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The Right to Bear Arms

December 15th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Yesterday witnessed an act of unthinkable horror when 20-year old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, 20 of those being children, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the quiet town of Newtown, Connecticut. The seemingly unprovoked attack pulls at the heart-strings in all of us, and our thoughts are certainly with those families who have suffered a great loss. As investigators now attempt to piece together a motive, the events that transpired continue to be a national focus. With such an emotionally charged trauma such as this, it’s easy for people to demand something be done to prevent this from happening again. One of the areas that will likely see the most attention is gun control.

Imposing stricter regulations on guns would have done little to stop the horrific events in Newtown, CT. The biggest argument I hear is to make it harder to acquire guns mainly by including thorough background checks, as well as increasing the sharing of this information among the States. While these are certainly not bad ideas and I agree that we shouldn’t let guns into the hands of those who shouldn’t have guns (mental illness, violent crimes, etc) I question the effectiveness these restrictions would have at stopping crimes like yesterday’s attack. Lets look at this specific case for example. The guns used by the shooter were reportedly owned by his mother (whom he gunned down in her home before going to the school). She was a Kindergarten Teacher with no criminal record. Even the shooter himself had no criminal record. Nothing in their past would have precluded them from obtaining a gun license or buying the weapons. While those types of regulations might keep guns out of other potentially violent hands, they would have been powerless to stop this.

The other argument I hear for gun regulation is to ban ownership of certain weapons and accessories. For example, automatic weapons, extended magazines and armor-piercing bullets. Again while this could be a good idea I don’t think it would do much to stop these kinds of events from happening. Had Lanza not had extended magazines do you think it would have slowed him down much? Maybe if faced with adults who can fight back (like the LIRR shooting in 1993 where passengers subdued the gunman when he attempted to reload) while difficult to consider, Kindergarten students would be powerless to stop a determined killer.

So before we all launch into the offensive pushing for stricter gun control, we should approach the situation with a level head and think of the actual effects these actions would have. Maybe we need to put more effort into making support and counseling services available to offer assistance to disturbed individuals before they snap. Maybe there isn’t anything we can do to protect against random acts of terror and violence. All I can say is, gun control is not the answer, and stripping away our constitutional rights serves no purpose. As Ben Franklin wrote in 1775, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

  1. September 5th, 2013 at 02:04 | #1

    I know i’m posting really late to this topic, but i thought my opinions could potentially be a helpful point of view.

    I live in the UK, so pretty much guns aren’t allowed here, i believe farmers are allowed certain types of weapons, and obviously police and other armed forces have weapons, but generally if you live in a city, you can go years without seeing a single firearm.

    I’ve held, BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles, paintball guns, however i’ve never held an actual firearm, and nor do i ever want to. I fear holding that much destructive force in my hands, what if it goes off by accident, what if i don’t aim it correctly and it hits something unintended? bullets can go several hundred miles per hour and i find that fundamentally terrifying.

    I’m not saying that everything should be banned because of my fears. Honestly one day i hope to own some deactivated Lara Croft Tomb Raider replica pistols. I like the engineering and mechanics of firearms, it’s honestly quite beautiful. It’s like studying the physics behind nuclear fusion, but i’m completely and totally against nuclear weapons.

    When the constitution was created, the only usable firearms were pretty much the same ones you see in Pirates of the Caribbean, slow, long to reload, wet powder was a thing. Not like today, today we have firearms that are extremely powerful in comparison, we have automatic rifles that can somewhere along the lines of 20 bullets per second, and these can be 30 caliber bullets. And i believe that is only a mid range weapon, and these are available to buy, to the general public (albeit with some restrictions)

    I also hear the argument that you live in an unsafe area and you use it for protection. The issue is, is that i ask them: what kind of windows do you have? what locks do you have and how old are they? are your doors hollow wood? how thick are your walls? do you have a burglar alarm? what about a panic button? and generally the house itself is usually very very unsecure. I don’t understand how you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a manually operated weapon over basic home protection, which are automatic. It boggles my mind. In my house, our front door once fully locked has 9 bolts holding the door to the frame, we have a burglar alarm and a panic button, all of our windows are double glazed with reinforced plastic frames. I imagine this is slightly more expensive than a couple of firearms and their ammunition, but these are passive protections.

    I don’t know what to suggest on how to fix this issue, i know some of the ideas seem like their effectiveness will be null to none, however if you can even delay an attack by a day, it could be potentially life saving.

    I don’t want to dig at Brian, but i could if i wanted to, cherry pick a few quotes from famous people regarding weapons, but that quote (for me anyway) doesn’t even talk about weapons, it talks about essential liberties, and if the rest of the world can prove is that people can live quite happily and freely without a firearm.

  2. Trevorist
    April 20th, 2013 at 00:20 | #2

    When you say that one of the arguments is to ban certain weapons such as “automatic weapons, extended magazines and armor-piercing bullets,” that is slightly incorrect. I just thought I should point out that automatic weapons have been restricted ever since the National Firearms Act of 1934. Basically in order to have a fully automatic gun the government has to grant you approval.

    The actual argument that they are trying to make is that “assault weapons” should be banned. So what is an assault weapon? Assault weapon is a political term that means (in most cases) that the semi-automatic rifle contains the cosmetic features of a fully automatic. Basically if it looks like a fully-automatic it is an assault rifle. Now that’s a rough generalization; there is a whole list of things that can get a rifle, shotgun, or handgun listed as an assault weapon. Some are legitimate, some are based on cosmetics.

    Other than that, great essay!

  3. Emiliano
    January 14th, 2013 at 18:41 | #3

    Are you a writer lol? I love reading your articles and whatnot ! You should definitely write more often as well! Many of us like to read especially personal articles but I also like that you have opinion on certain things and ideas !

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