BY Abelino Ruiz
There are approximately 270,000,000 privately owned guns in the United States of America. That makes it the highest per capita number in the world. 22% of Americans own at least one firearm. America’s gun policies are reflective of our colonial history, the Revolutionary period, and frontier expansion. The Second 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 Second Amendment clearly protects individual gun ownership. Right to bear arms is a tradition older than the country itself. Free gun ownership is just as important as free speech, freedom of the press, free religion, and various other freedoms enacted to protect the common citizen against powerful government.
Gun control laws do not deter crime; gun ownership deters crime. States with strict gun laws found that when guns were more restricted, crime rates skyrocketed. Criminals are less likely to attack someone if they suspect their victim may possess a firearm. There is a saying that goes like this: If guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns.
Strict gun laws infringe upon the right to self-defense and make it difficult for people to defend their home and families. There is another saying that proclaims, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Dianne Feinstein, a gun control advocate, carried a concealed weapon because she feared for her life. Surprisingly, this just adds to the growing number of hypocritical politicians.
Gun laws that ban the purchase and ownership of “assault weapons” infringe upon the use of guns for sport and hunting. High-power rifles and shotguns are used for hunting and gun shooting tournaments. There were 13.7 million hunters aged 16 and older in 2011 and 32% of gun owners use firearms for hunting.
Criminals will not stop breaking laws. If guns are taken away from law abiding citizens, it will only make things easier for the criminals. Chicago is one of a handful of cities that have enacted strict laws on gun ownership. Gun shops, shooting ranges, assault weapons, and high capacity magazines are banned in Chicago. Between 2001 and 2012, 50,000 guns were seized in Chicago. They came from all 50 states and the majority of them were obtained outside of Illinois.
I truly believe that if the government were to enact strict gun laws on a federal level, chaos would ensue and crime would be through the roof. The only reason many European countries are able to restrict any sort of firearms possession except in the case of law enforcement and other protection agencies is because these laws have been in place since the invention of guns. America has always allowed citizens to possess firearms. They are everywhere. We can construct the laws, but we can’t demolish the guns.