Like every other good ol' boy, I am concerned about being the victim of a random shooting, but at the same time, I want to be able to take down a nice10-point buck during hunting season. Guns effect every one of us every day. They fill us with fear or they make us feel protected. My point is this: guns are a problem, but using gun control to abolish them isn't necessarily the best solution. In gun control I mean laws that keep firearms off the street by preventing their purchase. I agree that some form of gun control is needed, butwhat we really need to concentrate on is gun licensing and more gun safety. I believe in my constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and I don't feel that legislators should be allowed to take away that right. Gun control can be a good thing, but if it leads to gun prohibition I will fight it until the day I die.
Our country was founded on the basis of guns. The wars were won with guns and the people were protected by guns. Guns were so important that they were placed in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution:
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. Amendment II
From this amendment it is apparent that the founders of our country knew in 1791 that guns did and would continue to play a role in the lives of Americans. Things haven't really changed that much.
Gun control was brought into play to protect citizens from criminals and lunatics who shouldn't have guns in the first place. But only 27 percent of the criminals who are in prison for crimes involving guns have obtained them legally (Henderson 23). If criminals can find guns illegally now, how is more gun control going to stop them from getting them later? Groups against gun control,the most dominant being the NRA (National Rifle Association), are afraid gun control is the first step in outlawing guns. Though the government is trying to help, they aren't solving any of the problems, they are just making it harder for the average citizen to obtain a gun.
It is the average citizen, after all, who is going to go out and buy a firearm legally. When it comes to handguns, most are just looking for protection for themselves and their loved ones. Robert Dillon writes, "Yeah, I armed myself two years ago. Why? Because like a lot of other Angelenos, I was scared. My 26-year-old son was shot in his car on Crescent Heights, near Pico..." (Dillon53). People are frightened. If we don't allow guns, we are denying people their right to protect themselves and taking away their sense of security. They don't want to be killed due to lack of protection.
If one were to stop and think about it, the old saying that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is truly valid. Groups for stricter gun control,such as Handgun Control Inc. (HCI), argue that guns do kill people. They think that it is the gun that makes people feel they are in the right and have the power to take someone's life and control a situation (Kriegel 818). In reality, one cannot place the blame on the gun. Guns aren't animate objects that can pick their victims. Guns require people to pull the trigger. For this reason it is my belief that the emphasis of gun control should be placed on teaching gun safety and keeping the criminals from getting their hands on firearms.
On the topic of ideal gun control, Karl Simon writes, "...the 'ideal' gun control program [is] one that does not pose serious barriers to the possession of handguns for legitimate purposes, but does effectively inhibit the use of handguns in crime by a method which has low cost to the criminal justice…