I read a blog article today lamenting the Arizona shooting in January, the deaths of the six people who died and the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. I agree, that day will live on as a tragedy of our societyhat will be
regretted for many years to come. But the conclusion of that blog post was that guns should not be allowed to be a part of our society and that the Constitution is being misinterpreted. I admire the author’s bold exclamation but feel that it is woefully lacking in understanding of the intent of our Constitution. Jared Loughner was an unbalanced crazy person. No law will ever protect us from crazy.
To say that guns should be outlawed as a logical result of this horrible shooting is like saying that when the jilted wife uses her car to run over her cheating husband repeatedly in a parking lot, that we should outlaw cars. It is like saying we should outlaw kitchen knives when one is used to kill someone.
The right to keep and bear arms is not a misinterpretation of the constitution. That right was deliberately written into the Constitution because our founding fathers recognized that it was needed to keep us free as a society. It was pretty high on the list of rights too – like number two.
In order to completely understand and interpret our Constitution, you must try and understand the intent behind it, the temperament of the writers and social condition in which our founding fathers lived. Thomas Jefferson, writer of the Declaration of Independence, contributor to the writing of the Constitution, and third President of the United States wrote that, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” He further wrote, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
Those statements are not ambiguous and certainly seem unlikely to be “misinterpreted”. These words have only one meaning. It is thinking such as this, which was common for all of our founding fathers and authors of the constitution, that caused the provision for we the people to keep and bear arms, to be specifically written into our Constitution. Some people like to point to the line about the right to a militia as the intent for the ones who would bear the arms. But it is the militia from who we should forever be able to protect ourselves, because as soon as we give up our arms, that militia will have little trouble leading us into tyranny and removing our freedom forever. Take, for example, what is happening right now in Libya where the dictatorship is shooting its citizens who are dissenting against it.
So more and more, anti-gun extremists, chip away, a little bit at a time, at our rights to “bear arms” and own guns every time one is used to commit an egregious crime. They use tragedies such as the Arizona incident to cry for more regulation and call for banning guns, ammunition, and large ammo magazines. Incrementally, they remove a little bit more of our freedom, until one day, we will wake up to hear the local authorities tell us to bring our guns down to the police station and watch as they throw them away.
These same anti-gun extremists ignore the fact that millions of people own guns safely and only rarely is one used to commit such a horrible crime. They immediately cry for stricter gun laws and restrictions.
Guns are used more frequently in the inner city by lawless criminals who obtained their guns illegally. No law will ever take the guns from their hands.
The problem with this kind of extremist thinking is that, you can never legislate away mentally disturbed or unbalanced people by passing laws against guns. You cannot ban guns and expect them to go away from our society. People will always find a way to obtain them. If it was possible to legislate them away, we would be able to also get drugs out of our society. Drugs are illegal, but they’re still there. The only people who have drugs are the ones who are getting them illegally – criminals. The same would be true of guns. If guns were made illegal, the only ones who would have them would be criminals. Do you think they will willingly give up their guns? I think not. Frankly, I would prefer to protect myself from criminals with guns.
Another problem with banning guns is that every time it has been tried, violent crime has risen in that population. Criminals find it much easier to commit horrible crimes if they think their intended victims cannot defend themselves. On the other hand, where guns are more prevalent, crime statistics are lower – significantly lower as a result.
Guns actually work to keep our society safe, especially when they are in the hands of law abiding citizens. It is the law breaking citizens that we need to control – not guns.