A Weapon for Self Defense
The following celebrities have stated his or her stance on gun control in the following quotes. Ted Nugent states, “To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness? How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic. (Buckeye Firearms Association 2009). Clint Eastwood also states, “I have a strict gun control policy: if there is a gun around, I want to be in control of it. (Buckeye Firearms Association 2009). Finally, James Earl Jones was quoted as saying, “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.” (Buckeye Firearms Association 2009). Are these quotes to be considered opinionated views? Perhaps, but each is logical and valid. Should law-abiding citizens have the option to own and carry a gun for the use of self-defense? The answer is yes.
While gun control advocates fight for stricter gun control laws; anti-gun control supporters believe that stricter gun control laws will limit and prohibit a citizen’s Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms”. There are enough extensive gun control laws already. Creating and passing stricter gun control laws would only make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect his or herself. Self-Defense Guns are used 2. 5 million times a year in self-defense (Gun Owners of America 2004). What is this organization and who are they to provide such a startling statistic?
The Gun Owners of America is an organization created in 1975 and currently has 300,000 members. Gun Owners of America was founded, “to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. ” (Gun Owners of America 2004). With a statistic like that, what law-abiding citizen would not want to own a gun for self-defense? The Gun Owners of America (2004) further states that: Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2. 5 times every year – or about 6,850 times a day.
This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives. (Gun Owners Foundation, 2004 p. 1) To support the issue of self-defense further, the article, “Is Gun Ownership Dangerous” (2009) describes the reasons for the right of an individual to own and use a gun in self-defense. The most significant dispute that supporters of gun rights argue consists of the right for each individual in our American society to be allowed to have possession of a gun and is allowed to exercise the right to use a gun for means of self-protection.
Gun right advocates suggest that police officers are unable to defend individuals in their house, vehicles, or communal places from criminal offenders, because the officers usually enter the scene of the crime subsequently to the crime taken place. In concurrence with this observation, an individual’s only defense if he or she fall victim to burglary, sexual attack, or murder; is having a device that will permit him or her to defend him or herself.
In many arguments, gun supporters suggest, if an individual presents a firearm in observation of a criminal, this simple act might be all it takes to discourage and inhibit an offense from occurring. If an assailant persists, supporters of gun rights state that an individual possessing a firearm still has the opportunity to avoid any risk of being assaulted (Guns and Crime, 2009). Gun Control Laws According to the above stated statistics, why do gun control advocates continue to fight for stricter gun control laws? The National Rifle Association Institute for Legal Action does not believe that stricter gun control laws are necessary.
Who is this group and what do they stand for? The National Rifle Association Institute for Legal action was founded in 1975 and currently has 300,000 members. This group consists of anti-gun control advocates who are dedicated to protecting the right of all United States citizens to procure, own and utilize firearms for lawful reasons as pledged within the United States Constitution within the Second Amendment. Andrew Arulanandam, the National Rifle Association’s Director of Public Affairs stated, “We have adequate gun laws on the books and if a crime occurs, those criminals need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The question becomes how do you make something that is already illegal more illegal. ” Jost (2008). Furthermore Jost (2008) reveals the following: Gun advocates – including the powerful, 3-million-member National Rifle Association – defend what they view as an individual constitutional right to use firearms in hunting, sport shooting and self-defense. They argue that gun owners and dealers are already subject to a web of federal, state and local firearms laws and regulations. The key to reducing gun violence, they say, lies with tougher penalties against criminals who use guns, instead of more restrictions on gun owners. Jost, 2008, p. 2) The resolution lies in stricter laws and enforced punishments for illegal gun usage and sales, not stricter laws that prohibit or exclude law-abiding citizens from obtaining and owning guns for self-defense. However, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is determined to prove individuals and officials otherwise. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is an organization that guides the fight to prevent gun violence, along with other grassroot organizations. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence originated from an organization known as Handgun Control, Inc.
