- Politics and Social Issues
Why Civilians Should Only be Allowed to use Guns for Hunting
Gun laws have been somewhat of a hot topic in America for quite some time now. Everyone in this country has their reasons why they think guns should or should not be banned. The decision-makers of whether or not to do so are typically the state governments. State police powers defined in the constitution provide individual states with much of the authority to determine gun safety laws, and whether or not guns in general, or certain types thereof, should be prohibited. However, the United States Supreme Court could potentially ban guns entirely across the nation based on a Second Amendment constitutional issue, although given continuing public support for keeping at least certain types of guns legal in this country I seriously doubt that will ever happen. Still a large minority of Americans think this should be the case. Are they right, or should the small majority who believe the Second Amendment should continue to serve as a safeguard against a potential restriction on the right to bear arms in America speak for everyone.
This article is merely about where I stand on this issue. While I don't purport my reasons are any better or worse than those of others who have expressed their views on this topic, I would hereby like to state my opinions nonetheless. If I can enlighten even just a few people out there in any way on this topic by doing so, I believe such ends would justify the means. So here's my views in a nutshell:
Personally, I don't see the need for assault type guns, and pistols to be available on the market. I can think of absolutely no good reason why any civilian should have the right to own such a gun. People have argued they should be available for safety, but I don't find this argument the least bit compelling. The only time a gun would be necessary for safety would be when someone is being threatened with a weapon of equal force. And the only way a person could be prepared for such a threat would be to carry a loaded gun with them at all times. If someone breaks into your home with a gun, and threatens to shoot you with it, you're clearly not going to have time to run into your closet, fetch that pistol you were storing there for safety, and load it for self defense purposes. No, you would pretty much have to have it on your person loaded at the time of the break-in for it to actually come in handy during such an occasion. And I seriously doubt many people would disagree that allowing people, other than police officers, to carry loaded pistols with them at all times would create far more danger to the public than it would help to make things safer.
While owning a gun might help people feel safer, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll actually be safer. If someone points a gun at you and says "don't move," and you decide for safety to reach for that loaded handgun you tucked under your belt that day, guess what, you may very well never move again, literally. And I firmly believe there are better safety mechanisms for such incidents than owning a gun. Having alternative escape routes from homes and offices, carrying cell phones, and possibly other less dangerous weapons, like mace could prove to be far more effective safety mechanisms than carrying a pistol everywhere you go. It seems to me a lot of people who make the claim that they should be available to the public for safety are merely using this argument as an excuse to justify their apparent inflated egos.
That being said, I think the only good reason guns should continue being allowed on the market for civilians to purchase is for hunting. Yes, I know the animal activists are strongly opposed to this, and a lot of people in general believe it's cruel to hunt down wild animals. As a hunter, I don't personally enjoy killing animals myself, but the truth is we would face some serious ecological issues if it weren't allowed, subject to DNR restrictions of course. Deer would become seriously overpopulated causing numerous unnecessary car accidents, wiping out crops, and becoming a major nuisance to many agricultural activities. Keeping deer and other wild game populations under control is a necessity for the decency and welfare of this nation, and the only feasible way of doing this is through hunting.
It additionally provides a vast amount of food that would otherwise had to have been produced through other means. This frees up a great deal of food supplies that could be sent to more needy societies, or used to feed the hungry right here in America. This seems to me a much better fate for wild game than to starve to death, or die of disease due to overpopulation. And the only feasible way to accomplish this is to continue to allow hunting. And to continue to allow hunting means certain types of guns need to remain legal as well. I'm not talking about Magnum 44's, or AKA-47's, but shotguns and rifles designed for hunting should stay on the market, and civilians who pass necessary background checks should continue to be allowed to purchase them, for hunting purposes only.
In conclusion, hunting in accordance with state laws can be a valuable state service, and an efficient means of obtaining food. If all guns were prohibited, most forms of hunting would have to be prohibited as well. This would give rise to overly dense populations of deer, black bear, coyotes, wild hogs, and other North American species causing problems with the ecology at a macro level, as well as the economy at a micro level. Guns designed for hunting should remain legal on the market for civilians to purchase and own for this reason, and for this reason only.