Because of the establishment of concealed carry legislation by all states over the years, it has been increasingly possible for almost every American citizen to carry concealed weapons in public places. As unfortunate and horrifying gun violence tragedies like the Newtown School Shooting and Sandy Hook school shooting repeatedly occur, whether citizens should have the right to carry a conceal handgun in public has created a massive uproar. People have different views about this issue. Just as the Second Amendment states that every human being has the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, many gun-rights advocates believe that reasonable citizens have the right to carry any kind of concealed weapons for self-defense purposes. On the other hand, people who argue against the right of concealed carrying claim that the Second Amendment does not state that law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry concealed guns in public and they may consider concealed handguns as an inefficient form for defense purpose as it creates more chances for potential crimes and injuries.
As you can see, both sides have made very strong argument. Even though citizens without criminal records have the constitution right to keep and bear firearms, citizens’ rights to carry concealed handguns should come with limitations outside the home. In general, allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons does not benefit both of them, citizens and the public since it is not effective for self-defense and creates more chances for gun violence. To begin with, the United States has always been a nation of individuality. In the past, all Americans advocated armed self-defense to fight for liberation and to protect their lives from violence. In the era of emancipation, writers such as WEB Du Bois also supported that guns are necessary tools to defend African Americans’ lives. Hence it is not surprising that gun ownership is legalized in the United States. Needless to say, guns have become a part of American culture.
However, when hearing news of mass shootings recently, most people from outside the United States think they must have happened in the United States. And it is because the majority of the deadliest mass killings in the world took place in the United States in the past few years. Accordingly, a comparison study on twenty-six developed countries that held by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that the United States has the highest level of gun ownership per capita and also has the highest rate of gun homicides. (Bagnall) Guns increase the gun violence in the society and further infringe on the base philosophy security of the United States. Lao-Tzu’s philosophies create persuasive argument on gun issues. As he suggested in Tao-te Ching “weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them. Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint” In his opinion, law-abiding citizens should have no need for weapons.
If people were unable to carry concealed guns, there would be probably less need for protection by concealed weapons. The goal for the society is to reduce violence as much as possible. As a matter of fact, allowing unstable people to carry concealed guns in public makes it easier for them to use guns to commit as many gun-related crimes in public as possible. Janet Bagnall, a columnist who writes for the Times and Colonist Newspaper has made a strong argument that “where guns were more available, there were more homicides.” Carrying concealed gun is not a way to protect people, but to put other people at risk of an injury or even death as it increase chances that people shoot each other when they are intoxicated, nervous, or irritable. Precedent Obama was quoted in an Apr. 2, 2008 article saying, “I am not in favor of concealed weapons. I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.” (ProCon) A person from other countries such as England or Costa Rica or Japan is less likely shoot and kill someone when he has the impulse to do so since lethal weapons are not easily accessible in those countries.
However, it might be easier for that person to misuse his guns and be involved in criminal activity if the person happen to be an American citizen and own a murderous weapon, as America is a country flooded with guns. The high gun owner rate makes guns more accessible for criminals. In addition, people with concealed weapons even kill many more people in cheaper, quicker, and easier ways than if they did not have handguns. For instance, the shooting spree on the campus of Virginia Tech that killed thirty-two people was less likely to happened or killed less people if the gunman couldn’t carry a handgun. It is true that “guns did not kill people, people kill people.” Since handgun is primarily designed to kill people and not for sport or other purposes, it is not a toy that should be carried in a person’s purse. It is true that the high ownership of guns is out there in the United States, and no one can guarantee that it can be completely reduced by banning concealed carry. However it would stop insane and violent people from using guns easily in public places and then gradually reduce gun violence.
