Gun rights can be a touchy topic, especially considering Virginia Tech’s past. I would like to start off by saying that when I advocate for gun rights and against gun-free zones, I do not seek to neglect the horrific mass shootings that have taken place on college campuses and around the United States.
The people of the United States have the right to own a firearm under the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which 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.” Many politicians, specifically politicians on the left, seem to believe that this amendment needs to be updated or interpreted differently. As former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once said, “The Constitution is not a living organism, it's a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn't say what it doesn't say."
As citizens, we know how inefficient and unorganized our government can be, so why should we trust our politicians when they say that we will be safe, if not safer, without our own personal protection? Personally, I would rather be in control of my safety, especially if it comes down to a life or death situation.
One of the ways the left is trying to take away gun rights is by passing an assault rifle ban. Not too long ago, I did not see a problem with banning assault rifles, as I assumed it meant militaristic rifles that the everyday American has no logical use for. However, I later found out the term “assault rifle” can mean whatever a politician wants it to mean. Politicians, primarily on the left, are misleading the American people by using terms that have no concrete meaning.
Another way the left has tried to take away gun rights is by implementing gun-free zones. A gun-free zone is exactly what is sounds like; it’s a place where citizens are not legally allowed to carry guns. In a fairytale, perhaps this would be a great idea. No one carries a gun, no shootings and no robberies, right? Wrong. The people who commit gun violence are not law-abiding citizens. If you haven’t noticed, murder and assault are already illegal. The law does not act as a deterrent for any of the people who have committed or wish to commit such acts.
The only people who truly abide by gun-free zones are the people who respect the law and have no intent of using their gun to harm an innocent person. These zones unarm the good guys and have no impact on the bad guys, essentially making citizens in a gun-free zone sitting ducks. Many gun-free zones are advertised as such. By advertising that a place is a gun-free zone, one is in turn announcing that those inside are defenseless, and therefore an easy target. Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Politicians on the left are making it so that good men have no option but to do nothing.
Now that I have established that there’s little logic behind creating extremely rigid gun laws, let’s look at the left’s record of accomplishment, or in this case, the lack of such. Illinois is one of the top ten states with the strictest gun laws. Chicago, one of Illinois’ major cities, had 762 gun-related deaths in 2016 alone. This is the highest number of gun-related deaths the city has seen in 19 years. Detroit, the city with the second highest murder rate in the country, also has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. In 2016, Detroit had 302 homicides.
These two cities not only have some of the harshest gun laws in the nation, but they also have some of the highest murder rates in the United States. A list of a few countries and regimes that were or still are gun-free zones include Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and now the struggling socialist country of Venezuela. These draconian gun laws are ineffective and illogical as shown by their inability to keep those residing inside safe and secure.
Our government should be promoting gun ownership rather than placing powerless laws on them. A great example of more armed citizens decreasing crime is Switzerland. In Switzerland, every man who is a citizen serves in the Swiss national military and is obligated to keep their rifle and ammunition in his home. As of 2010, Switzerland only had 0.5 gun-related deaths for every 100,000 citizens. As a conservative, I am not supportive of the government mandating that every U.S. male in the military own a personal gun, however, I do think politicians and citizens on the left need to realize that by un-arming themselves and other citizens, they are in fact creating more victims to gun-related deaths.
Another flaw in the gun control debate is that leftists fail to recognize the personal responsibility of the shooter. The gun does not pull the trigger, just like a spoon doesn’t make someone overweight. People make themselves overweight and people choose to pull the trigger. The shooter makes a cognitive decision to pull the trigger and harm another person. If a student misspells a word on a spelling test should the teacher ban pencils? Of course not, so why should our government ban guns when someone misuses one? They shouldn’t; a gun, like a pencil, is a tool. There’s no logic nor facts supporting that banning guns will work or has worked. As Ronald Reagan once said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.”