If banning guns worked, Washington, D.C., would be the safest city in the country.
Since 1976, it’s been illegal to own handguns there. The city also has numerous limitations on other firearms. Yet, crime is still rampant.
Until a few years ago, Washington, D.C., was dubbed the “murder capital of the United States” despite it having the strictest gun laws in the nation.
The right to possess guns, given to Americans by the Second Amendment of the Constitution, was enacted for a single purpose: the right to protect ourselves. Banning guns would compromise the nation’s founding values, and the slope is only slipperier from there. First our guns and what will be next? And what reason do we have to believe restricting gun ownership will even work?
As seen with the war on drugs, declaring something illegal will not necessarily change its productivity for the better.
Former President Jimmy Carter agreed in a The New York Times article that the current war on drugs is a “total failure.” Instead of limiting its affects on the world, drug use has only expanded steadily. It has also left the selling of drugs unregulated, has contributed to the country’s towering debt, and has exploited our jails.
The U.K. government estimated from the results of a study in 2003 that 56 percent of all crimes are committed by drug users. The last 52 years dedicated to the war on drugs has been completely ineffective. Yet, people are saying: “Here’s a brilliant idea… let’s try to do the exact same thing with guns.”
Some Americans believe that crime will be limited through gun rights being abolished, but that idea is unlikely. Declaring something as against the law will not stop those who believe they are above the law. Criminals won’t say, “I wish I could shoot you but, oh wait, it’s illegal to own a gun now.”
For the most part, criminals are to blame for gun violence. Americans shouldn’t be punished vicariously for criminals.
Some people argue ordinary citizens don’t need to be armed. However, the tragic shootings in Connecticut have made it clear that we must be able to protect ourselves and our community.
A study by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck found that Americans use guns defensively 2.5 million times a year. It could be said more than two million lives per year are saved because of the right to own a gun.
But what about firearm accidents? According to nationally syndicated columnist Samuel Frances, the chance of dying from an accidental discharge of a firearm is one in 200,000. People are 29 times more likely to die in an automobile accident. As long as a gun owner takes proper precaution, guns can offer more security than danger.
Removing guns would cripple our nation by allowing criminals to have access while other citizens have to rely on limited law enforcement for protection.
Freedom is the foundation of the United States, but will we truly be free if we can no longer protect ourselves?
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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