by Jacob Anderson
I have been around guns all of my life. My dad collects, sells, and shoots firearms regularly. He has shown me the proper way to shoot and handle guns safely since as far back as I can remember. His voice still rings in my head saying “Always handle a gun as if it is loaded and never point in the direction of a person unless you plan to defend yourself.” My dad has raised me to be comfortable around weapons and to respect the damage that can be done by a firearm. Growing up around guns has helped me to understand the importance of protecting our right to keep and bear arms.
The Aurora movie theater, Sandy Hook Elementary, and the Von Maur tragedies portray the damage that can be done by a firearm in the hands of the wrong person. Shootings like these ignite the spark of the highly debated gun control laws that seek to diminish murders. Something needs to be done to stop these mass murders, but gun control is not the answer to the issue. Stricter regulations on guns aims to stop the use of an item that is useless unless it is held by a human. No matter how you look at these shootings, the man behind the trigger killed these people, not the weapon.
In a similar tragedy a few weeks ago, 21 people were stabbed in a Pennsylvania High School. After being caught, the stabber said “My work is not done, I have more people to kill” (Bothelo et. al par 1). The violent individual chose knives as a weapon and he was able to stab a large number of people. This just shows that if a person decides they want to cause bodily harm to an individual or a group of individuals, it can be done with or without guns. I doubt there will be a call to ban knives as a result of this situation. Last week was the one year anniversary of the gruesome Boston Marathon tragedy. This time, a bomb was made from materials that can be purchased at any hardware store. There are instructions on the internet that an elementary school student could use to build a similar bomb. The bombs injured over 144 people and at least 10 people suffered amputations. (Levs, Plott par 4). The problem is not with the gun, or the knife, or the pressure cooker, it is the individual behind the weapon of choice.
I am a firm believer in the rights afforded us by the Second Amendment. I want to be able to defend myself and my family if someone breaks into my home and threatens my loved ones. I refuse to cower in a corner if I am ever unfortunate enough to be in a public place when violence breaks out. I don’t ever want to be defenseless in the face or violence and be forced to sit back and watch as crazy people, criminals or terrorist wreak havoc around me.
I am not naïve enough to believe for one minute that our government officials can create laws that will stop the violence. We can continue to put more laws on the books, but unless we have a way to enforce them, they are completely useless. Shoplifting, drugs, driving under the influence, texting while driving and exceeding the speed limit are all against the law, yet all of these offenses occur hundreds of times a day right here in our community. I would hate to be in a situation where I feel forced to break the law in order to feel safe and able to defend myself against those that have no use for laws.
Even if there was a way to end the manufacturing and sale of guns, there will still be guns in circulation. Our law enforcement officials cannot seize all of the guns that are already out there. This would just create a black market for the manufacturing and sale of guns. Once again, the law abiding citizens would be at a disadvantage.
I believe the only thing that might make a would-be mass murderer or criminal in general think twice, is the possibility that someone in the crowd might fire back. Occasionally we hear of things like this happening, but if it were to happen more often, I think we could see a drop in gun crimes. As lieutenant Corporal Jeff Cooper of The American Pistol Institute says, “An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it” (Twain par 6). This of course can lead to another discussion about things like allowing school teachers and administrators to carry weapons. I believe the gun-free zones around schools allow the criminals a sense of security in knowing that they have total control over the situation, with no threat of having the tables turned on them.
Obviously, this is an issue that most people are very passionate about. I can understand why victims of gun crimes and their families are outraged and want to prevent the possibility of future tragedies. I just don’t believe that more gun laws are the answer.
Botelho, Greg, Shimon Prokupecz, and Haimy Assefa. “Complaint: School Stabbing Suspect Said, ‘I Have More People to Kill'” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Levs, Josh. “Boy, 8, One of 3 Killed in Bombings at Boston Marathon; Scores Wounded.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Twain, Mark. “Stand Your Ground Laws and the Dignity of Human Life.” Stand Your Ground Laws and the Dignity of Human Life. AWR Hawkins, 4 Apr. 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.