Jim and Sarah Brady are the founders of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Jim Brady was the Whitehouse Press Secretary when Ronald Reagan was in office. Brady and the former President were both shot by John Hinckley who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. (Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence 2009). According to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (2009), its goal is stated that, “As the Brady Center, we work to reform the gun industry by enacting and enforcing sensible regulations to reduce gun violence, including regulations governing the gun industry. What has this organization accomplished? The answer is The Brady Law. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, also known as “Brady Law” was signed into law on November 30, 1993, and went into effect in February 1994. In its original form, the Brady Law required a five-day waiting period and background check before completion of the sale of a handgun. Unfortunately, the gun lobby was able to weaken the Brady so that on November 30, 1998, the five-day waiting period for handgun purchasers expired.
It was replaced by a mandatory, computerized National Instant Check System, which provides the information for criminal background checks on all firearm purchasers, not just those buying handguns. The results were devastating. (Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence 2007) What have stricter gun control laws contributed to so far? Death, as explained in the following cases. Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for the Gun Owners of America. Pratt (2001) stated that, “ten years ago this month, a Brady –style waiting period resulted in the death of Bonnie Elsmari of Wisconsin. ” This is Bonnie Elsmari’s story:
In March of 1991, Bonnie had inquired about getting a gun to protect herself from a husband who had repeatedly threatened to kill her. She was told there was a 48 hour waiting period to buy a handgun. But unfortunately, Bonnie was never able to pick up her gun. She and her two sons were killed the next day by an abusive husband of whom the police were well aware. (Gun Owners of America 2001). This is Rayna Ross’s story: On June 29, 1993, at three o’clock in the morning, a 21-year-old woman named Rayna Ross was awakened by the sound of a burglar who had broken into her apartment and entered her bedroom.
The burglar was her ex-boyfriend, a man who had previously assaulted her. This time, having smashed his way into her apartment, he was armed with a bayonet. Miss Ross took aim with a . 380 semi-automatic pistol and shot him twice. The burglar’s death was classified as a “justifiable homicide” by the Prince William county commonwealth’s attorney, which determined that Miss Ross had acted lawfully in shooting the attacker. Here’s the real scary part to this story, Miss Ross had bought her handgun one full business day before the attack, thanks to Virginia’s “instant background check. Virginia’s 1993 Democratic candidate for the governor, Mary Sue Terry (endorsed by Handgun Control, Inc.), proposed that although the Virginia instant check already checks all handgun buyers – Virginia handgun purchasers should undergo a “cooling-off period” of five business days. Had the proposal been law in Virginia in 1993, Rayna Ross would now be undergoing a “permanent” permanent cooling off period. This is Catherine Latta’s story: In September 1990, Catherine Latta went to police to obtain permission to buy a handgun. Her ex-boyfriend had previously robbed her, assaulted her several times, and raped her.
The clerk at the sheriff’s office informed her that the gun permit would take two to four weeks. Ms Latta told the clerk, “I’d be dead by then”. That afternoon she went to a bad part of town and bought an illegal $20 semi-automatic pistol on the street. Five hours later, her ex-boyfriend attacked her outside her house, and she shot him dead. Fortunately in this case, the county prosecutor decided not to prosecute Ms. Latta for either the self-defense homicide, or the illegal gun. Now why is it, that stricter gun control laws are needed? Gun control laws have contributed only innocent people dying.
Gun control advocates believe that stricter gun control laws will reduce violence, prevent accidental deaths, and deter crime. There has been no proof to show that by enforcing stricter gun control laws, violence will decrease. There has been no evidence that enforcing stricter gun control laws criminals will be deterred from committing violent crimes. However, it is evident that the enforcement of stricter gun control laws will hinder a law-abiding citizen the ability to own a firearm for self-defense. The citizens of the United States have the right to protect themselves and their families.
Although many gun control advocates will continue to try to infringe on the gun rights of the law-abiding citizens of the United States, Americans who take advantage of their Constitutional right to bear arms, will continue to legally possess a firearm and furthermore continue to support anti-gun control advocates in their on-going efforts to defend our freedoms. Do individuals want to be part of the effort to defend our freedoms, therefore choosing the right to possess a gun in order to protect themselves and their families? The answer is yes.