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Why Americans Need More Guns (and Less Gun Control)
In the coming days and week, America will be having a national conversation. This conversation will be a turning point for the future of America’s gun laws. After the horrific, inexcusable act of pure evil that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, American are scared. They are angry. They want to know why this happened, and how to prevent it from happening again.
The problem in America is not guns. Guns themselves do not kill people. It takes a person to load, aim, and fire the weapon at another human being. All physical objects can be used in a way to create death in the right (the wrong) hands, from cars to planes, to screwdrivers, hammers, golf clubs, and more. Any of these can be used to harm or kill another human being. In terms of guns, think of it this way. There are currently more than 235,000,000 guns legally owned in the USA. Just fewer than 9,000 people were murdered by a firearm in 2010. If you do the math, assuming that these people died from separate guns (which they all did not), guns used for murder account for just 0.000383% of all guns owned in the USA. If guns themselves killed people, that number would be a lot higher. If you add in illegally owned firearms used to kill people, that percent gets smaller. You can’t spin the facts, America does not have a gun problem; it has a violence problem. All of these mass acts of terror have one thing in common, (and it’s not guns, Timothy McVeigh and the 9/11 terrorists did not need them), and that one thing is a mentally deranged, sick, person committing the crime. We as Americans need to be able to defend ourselves from the horrors that are reality in the world we live in.
America needs gun laws that work. America needs to have more guns in the hands of trained, law-abiding citizens. In 1993, a study by Gary Kleck found that 2.45 million crimes were thwarted each year in the US by potential victims who used a gun to deter the would be criminal. Most recently, a 77 year old grandmother in Atlanta shot at a man who broke through her window, in Detroit, an 81 year old man did the same. A store clerk in Texas shot a man in the leg after he tried to rob the store with a knife, and at an AutoZone Store, a store clerk who escaped the robbery, went to his car and got his handgun, brought it back in, and scared off the robber who had the store manager held at gunpoint. Stories like this happen daily. Most criminals don’t want to die; they just want their crime to be as easy as possible. They usually run when threatened with a gun. For those few sick individuals that don’t care and are planning on killing themselves anyway, being able to shoot them dead before they inflict harm is a must. At the Oregon mall shooting, which has become lost in the news because of this last tragedy, a man who heard the gun shots and was in the mall crossed paths with the murderer. He pulled out his legally concealed gun and took aim, only hesitating to fire because an innocent shopper who was fleeing the area was in his line of fire, before he had another clear shot; the murder took his own life before the police could end it themselves.
To prevent this unnecessary bloodshed, America needs a call to arms, not a gun ban. If we are allowed to bring guns into church, to the mall, to banks, to movie theaters, into restaurants across the nation, criminals would think twice before attempting to rob someone. More guns in a location won’t increase crime. That hypothesis is flawed. Banning guns from certain locations does nothing to deter gun crime. If you jam pack an area full of law abiding citizens, carrying firearms, guess what? The law abiding citizens don’t murder people. On the contrary, criminals don’t care about gun laws, and gun free zones, if they did; there would be no bank robberies or school shootings because they wouldn’t be bringing the gun inside in the first place. In reality, they do. Criminals break the law and bring guns to places they shouldn’t. Imagine that. That’s why we need fewer restrictions on where firearms are allowed. All gun free zones do is let would be criminals know where they will find an unarmed target. A federal judge recently overturned an Illinois ban on conceal and carry noting that a typical citizen of Illinois faces a greater chances of being threatened on the street, then in their high rise apt. Law abiding citizens make up over 95% of gun ownership. If we were allowed to bring guns with us anywhere, citizens can react faster than the police can get there. It takes the police on average 2-3mins to get to a particular location. It doesn’t take a killer that long to unload a clip or two. Citizens who are armed and ready can take down the would be assailant in seconds, not minutes after he or she starts the crime.
Gun Control Activists say we need to ban assault rifles and high capacity ammo. This will not solve our violence problem. Of the 12,996 murder victims in 2010 (8,775 by firearm), only 358 or 0.027% of all murders, were caused by rifles. More people die every month via handguns then we have had die in mass shootings this year combined. Since 2008, more than 400,000 Assault Rifles have been sold in the US. If guns killed people, and if the sole purpose of only assault rifles was to inflict harm on other humans, wouldn’t you expect there to be more incidents of mass death?
What happened in Newtown, Connecticut is beyond atrocious. Anytime a person dies needlessly it’s sad, but when it’s an innocent child, it hits you right in the gut. To prevent further horrors like this from making the headlines we need not to disarm law-abiding citizens and make it harder for those citizens to get the guns they need to make them and their families’ safe, but rather put measures in place that will stop shootings like this in the first place. We need armed personal in schools. One school district in Texas already does this. The school is 18 miles and about 20minutes away from the nearest police station. It has some of its teachers in the “Guardian” program. Those teachers and staff not only go through conceal and carry training, but also additional guardian training focusing on aim. No one except the principal and the superintendent know which teachers are armed. Pray to the heavens that they don’t ever have to use the guns, but if a gunman enters the school, the teachers will be ready. It only takes seconds for a school gunman to inflict harm; it takes minutes for police to arrive, and longer for Special Forces. In school shootings, teachers are the first responders. Why should we ask them to protect our children, but not allow them to be armed?
We need measures like the guardian program across America’s schools. If we armed 10-15% of our teachers and staff at each school, one could argue that any would be shooter would be dead before they got 20 feet. Yes some people may still die, but it wouldn't be in the double digits. After 9/11, we beefed up security screening and put air marshals on airplanes and 10 years later, we have had no terrorist attacks on America. We need to same attitude towards our schools. We can disarm and pass all the gun controls we want, but evil knows no bounds, and respects no law. If an assailant wanted to make a bomb to place in the school cafe, he could, if he wanted to use a crossbow, he could. Guns are not the only means of carrying out violence, but guns are one of the best ways to respond to violence. America needs guns, more of them.