Any American’s safety is at risk as our country engages in the controversy of gun control. Extreme restrictions on guns threaten the sacred protection of any person’s property and life. Yet people who are willing to risk this often fail to understand that criminals will always have the ability to find weapons capable of killing and injuring – no matter the regulations.
Although gun control advocates claim that removing guns will decrease societal violence, they wrongly accuse the weapon rather than the person responsible for the violent action. Therefore, measurable gun regulations must be put into place to maintain a free, secure and equal society.
Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws yet also holds the highest murder rates of major cities in the United States. In 2012, there were an astounding 500 homicides within that single city. Restricting guns will not stop these criminals. The guns used to commit the Chicago murders were not licensed or registered to the assailants who killed with them. Because of this, those who say that total gun control will eliminate crime rate are misled. In Chicago, you are twice as likely to be murdered than in the Afghan war. If people in high-risk areas of crime do not have the ability to protect themselves, we, as a nation, will face more severe tragedies.
Violence will not come to a halt by taking these weapons away, and the Second Amendment must continue promising security of a free state. According to Chris Lauzen, “The Second Amendment is not a political football; it is a cornerstone of our Bill of Rights.” By suggesting that guns are the problem in our society, one denies what the Second Amendment was put in place to do. Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers, once said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Jefferson reminds us that the criminal is not in need of protection. Each innocent American is at risk and should be able to have his or her weapon for security.
Wanting to completely remove guns from our society would only jeopardize those who do not wish or intend to commit crimes by using a gun. Utilitarianism is the act of reasoning based on the outcome of happiness for the greater good of the majority. In America today, any costs are worth the result in order to protect citizens. There were 326 reported self-defense-justified homicides in 2010, which nearly doubles the number from 2000. More than 80 percent of those cases involved a firearm as the weapon used for protection. Having total restriction on guns would abandon the bulk of American citizens who do not partake in these various ways of breaking the law.
Law-abiding citizens are worthy of protection and safety. Fear should not overtake every person in this great country. If those law-abiding citizens choose to have guns or even a concealed-weapons permit, they should be put through a training course as well as meet a set list of requirements including background checks. People must be familiar with their weapon and know how to correctly use it in times of trouble if need be. There should be no uncertainty when someone uses their firearm. Owned guns should be registered so that we can detect people who should have firearm restrictions placed upon them. Individuals should be required to register their weapons because it is worth the possible prevention of an extreme tragedy in our country. With that, great penalties must continue to be enforced for those who choose to use guns to commit crimes. Weaponry can be effective and safe if it is put in the correct hands for self-protection. Still, criminals will be able to obtain these guns illegally. But it is the most that we as a strong nation can do to potentially prevent criminals from lawfully having guns placed in their hands.
These actions would be morally just if the majority benefitted from not giving past criminals and those with mental disorders the opportunity to commit terrible crimes. Our society should no longer have to live in fear of potentially losing an efficient form of protection. If the government was to implement extreme laws removing all guns, our country would no longer accurately ensure the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. This dangerous act would only encourage criminals to take advantage of unarmed and defenseless victims. To legally have the ability of protecting yourself is an expression of liberty. No innocent person, like you, like me, should have to live in terror. We must recognize that guns are not the bad guys.
People use their liberty to choose their own actions with weapons, good or bad. We, the citizens of the United States, must do our best to prevent another James Holmes or Adam Lanza from creating many more heart-wrenching tragedies. Though criminals will still find weapons, it is necessary for a just society to regulate who obtains and owns guns. This must be done in order to promote citizens’ safety. Will you stand for the given rights of our Second Amendment of the United States Constitution?
Riley Rifkin is a junior at Animas High School. She is the daughter of Ted and Cheri Rifkin. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.