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Do Guns Kill People?

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Do Guns Kill People?

Do guns kill people, or do people kill people? In America, gun control laws abound. Laws restricting the ownership, distribution, and brandishing of many types of firearms can be found in every state. Gun control laws are designed to protect people. They are written to diminish criminal activity and prevent violent crimes from being committed with firearms. These are certainly good intentions, however gun control laws are, in reality, counterproductive. While gun control laws are intended to protect citizens, they do not succeed in protecting the innocent, but in reducing the rights of law-abiding citizens and empowering criminals.

Do gun control laws inhibit the rights of citizens to own, acquire, and use firearms to defend themselves? The second amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment's original intent and purpose was to preserve, not grant, the pre-existing right of individuals to keep and bear arms (GunCite). This right is given to us so that citizens can defend themselves from harm. Many gun control laws limit the rights of citizens to purchase or own firearms by requiring a waiting period and applying heavy fees to the purchase price of guns. Furthermore, many gun control laws require the attainment of a license or permit to own a firearm, and some laws effectively ban certain types of firearms. There are, without a doubt, some reasonable limitations, such as limits on the age at which one may purchase a gun, or restrictions on the ability of felons to purchase firearms. However, gun control laws which limit or detract from the rights of law-abiding citizens inhibit their natural rights protected by the second amendment.

One common argument of gun control activists is that personal self-defense has been rendered unnecessary because of the presence of an active police force. While America's police officers are professionally trained to defend U.S. citizens, they are under no obligation to defend each individual and, at any rate, are fully incapable of doing so. According to criminologist Don Kates Jr., "Even if all 500,000 American police officers were assigned to patrol, they could not defend approximately 240 million citizens from upwards of 10 million criminals. [...] The impossibility of the police preventing endemic crime, or protecting every victim, has become tragically evident over the past quarter century" (Kasler, 1992). Today, there are over 880,000 police and detectives, and over 300 million citizens living in the United States. It simply is neither required by law nor plausible that the police can adequately protect every citizen.

Gun control advocates argue that the second amendment does not ensure the right to keep and bear arms to individuals, but instead simply offers the right to maintain a militia. However, anyone who



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