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Praise and worship at your local church or synagogue, singing out loud at your favorite concert, dancing like no one is watching at a night club or simply attending school like most adolescents in this country. How about getting some fast food dinner at McDonalds after an exhausting day at work? All of these public places are scenes for horrendous acts of violence involving guns; mass shootings. Does the pen write the poem? Or is it the poet that uses the pen to express his or her words on paper? An enlightening list of “The deadliest mass shootings in modern US history” can be found on a link from CNN (2018).
Most of these places being the last that one would think he or she would spend their final moments on earth. I believe less government involvement in gun control is key to keeping our 2nd amendment intact, following the Libertarianism ideology and using the contractualist theory, to refrain from the infringement of our rights our forefathers set out for citizens more than 223 years ago.
“People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others,” coming straight from the Libertarian platform of principles and beliefs. This is what happens when the “majority” rules over all American people. The government is in place to serve the American people, not to serve as a hidden agenda for radicals trying to impose things such as One World Order, for example.
Repealing the 2nd amendment would mean law abiding citizens would no longer have the right to bare arms.
What would this mean for criminals and non-law abiding Americans? Time and time again, it is repeat felons and criminals that seem to thrive where others obey and succumb to laws and regulations. Roughly 97.8% of mass shootings continue to occur in gun-free zones” (Crime Prevention Research Center,2018). This is great foresight into what our future would look like if it became criminal for American citizens to possess firearms. Kurtzleben, D. writes that “Chicago, being one of the cities where you can find the strictest of gun laws, had a staggering over 4,000 victims of gun related crimes last year alone.” (Kurtzleben ,2017,para.3).She goes on to describe that state lines don’t stop guns, and that bordering states with less strict gun laws like Wisconsin and Indiana, keep criminals well stocked with guns. The staggering comparison between Chicago’s population of 2.716 million people had a gun homicide rate for 2016 of 25.1% per 100,000 residents, while New York’s population of 8.623 million had only 2.3%. We can use this information as insight as to when non law abiding citizens want what they want, they will achieve it by any means necessary. Let’s not even mention black market sales that would not cease to exist with or without government involvement of gun control.
The Supreme Court unanimously held the prohibition of sawed off shot guns in 1939.(Stevens,2018,para. 4)The government extremists jump from regulating to trying to repeal the amendment itself entirely. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled against repealing the 2nd amendment in Heller v District of Columbia. Well known contractualist John Locke made a point to note how the state of nature was not bad, but citizens needed to secure their property. (Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., & Jones, W. S.,2017). A long standing way to secure ones property is with their right to bare arms, if we lose that right, who or what is to stop the unlawful people from taking what they want, when and how they want, whether it results in the loss of a life or not. Contactualist believe in the “social contract”, our primary contract being the Constitution. In an article written in the New York Times by former Supreme Justice, John Paul Stevens, he insists that demonstrators “seek more effective and lasting reform”, by demanding a repeal of the 2nd amendment. Ironic how a former Supreme Court Judicial, whose responsibility was to interpret whether legislations proposed fall within the lines of the Constitution, would welcome such ideas that entertain criminal behavior in itself. The highest law of the land, the Constitution, is to be upheld by the Supreme Court, not undermined by it.
Libertarians seek a “world of liberty, a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives”. Contrasting to Chicago’s strict gun laws prohibiting firearms, in a small town just outside Atlanta Georgia’s city limits, a place named Kennesaw, mandated in 1982 that ‘every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm.” (Jimenez,2018,para.7) While this is in fact a law in this town, not all home owners do own a gun, and it is not enforced by the police. The law was enacted in 1982 to act as a crime deterrent, and with the violent crime rate below 2%, and a total of one murder in the last six years, id say the crime deterrent was a success. Criminals usually prey on the weak and venerable, but in a town where it is the law to possess a gun, statistics show that the possibility alone of a person with a gun steers criminal acts away. “Government force must be limited to the rights of individuals to life, liberty and property.” Libertarian stance on crime and justice, how would one defend these rights against wrong doers if they lost their inherent right to bare arms? They would be at the liberty of the non-law abiding citizen with the illegal gun, if there was success in repealing the 2nd amendment. Not to mention, it being our last line of defense if our government turns against its people with a well-armed militia of their own.
Bottom line, individuals with malicious intent will try and succeed by any means necessary. Taking guns away from the American people will just force criminals to either purchase firearms illegally, or turn to other means of devastation; knives, bombs, vehicular attacks, there are some pretty innovative people in the world, I would hate to see what new ways of mass destruction they could come up with if the government involvement with gun control reaches its peak. Doleac, J. writes an article titled “Gun regulation is costly, and not the only option.” She goes on to purpose summer jobs for teens reduce mortality by 18 to 20 percent, and Cognitive behavioral therapy for at-risk young men would lower violent crime arrests by up to 50 percent. Maybe going after the source itself, the hand behind the trigger, would help to lower crime rates entirely if more time and energy were spent on investing in our citizens mental health at a young age, identifying and putting out the fire behind the eyes of these sick individuals who use guns on innocent Americans to get their voices herd or to even quiet the voices in their heads. When guns are owned legally, Kate Masters writes that the primary motivation for gun ownership among Americans is for self -defense; fear of other people. A survey of U.S. gun ownership done by Harvard and Northeastern reveals that with the rise in the national violent crime rate, the weapon of choice that is purchased is a handgun, not an AR-15, the semi-automatic weapon the government is using to showcase the necessity of gun control, ultimately leading to the second attempt of repealing the 2nd amendment. I can say as a law-abiding citizen who chooses to embrace my right to bare arms, if I were in one of the horrifying scenarios of a mass shooting, I would try and save as many lives as I possibly could. I will leave you with the question of how many lives could I save if I jumped in front of bullets ripping through the air towards school children? And how many lives could I potentially save if I were to use my legally purchased firearm to disarm and neutralize any threat to my fellow American people?
2018 Platform. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lp.org/platform/
Deadliest Mass Shootings in Modern US History Fast Facts. (2018, October 29). Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/us/20-deadliest-mass-shootings-in-u-s-history-fast-facts/index.html
Doleac, J. (2018). Gun Regulation Is Costly-and Not the Only Option. Retrieved from https://www.theregreview.org/2018/11/09/gun-regulation-costly-not-only-option/
Jimenez, O. (2018). In this American town, guns are required by law. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/06/us/kennesaw-georgia-gun-ownership/index.html
Kurtzleben, D. (2017). FACT CHECK: Is Chicago Proof That Gun Laws Don’t Work? Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2017/10/05/555580598/fact-check-is-chicago-proof-that-gun-laws-don-t-work
Masters, K. (2018). Most People Own Guns for Self-Defense, a Landmark Survey Finds. Retrieved from https://www.thetrace.org/2016/09/harvard-gun-ownership-study-self-defense/
Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., & Jones, W. S. (2017). Political science: An introduction. Harlow, England: Pearson.
Stevens, J. P. (2018). John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/opinion/john-paul-stevens-repeal-second-amendment.html
UPDATED: Mass Public Shootings keep occurring in Gun-Free Zones: 97.8% of attacks since 1950. (2018). Retrieved from https://crimeresearch.org/2018/06/more-misleading-information-from-bloombergs-everytown-for-gun-safety-on-guns-analysis-of-recent-mass-shootings/
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