The Rights to Bear Arms
Gun control is a very controversial issue among society at present. Many feel guns are the cause of a great amount of crime. This has been an especially popular topic recently in lieu of the shooting at Columbine and other high schools across the country. Are these crimes reason to take away our freedom to bear arms? I do not believe so. The average person uses guns mainly as a means of protection. If limitations are placed on guns, they will only stop the average American from obtaining a gun. The real criminals out there will still be able to obtain guns through the black market. Every American should have the right to protect them self.
The second amendment to the constitution of the United States says, “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.”1 This amendment enforced a practice that had been occurring in America for years. When the constitution was forming, there was not a large standing army. Many inhabitants were minutemen, who needed a gun to help protect society; this is why the militia was mentioned in the amendment. The militia clause is merely a rationale for preserving the right.1 Even if today's well-regulated militia were the National Guard, the Second Amendment still protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Many people feel this amendment should be changed, or more restrictions should be placed on people who want to purchase guns. Some believe that guns hurt more than they help, even though statistics prove otherwise. I feel that guns are not as big of a threat to society as people are lead to believe, mainly by the media. Fatal gun accidents declined by almost sixty percent from 1975 to 1995, even though the number of guns per capita increased by almost forty percent.2 The cart below shows that a number of crimes have started decreasing, even though sales in guns has increased. Recently, the media has shown many incidents of shootings in schools. This is nothing new, as the media makes it out to be. Schools have had trouble with crime for many years. Years ago metal detectors were installed in schools across the nation to stop violence in schools. These detectors were placed because there was a problem in the past. Crime related to guns has, in fact, gone down. The reality does not correspond to the perception created by the media. In 1992, 55 killings occurred in America's schools. In 1997 it was down to 25.3.2
Source: Data points from Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York 1997, and FBI Uniform Crime Reports. (Handgun homicide rate became available in 1966.)
Guns are a deadly weapon, and should be used with caution. This is why there are gun control laws. The methods of gun control at present consist of the government restricting the ability of individual citizens to purchase weapons. The different types of...