|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
What follows is an exerpt from a paper I recently wrote for a college course, the topic of which happens to apply to this subject manner.
To begin, taking away someone’s weapon can violate their safety. With the deprivation of this right, an individual not only loses the right to defend themselves, but the right to defend others as well. This is an important aspect to entertain; consider how many tragic events could have been stopped with the proper use of a firearm. News outlets and anti-gun legislators exploit these tragic events to form a negative public opinion on guns. When all someone sees is wrong doing caused by the improper use of a firearm, it is coherent to conclude that negative emotions begin to become associated with guns. Anti-gun legislators feed on these negative views towards guns, and impress upon the people that they will be protected under stricter gun regulations. The only thing you can always trust to defend you is yourself, and that is why proper gun control education can have a positive impact on safety. If both aspects of the gun control argument are presented, rather than the lone interpretation that guns are bad, there may be a shift in the general population’s feelings towards guns. With information and education from both sides of the spectrum, it is easier to form an opinion based on true feelings. Educating people on gun control and the pros and cons of it may influence some people to change their opinions and have an interest in guns. With an increased interest in guns, people will be more likely to exercise their rights. An increased number of people who are exercising their rights as gun owners and have the proper firearms training and education could increase the safety and civility of many areas. Detroit has a very high violent crime rate. Detroit also happens to be a city with a very restrictive policy on carrying firearms. The good people of Detroit cannot properly or legally defend themselves against those who want to cause harm to them due to the city’s anti-gun motif.
As well as endangering safety, restrictive gun laws can pose a threat to our freedom. Many proposed gun laws make a certain function or part of a specific type of firearm illegal, in many cases making the firearm illegal to own or possess. The passing of such a law would instantly criminalize anyone with that type of weapon. Many gun owners will not recognize such laws and continue to stand by their rights, not willing give up their firearms. Such an occurrence would put many, otherwise law abiding and good people, in risk of being persecuted by the law. Does it make sense to persecute a, for the most part, peaceful group of people when there are larger issues to be dealt with? Prisons and jails are already full enough, so why take the risk of flooding them with people who are not deserving of the punishment they are receiving, instead of violent criminals? After all, the second amendment was put in the constitution in order to protect or freedoms. It stands to protect Americans in the face of an over powerful government which threatens our rights given to us as citizens. Anyone who calls themselves a proud American shouldn’t be voting for laws that impede on our rights. Gun control education would put an end to this problem. Many people are unaware that they are allowing their fellow Americans’ rights to be threatened by voting for restrictive gun laws. People are influenced by what they see and hear, so when all they witness in the new is the wrong doings caused by firearms, people automatically assume they are bad. If realized of the consequences of their actions on the ballot, people would begin to change their mind. If the people can be manipulated and convinced to vote on such laws, couldn’t the same thing happen with laws that may violate our other rights?
Similarly, the implication of restrictive gun laws puts a damper on the peace of mind for those who profit from the firearms industry. In some areas, such as California, most gun shops have been forced to close their doors. In fact, there is not a single gun shop left in the city of San Francisco. This means that people have been put out of jobs and the proprietors of those businesses have had to move elsewhere or find another avenue of business. On a larger scale, many gun companies have begun to respond to restrictive gun laws. The north is a heavily industrialized part of this country, therefore many firearm producing companies were founded there. Some of these companies, which have existed since the industrialization period, are being forced to pull up their roots and move to more gun friendly areas. Some gun companies are also having to downsize their operations due to a lower demand for their products. This takes away jobs from many people, some of which are skilled workers that will have trouble finding another job in their trade. Recently, Beretta, a very large company that produces many types of firearms, has made the move from Maryland to Tennessee. The general manager of Beretta claims, “While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent from the point of view of our future welfare to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility.” This is in response to the passing of more restrictive gun laws in Maryland, some of which made certain weapons produced by Beretta illegal. The moving of this business from that area spent 300 jobs. The people of Maryland decided on those laws, and they ended up hurting the livelihood of many people right in their own community. If those people could have foreseen what they were going to do to their communities, would they have still voted in such a way? Educating people on the damage restrictive gun control laws can have on good business people and hardworking Americans may sway some opinions. The country is already in a job deficit, so why does it make sense to implicate measures that would only further this problem?
When people allow for the passing of restrictive gun laws, they are crippling the way of life for many people. I am one of those people, as I am a devout hunter and sportsman. I did not excel at any particular sport when I was young, so I started hunting, fishing, and pursuing other outdoor activities. These activities are more than just what I do, they are who I am. There exists a culture among those people like me, and our way of life is being threatened. The passing of laws that threatens the way of life for outdoorsmen also threatens the hunting industry. In 2011, a national survey of fishing, hunting, and wildlife associated recreation reported that over 13.7 million people went hunting and spent in excess of 38.3 billion dollars. That is a significant flow of revenue entering our economy, so why put a damper on it? Many people do not realize the harm they are causing to the way of life for others, as well as the economy, by promoting gun control. These people may be ignorant to the impact the firearm and related industries have on the economy, but if informed of this aspect of the debate, will see beyond the stereotype of guns being bad. Educating individuals on the benefit of these industries may lead some to support them, and begin to contribute to them.
It is obvious that there is an overwhelming amount of people who are opposed to guns in this country. This body of people have similar feelings towards firearms, but are motivated by different reasons. There are those who have been hurt or have had to deal with loss due to the improper use of a firearm, and have a true reason to dislike firearms. Then exists the faction that is opposed to firearms because they have been led to this belief by the media and the agendas of anti-gun legislators. They believe firearms are bad, but have no person experience with them and no true reason to dislike them. Many of these laws that claim to “curve gun violence” have little to no effect on the cause. Recently, Maryland put to rest their “bullet ID program.” This program, enacted in 2000, catalogued the ballistic “fingerprint” of every handgun sold in the state. After 15 years and 300,000 firearms recorded, not a single crime was solved by the program. The state of Maryland dumped 15 million dollars into this program since its inception. That was money that could have gone to meaningful programs, such as those that helped the needy. It can be concluded from this that many of these anti-gun laws and programs are inconclusive in curving gun violence. These laws are designed to stop criminals, but criminals already have no regard for the law. Making it difficult for criminals to walk into a store and purchase a weapon legally is reasonable, but criminals can obtain weapons almost just as easily outside of the law. The people who use guns to commit crimes and cause harm to people have no reverence for the law, and will find a way around them. Law abiding gun owners are those who are affected by these laws and programs. Gun control is essentially corporal punishment for gun owners, but those who deserve the punishment are not receiving it in most cases.
After analyzing the aspects of our freedoms and how stricter, more restrictive gun laws would affect them, it has been proven that the implementation of these laws violate the law abiding gun owner’s safety, freedom, piece of mind, and way of life. The gun violence argument has existed in this country and worldwide for decades, and in some places it has been settled. There are countries, such as China, with gun laws so restrictive, it is difficult for anyone to obtain a firearm. Does that sound like a country any good American wants to live in? The degradation of gun owners’ rights is a violation of the second amendment. The second amendment itself stands to give the people power to keep their rights from being stripped. With the right to bear arms impeded, the rest of our rights as Americans are free to be tampered with. The general population needs to realize that even though they may not own a gun, it is still possible to be pro-gun. The negative stereotype mainstream media has put on guns has damaged our country and threatened our rights. By educating the general public on all aspects of guns, the gun control debate, and the results of restrictive gun laws, it may be possible to make Americans start thinking and behaving like Americans again.