Gun rights are a human right: Why more gun control isn’t the answer
By Brandon Watson
Since the Aurora massacre occurred in July of 2012, gun control is on the media’s agenda. When the shooting occurred at Sandy Hook elementary, gun control quickly became the most talked about issue. Soapboxes have and are emerging across Facebook, as every major news network is putting inatheir two cents regarding the matter. Many Americans believe reforming gun control policies is long overdue and that stricter laws are needed. However, many Americans also think that the government has no right to infringe on the Second Amendment any further than they already have. Somewhere in the middle of the two extremes lies the nebulous concept known as common sense.
One common ground between the Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings was the presence of an AR-15 rifle. The main misconceptions with this firearm are that AR stands for Assualt Rifle, whereas it stands for Armalite rifle, the company who first designed the rifle in the 1950s. Another misconception is that these are military rifles. The M16 and the M4 are the two most common rifles used by the U.S. Military and are built on the AR-15 platform. Due to the burst fire or fully automatic capabilities on the M4 and M16, they’re in no way similar to the semi-automatic (one round fired per trigger pull) AR-15. Since the two massacres, the AR-15 rifle, now labeled by the media as an “assault weapon”, has been under the spotlight. Gun control advocates, including President Obama and Vice President Biden, believe that gun control reformation is pertinent.
“Weapons of war have no place on our streets, or in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers,” Obama stated at a speech in Minneapolis.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg is another politician who is leading the fight for increased gun control.
“Words alone cannot heal our nation. Only action can do that. Gun violence is a national epidemic,” Bloomberg said. “I demand a plan. The time for talk is over.”
Anti-gun politicians and supporters believe that the Second Amendment is outdated and that if guns are illegal, they will cease to exist. For beneficial progress, it is pertinent to push legislation that makes it harder to purchase a gun. They also wish to ban the guns that shouldn’t be owned by civilians in the first place, headed by Senator Dianne Feinstein who hopes to reinstitute the Assault Weapons Ban.
On the other side of this issue, you have the pro-gun supporters, informally led by the National Rifle Association. The gun control opposition believes that the government should not take action and make it harder for law-abiding citizens to acquire firearms. They believe that strict gun control policies result in more crime. Any sort of law that goes into effect will only affect law-abiding citizens, as criminals have complete disregard for the law in the first place. Gun rights activists claim that this is the reason why gun-free zones don’t work in the first place. Second Amendment supporters thrive on quotes from our Founding Fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson.
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government,” Jefferson said. “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”
Second Amendment supporters hold fast to the “protection against tyranny” as they clutch their firearms, believing that should the time come, they will be able to protect their country against a tyrannical government. Second Amendment supporters also state that if the right to bear arms is disregarded, then what is stopping the government from infringing upon the rest of the Bill of Rights? A week after the Sandy Hook shooting, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre spoke on behalf of the NRA and dropped a bombshell.
“I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed officers in every single school in this nation,” LaPiere said.
Gun control is just that: control. It is a concept that doesn’t work. The main fallacy is that criminals fail to adhere to the law in the first place, so any sort of law pertaining to firearms, be it a ban on 30+ round magazines, or the institution of a gun free zone, will not be followed by criminals. The Aurora theatre was a gun-free zone; so was Virginia Tech. Every single “massacre” in the past 50 years besides one has taken place in a “gun-free zone”. Chicago is known for being a giant “gun-free zone”, and the state of Illinois is known for having the strictest gun control in the nation. The fact that Chicago has the highest murder rate in the nation, with over 500 homicides last year, isn’t a coincidence. All over the country, more and more people are obtaining concealed carry permits, and consequently, crime rates are decreasing, according to the FBI. The right to self-defense is not only a civil right, but also a human right.