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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Purpose of Gun Control

Gun control is a subject that almost everyone has an opinion on. Those on the left and even some on the right argue its about safety and security . Some on the right argue that gun control in some forms is ok while libertarians, in keeping with the idea of limited government, for the most part argue that any form of gun control is prohibited by the simple phrase "shall not be infringed upon". As such arguments still exist, there are three questions that will be answered.

Is it really about the guns? Those that support gun control show statistical data of how many times guns are used in crimes but not how often used in self-defense. According to Gary Kleck (a criminologist at Florida State University) guns are used 2 to 2.5 million times a year in self-defense while the BoJ recorded(in 1993) 1.3 million times that guns were used to help in the commission of a crime. This means that guns are used at least twice as often for defense rather than in crime. Another thing the pro gun control crowd leaves out is the total amount of crimes committed. In the same year that these studies took place, there were over 43 million crimes in the US. So if these numbers have held true (violent crime rates have dropped since 1993 according to the FBI) then why are guns being targeted? Guns are targeted because its easier to control the numbers of firearms rather then knives. Most knives you can buy with a simple id and no proof of a clean criminal record. Guns on the other hand have serial numbers that make them easier to track thus the reason these anti gun groups demand registration. These same groups say only police and military personal should have guns. The whole reason for this is its easier to control people who do not have the capacity to defend themselves.

The second question is what really happens when gun control laws are enacted? Is society more peaceful? Does the crime rate, especially violent crime, go down? Many that favor gun control bring up Japan. Japan however, is a much different society. The Japanese have no 4th or 5th amendments. This means that their police are allowed to enter your property and search it to find anything illegal. Most Americans would find this a gross violation as did the founding fathers. On the other side of the argument there is Switzerland.The Swiss have a low gun crime rate as well but they differ from the Japanese by having all males keep their assault weapons and military equipment in their homes as opposed to an armoury. Australia and the United Kingdom both have strict gun control laws as well and yet have seen an increase in the violent crime rate. With many States in the US now passing concealed carry laws, the violent crime rate has been and continues to drop.

Why should a free society be an armed society? Does it make citizens safer or does it make it easier to be a criminal? The main purpose to allow citizens the Right of keeping and bearing arms is defense.The Right to life that is inalienable to humans as written in the Declaration of Independence logically extends us the Right to defend that life. Through this reasoning, one should not be prohibited from using the most effective tool. An armed society creates an issue for those willing to harm their neighbors for they usually do not want to put their own lives in jeopardy. When governments order citizens to turn in firearms, they disarm the law-abiding citizen and turn him into a serf. The criminals on the other hand gain the advantage when citizens are disarmed because they will not turn in their weapons as they aren't concerned with laws to begin with. A freeman should always be able to defend his life and property, whether its from a single criminal or an abusive government.

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