Opposing Gun Control

Gun control is actually many issues wrapped up into two words. To some people gun control is a crime issue, while to others it is a rights issue. Gun control is also a safety issue and an education issue. Within each of these issues, there are those who want gun control legislation, and those like myself, who want less gun control legislation.

Guns most definitely are not for everyone. Certain individuals can not handle a gun safely, and some people choose to use firearms inappropriately. Our society has passed several laws regulating the use and ownership of firearms, and more gun control legislation is being considered everyday. Some restrictions may be necessary, but legislation has gone too far. Society does benefit from the use of firearms in the hands of responsible citizens. Attempts to keep firearms from responsible citizens does more harm than good.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states: 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. According to Stephen Halbrook, the author of That Every Man be Armed , the Founding Fathers of our great nation included this in our Bill of Rights because they feared the Federal Government might oppress the population if the people did not have the means to defend themselves as a nation and as individuals. Obviously our Founding Fathers felt that society benefited from firearms in the hands of the people.

The rationality for gun control these days is crime control . The Brady Bill is one example of such legislation. This bill was named after James Brady, who was shot in 1981 by John Hinckley in an assassination attempt on President Reagan. The supporters of this bill used this incident to gain support for their gun control legislation, claiming it would reduce crime and save lives. The fact is that the background check and waiting period included in the Brady Bill would not have prevented John Hinckley from legally purchasing the handgun used in the shooting of James Brady. According to an article in American Rifleman, records show that a police background check was run on Hinckley four days before he purchased the revolver he used to shoot President Reagan and Jim Brady. The checks showed he had no felony convictions in any jurisdiction. Neither had Hinckley any public record of mental illness.

Another shortcoming of any and all gun control legislation is that they only affect law-abiding citizens. By definition a criminal is someone who breaks the law. Therefore, passing gun control legislation to control crime committed by criminals is obnoxious. According to the National Rifle Association, only four criminals have been apprehended while attempting to legally purchase a firearm. Criminals do not purchase guns legally. They have other ways to get guns, such as the black market or theft.

The safety and education issues of gun control are very closely related to one another. In order for responsible citizens to practice firearm safety, they must first be educated in the proper use of firearms. Organizations such as the National Rifle Association provide this type of training. Another type of training is the Hunter Safety course taught by most states. This training reinforces basic safety rules that everyone who handles firearms should know. They also teach the legal requirements specific to hunting or self-defense. I believe the best firearm education is passed from parent to child. Any responsible parent should pass all gun safety knowledge to their child as well as teaching respect for others and their property.

I recognize that criminals do misuse firearms, often with tragic results. I agree that these individuals should be punished and imprisoned so that they no longer impose a threat to society. I do not agree with punishing law-abiding citizens by passing restrictive gun control laws. Criminals are responsible for the crime in this country, not guns. Effective crime control legislation should allow law-abiding citizens the means to protect themselves. No matter what kind or how much gun control legislation is put into effect, it does not affect the criminals, the people for which the laws are designed. Simply put, criminals are called criminals because they break the law. Laws mean nothing to criminals. Society can only imprison criminals and see that the people retain their right to keep and bear arms.

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