens have the right to protect their homes and families. Having a concealed weapon or gun enables a person to protect themselves from attacks and criminals. This is the same for public places. Many lives could be saved if criminals could be stopped more quickly. In Orlando, FL women started arming themselves and took a firearms safety course. It was 1986 and over the next 12 months sexual assaults dropped 88% and burglaries decreased 25%. This is just one instance that shows the need for guns and weapons for defense.

Many people say that with stricter gun bans, crime and gun related deaths will go down. This is not true; taking guns from the public only makes the criminals have the bigger advantage. Criminals can always find ways to get a gun or another weapon. It makes the felons more powerful since common people cannot fight back. Another famous quote states, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Saying that guns kill people is like saying a pencil misspelled a word. Taking guns from the general public only causes more death and pain. Americans have a right to fight for the freedom of themselves and also the freedom of others!

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This article has 1 comment.

TKA said...
on Oct. 17 2008 at 10:57 pm
I understand why you would make this argument, but when interpreting data, it is important to distinguish correlation from causality. The statement, "Crime rates have been shown to increase when guns are banned" is guilty of committing a logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just because one thing happens after another does not mean the result was caused by it. I can probably find just as many statistics that show lower levels of gun ownership correlate to decreased levels of violence.

The whole issue of guns and crime is very complex. It depends on more than just gun ownership - you have to look at the culture and attitudes of a society along with a whole host of other issues.

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