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The Right To Keep And Bear Arms

1677 words - 7 pages

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The right to keep and bear arms was considered a fundamental, individual right in the original 13 colonies from the pre-Revolutionary period through the ratification of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution in 1791. The Amendment 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. The right to keep and bear arms has been a topic of extreme controversy in this century and can be argued equally from both sides. The first side says that it is our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. On the flip side, it is too dangerous and would increase the number of violent crimes. No matter which side is right, there has to be a middleman to regulate the extent of "the right to bear arms".
Up to the 1900's people didn't even second-guess this amendment. Everyone realized how important guns were to maintain a polite and respectful society. Knowing that almost every man was carrying a gun was reason enough for a criminal to think twice about committing a crime. A person could walk down the street without fear knowing they had their gun at their hip if anything went wrong. A sidearm was just as commonplace as the wearing of a belt; it became part of your daily garment worn out of habit. (Larson). As time went on, we became more and more civilized, and people started to feel there was less and less of a need for guns. In today's world, there are so many people opposed to guns the right to owning one may be taken away. Many people feel guns are the cause of too much unnecessary violence and a great number of accidental deaths.
It is true that guns are the cause of many accidental deaths. To be exact in 1997 there were 1,500 accidental deaths involving firearms in the US. (National Safety Council). When this is compared to the rates of accidental deaths caused by something other than guns, it doesn't even come close. Accidental gun deaths ranked under every other category (motor vehicles, falls, poisoning by solids or liquids, drowning, fires and burns, and suffocation by swallowing an object) except for one; poisoning by gases or vapors. The closest accidental death to guns was suffocation by swallowing an object, which was still over twice the rate of guns at 3,300 deaths. (National Safety Council).
As far as overall gun violence is concerned, according to the FBI's 1998 Uniform Crime Reports, the overall violent crime rate in the US decreased about 7%. Robbery alone declined by 11%, the lowest since 1969. In addition, murder dropped by 7%, the lowest since 1967. More significantly, despite the fact the number of firearms and handguns owned by individual Americans continued to increase from 1997-1998, the FBI also reported the rate of firearms used to commit murder and robberies decreased in 1998. (1998 Uniform Crime Reports). These facts conclusively prove that firearms owned by peaceable...

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