Don't Touch Our Guns

March 7, 2017

The 2nd Amendment of the constitution states, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (The Constitution of the United States). Citizens of the United States are debating whether or not to have more control over guns to prevent school shootings. Restricting the right to keep and bear arms will not prevent school shootings but restricts individual freedom. In the novella Anthem by Ayn Rand, the author focuses on the importance of the rights of an individual. The freedom of the individual is more important than the needs of the group.

The opposing view believes that gun control will prevent unnecessary school shootings. They believe that putting restrictions on those who buy guns to “prevent casually motivated gun acquisition by convicted criminals and other high-risk persons who are less powerfully motivated than mass killers to get guns regardless of the obstacles” (Jacobs). Background checks on a person who wants to buy a gun restricts their freedom. The other side also believes gun control will reduce the amount of shootings. Logically, the less guns there are, the less shootings there would be but statistically, “Gun ownership does not correlate with increased violence. For example, the rate of gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas” (Malcolm and Marshall). There are more guns in rural areas yet less crime. In urban areas, there is less gun ownership but there is a higher crime rate. It would make sense that no guns would mean less shootings, but realistically it makes an area more dangerous. Taking away the right to obtain guns will make society more dangerous.

Gun control laws will not prevent shootings, it will actually increase the chances of a school shooting. The Second Amendment not only protects individual freedom, but it also serves “to enable American citizens to defend themselves against violent criminals” (Malcolm and Marshall). Guns serve as a form of self defense, but taking away this right would lead to more violence. Studies have shown that the more gun control laws there are, the more dangerous the city is. Cities like Washington D.C. that “have very strict gun control laws, should be among the safest places to live rather than among the most dangerous” (Malcolm and Marshall). Washington D.C. would be the most safe area in the country because of the laws they have, but gun control laws do not decrease violence. The reason being is that guns provide a method of self defense. For instance, if two people in a room are both aiming guns at each other, neither will pull the trigger knowing the other person could do so as well, and both will be injured or killed. However, if two people in a room and only one has a gun, the person with the gun has the upperhand. While gun ownership has doubled, “Americans are safer today from violent crime, including gun homicide, than they have been at any time since the mid-1960s”. Guns are used for protection and have the power to stop criminals and killings. Another instance of how guns provide a safer environment would be if more guns were held in schools. A criminal would not come into a school knowing if they were to point a gun at a teacher or class, a security guard or someone who has proper training could threaten the criminal back. Neither person would have more power than the other if both had a gun. Even if the criminal is to shoot, the person protecting the class would shoot back, and save the lives of others in the building. There has been many instances of when “mass shooters have been stopped before they could continue their mayhem by ordinary citizens with lawfully possessed firearms” (Malcolm and Marshall). People have stopped criminals with a gun, and guns should continue to serve as a form of self defense. Guns will prevent school shootings from happening or being stopped completely, not gun laws.

Gun control is put into place to benefit the needs of the group rather than the freedom of an individual. However, in the United States, freedom of a citizen is the most important aspect of the country. The Second Amendment is a natural right of a US citizen and is the “constitutional right to keep and bear arms [which] is an individual right that is fundamental to a free society” (Malcolm and Marshall). It is a fact that the United States is the most free country in the whole world and citizens should be able to have their freedom. However, taking away an individual’s right that has been in place since the beginning of this country goes against that freedom. According to “Gun Control”, a negative side to gun control is, “Gun ownership is an American tradition older than the country itself and is protected by the Second Amendment; more gun control laws would infringe upon the right to bear arms”. Not only does gun control go against the rights of an individual, but it goes against a right that has been in place for many years. The 2nd Amendment is apart of the Bill of Rights, which was the first set of rights an individual had at the start of the country. Before the United States developed, England had an absolute monarch, which means power is in the hands of one person. John Locke took a stance upon fighting for natural rights and spoke up in his book Second Treatise of Government, “man was born with a right to perfect freedom, and with an uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature, equally with any other man or men in the world”. John Locke goes on to further explain that a man is born equal, and as long as he lives, he has to right to his own personal life, liberty, and possessions, and no one can take that away from him or any person. The United States was started from the victory of a fight for freedom, and our freedom today should not be taken away. Government taking away the right to keep and bear arms is taking away our individual freedom.

The problems of society cannot always be resolved with government interference. School shootings can not be prevented with control of the government. According to “Gun Control Won’t Prevent School Shootings”, “Policy makers should not just do something to alleviate our sense of urgent responsibility without due consideration of its effects”. Government officials sometimes feel the need to immediately react upon the problems like mass shootings without researching facts and statistics. Officials believe they are benefitting the needs of America by controlling guns, however their decisions do not benefit anyone. Anthem shows how government interference is not always effective. The lawmakers of the society is The Council, who makes all the decisions for the people thinking they are making the society equal to benefit needs of the society as a whole. Before the citizens go to bed, they raise their right arm and say “We are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen” (Rand, 21). The Council makes the people recognize that an individuality is not effective nor important, but working together as a whole will make the society work. However, the main character, Equality 7-252, strives for his own individual freedom rather than the benefit of the people in his society. Individuality allows for a person’s creativity, self thinking, and discovery of what is good for themselves and the world, but the Council thinks it leads to destruction of the whole group. The Council decides the jobs of each member of society, and knowing that Equality naturally strives for individuality, he would have the ability to discover things of the past, including electricity. They do not give him the job he has potential for which is the Scholars. Equality 7-252 is drawn to individuality and goes against the Council’s orders, and ends up discovering electricity anyway. The Council tried to interfere with a person’s individuality, and it was not effective, for Equality 7-252 discovered his true self in the end. When government interferes with the individual freedom of a person, it does not help the society.

Gun control is not effective in terms of the needs of the group and freedom of the individual. While the opposing view still thinks gun control will decrease school shootings, the other side believes it increases the chances. Restricting the right to keep and bear arms will not prevent school shootings, but restricts individual freedom. The right to keep and bear arms is a US citizen right that has been with us since the start of the country and it decreases violence and murder. Problems of the country, like school shootings, will not always be solved with the help of government. Gun control kills, not guns.

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