Reviewing The Pro Gun Advocates Views On Gun Control

Published: 04th August 2009
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Our founding forefathers were so strongly pro gun that they embedded their sentiments within the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms," argued Samuel Adams. Alexander Hamilton added, "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

Lastly, Patrick Henry reminds us, "We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists." With so many heart-felt, persuasive quotes, it's hard to fathom why the gun control debate is still raging. Yet one must also wonder if the forefathers could have imagined so many Americans turning on their countrymen, using weapons of protection against others who inflame them.

According to pro gun groups, there are many myths circulating in the gun control debate. When we watch the evening news, it seems as though gunfire is killing people everywhere. Stories of snipers, assassins, terrorist plots and murderers torment our collective psyche, paralyzing us with fear.

It's this angle that the opposition uses to portray an "epidemic of violence." However, according to the FBI, homicide rates have been steadily declining for decades in most regions, with spikes of drug violence among impoverished inner city youths.

Pro gun groups often point to an influential 1995 study entitled "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun" by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz to illustrate their case. The study found that law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals up to 2.5 million times each year.

Over 200,000 women use guns to thwart sexual assailants and 500,000 people use concealed carry guns away from the home in self-defense. "Citizens shoot and kill more criminals than police do every year," reported Kleck and Gertz. Additionally, according to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, 477,040 victims of violent crimes said they used a firearm when facing an offender.

Even though less than 1% of Americans polled cite the gun control debate as being "of great importance" to them, the debate wages on. Statistics on both the pro gun side and the anti gun side should be taken with a grain of salt, since so many variables can corrupt the data.

The Supreme Court will continue to be our harbinger of justice, as they try to govern as strictly to the Constitution as possible. Just last year, the court ruled against a D.C. handguns ban, saying that it was "unconstitutional." Over the years, society will continually seek ways to keep guns out of criminal hands and available to law-abiding citizens, but unfortunately the answers aren't so straightforward.

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