What is more, concealed weapons are not effective for self-defense in bars, theaters and other public places. Many people with concealed guns are more likely to be attacked than a victim who has no gun, as they are not properly trained on conflict resolution and thus unable to fight back to the attacker or to solve the conflicts. For instance, just imagine what would happen if guns were taken away from citizens and used to overpower them or other people in public places? According to the data sets that were provided by the Violence Policy Center, only 0.8 percent of victims of both attempted and completed violent crimes involved using guns as self-defense behavior between years 2007 and 2011. The most reliable data show that guns were used only 338,700 times in self-defense, and this includes off-duty police. Truly handguns deter criminals from committing crimes such as burglary in people’s homes.
Given that there are more than 300 millions guns in the United States, it is impossible to suggest that guns are an effective form for self-defense in public. Allowing citizens to carry a concealed handgun does not lessen the chance of being attacked. Instead, it increases the chances of unintended public shootings. Aristotle made a strong argument in the Nicomachean Ethics, a wise man will never put himself into needless danger. Carrying guns will never be intelligent action as it potentially put one’s lives into danger. If citizens are permitted to carry concealed guns in public areas, criminals are also more likely to be armed.
The reason is that there is always a chance that victims would be armed. Moreover, killing with guns is not necessary even it is for self-defense. Applying Aristotle’s virtue ethics, living is necessary to be happy. Caring about others is human nature as people are social animals. But killing with guns will absolutely unnecessary for personal happiness as it may lead to horrible thing happen on other people. Gun violence is not the only way to fight against violence. There are still many other ways that citizens can defend themselves in public.
Most important, the Second Amendment limits the concealed carry right. Every constitutional right comes with reasonable restrictions when it begins to threaten the nation and other citizens. In other words, although individuals’ freedom of religious belief is advocated by the constitution, they are still not allowed to practice human sacrifice, as it is a violation of human rights. In the same manner, individuals can get themselves into troubles of libel and slander, defamation even though they have freedom of speech. Hence gun rights are not an exception either. It is true that the Second Amendment guarantees that individuals with clean records are allowed keeping arms for defending themselves and their property lawfully at homes. The law clearly states that reasonable citizens have the right to bear arms and keep the government secure. But it does not mean that they can carry guns everywhere.
According to Adam Cohen who is a former member of the New York Times editorial board, the Supreme Court in Heller declared “America has a long tradition of bans on concealed weapons – and of courts upholding them.” Therefore, the Second Amendment does not extend to the right to carry a concealed weapon in public. Law-biding citizens can keep their guns at home and that is enough. Guns do not make sense for solving problems and are not going to not make today’s society better. To sum up, carrying concealed weapons in public threatesn the constitutional order. Recent mass shootings have become one portion of the long-term trend of gun violence in the United States.
As mentioned above, the dangers of concealed weapons in public places are something that should no longer be ignored. Without doubt, there are only two reasons for carrying guns in public. One is to prevent individuals from danger and another is to commit a crime. If everyone are not allow to carry concealed handguns in public places, then why is there a need for individuals to carry guns? Though it is unlikely that the debate between gun ownership and concealed carry rights will ever end; one thing is certain, legalizing concealed carry may obviously cause more lethal crimes to occur. The American political system needs to find a balance between security and freedom. Banning concealed carry is something the federal government of America should take into considerations.
ProCon.org. (2014, October 28). Concealed Guns ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://concealedguns.procon.org/
Bagnall, J. (23, December 12). Column: Gun laws make a difference in mass killings. Retrieved November 17, 2014, from http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/column-gun-laws-make-a-difference-in-mass-killings-1.32450 Lao-Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Retrieved November 18, 2014, from
Guns are Rarely Used to Kill Criminals or Stop Crimes New VPC Analysis Reveals. (2013, April 15). Retrieved November 17, 2014, from
Ross, W.D. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.2.ii.html
Cohen, A. (2013, March 4). The Next Gun Control Battle: A Right To Carry Firearms in Public? Retrieved November 18, 2014, from http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/04/the- next-gun-control-battle-a-right-to-carry-firearms-in-public/
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