In Defense of the Rights Guaranteed by the Second Amendment

Mitchell Snyder ’19, Opinion Columnist

I don’t own a gun. Let me start by saying that upfront. Let me also say I  fully support our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. There are those in our society today who are quick to jump at the chance to take away, or severely limit a law abiding citizens right to bear arms for the perceived protection of society.

The most common argument made in favor of gun control is the new restrictions and regulations would curb gun violence. However, studies have shown theses measure simply don’t work.

In a report published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy it was found after an extensive study and analysis of available collaborative studies and data, that “… the consistent international pattern is that more guns equal less murder and other violent crime.”

Additionally, the publication went on to explain “This is futile [Gun Control], for reducing gun ownership by the law-abiding citizenry—the only ones who obey gun laws—does not reduce violence or murder.” The restrictions we already have in place are extensive enough without adding additional ones. Under our current laws all commercial arms dealers at gun shows must run background checks, and the only people exempt from them are the small number of non-commercial sellers.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at most only 2 percent of guns used by criminals are purchased at gun shows, and a majority of those guns were purchased legally by people who passed the background checks.

Now, I would be negligent as a writer  if I didn’t tell you I was partially moved by the arguments made by those supporting expansive gun control regulation. I certainly don’t want people to die, no one does, but as a society we cannot be scared into giving up our rights and personal liberties.

As Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s crime statistics there was only 12,253 homicide deaths in the United States in 2013, only 8,454 of which involved a firearm of some variation. However, according to the National Vital Statistics Report on Deaths in 2013 there was 38,851 deaths caused by unintentional poisoning, another 22,804 death caused by motor vehicle accidents and a shocking 30,208 death caused by unintentional falling.

Each one of the causes of death from the National Vital Statistics Report represents, numerically, a greater threat to the American people. If someone supports Gun Control because they wish to minimize the deaths caused in the United States, then they must also logically support a ban on motor vehicles, or perhaps banning any substance that could be poisonous, or even regulating or banning walking in an attempt to protect the people from themselves.

As a nation we should strive to recommit ourselves to the ideas of personal freedoms and liberties. We shouldn’t be pushing legislation that restrict rights of law abiding citizens, especially when such measures have been proven ineffective in achieving their desired goal.