Rachel Corbin

Social Problems

Gun Control

12 February 2003

America and Gun Control

Amendment II

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 infringed.

The debate of gun control laws ignites a volatile controversy amongst the American people.  Fewer topics raise more emotional debate than the subject of gun control.  The Second Amendment grants the “right to bear arms” however, the question remains about who is given this right.  Is the right to bear arms given exclusively to the militia or to all the people?  This question brings the issue of who should be trusted with fire arms, the people or the government?  There is no evidence from the writings of the Founding Fathers that one must belong to a well regulated militia in order to have the right to keep and bear arms.  The Founders were simply expressing a preference for a militia over a standing army.  The first clause regarding the militia is merely one, and not the only, rationale for preserving the right to own firearms.  The second clause, granting “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” applies to our nation on the individual level.  We have the right to own guns for recreational purposes, such as hunting, and for self defense against intruders, or corrupted governments.  It is our duty as citizens of the United States to exercise this right.

If not for legal gun ownership, the conception as well as the success of the American Revolution may have been jeopardized.  In 1775, when the British government knocked down American citizens’ doors demanding them to disarm, we refused.  We came together, with the aid of guns, to overthrow the tyrannical British government which wrongfully attempted to deprive us of our freedom.  As a result, our nation was created on the foundation of individuals’ freedom and God given human rights.  These rights are expressed in the Bill of Rights.  The unquestionable rights of freedom of speech, religion, etc. are expressed concurrently with the freedom to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment.  Without this right, our country would not exist as it is today.  Furthermore, we must defend our right to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

The freedom expressed in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, grants us the right to self defense.  Life is a basic human right that must be protected by laws, institutions and our right to own guns.  We have a duty to defend our lives, the lives of our families and our property.  The government is ineffective in providing for an individuals’ safety, and this is the reason we must take matters into our own hands to become self-reliant.  A woman, if attacked by a male attacker, may find herself overpowered and unable to defend her self unarmed.  Conversely, a gun can be an equalizer to the difference in physical strength.  A woman raped and killed is far more devastating to society than a woman with a smoking gun and a rapist at her feet.  Studies actually prove that more guns carried by civilians leads to a lower crime rate.  Criminals are deterred by not knowing if their potential victim is armed, because a purse or wallet is not worth getting shot.  These studies have been conducted by Dr. John R. Lott of the University of Chicago Law School and author of the book, “More Guns, Less Crime”.

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In 1996, Dr. John R. Lott published the results of a crime study conducted using FBI data from 1977 to 1992 regarding crime rates and the affects of the right to carry concealed weapons.  Between 1977 and 1992, ten states adopted right-to-carry weapons laws. Dr. Lott's study found that the implementation of these laws created no change in suicide rates, a .5% rise in accidental firearm deaths, a 5% decline in rapes, a 7% decline in aggravated assaults, and an 8% decline in murder. (Lott 172).  Florida adopted a right-to-carry law in 1987 and at the time the law was ...

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