Dear Next President,
In the early 18th century, America was on the brink of independence, and frontiersmen led the exploration of territory to the west of the Mississippi. Unexplored land was threatening and unyielding―no one knew what was over the next ridge or inside the next heavily wooded area. These men depended on their firearms as means of protection and harvesting food. Without them, North American frontiersmen would have starved, been slaughtered by hostile Indians, or mauled by large predators.
The tradition of having a gun as protection runs deep. When police forces weren’t available in the 17th and 18th centuries, many people relied on their firearms for survival. Today, the necessity of firearms for survival has long since passed. Now, firearms are used as a means of protection against intruders with bad intentions. A ban on guns will not only take away a person’s ability to protect him/herself, but it will also mean that the only people who have guns are the criminals. Criminals will get a hold of a gun by any illegal means necessary. Statistics prove that places with more gun control have a higher crime rate. Take the handgun ban in England and Wales in 1997: there was a 50 percent increase in the homicide rate. The homicide rate only started to fall when England and Wales began hiring more police officers. Even then, the homicide rate was still high (Crime Prevention Research Center).
Banning guns will also take away a hunter’s ability to manage wildlife. If the large game animal population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land, the population will expand beyond those boundaries into urban and suburban areas. Deer and other wildlife will start feeding on people’s gardens and vegetation around their homes. Not only that, but there will be a higher risk of drivers hitting a deer or other large game animal, causing accidents that could potentially be fatal. Guns give hunters the ability to manage large game herds, thus preventing the population of game animals from overrunning populated areas. The management of game herds also provides a medium for harvesting food. As a hunter myself, I can attest to this. Without firearms, I would not be able to obtain a delicious source of protein: venison. I take the meat I want to eat, then donate the rest to various organizations that could use the meat to feed those who are less fortunate.
On a more serious note, we were given the right to bear arms not because the deer were coming, but because the British were coming. Our Founding Fathers supported our right to bear arms, and thus created the Second Amendment. It was part of their belief that giving power to the people all across the nation would prevent tyranny. Our right to have guns preserves our ability to create a militia―the counterpart to central authority. I am not saying that gun owners have any intention of rebelling, but merely stating the fact that our Founding Fathers―the men who created this country we so dearly love―supported that right.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. A gun lying on a table won’t hurt anyone; however, there will always be morally corrupt and mentally ill people who want to pull the trigger. Gun-owners are for common sense laws: background checks are an example of this. In fact, 85 percent of gun-owners support background checks. A recent study shows that homicides dropped 40 percent after Connecticut adopted laws in 1995 that required those seeking to buy a gun be at least 21 years old and go through many hours of safety training (Johns Hopkins Magazine). Keeping firearms out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill is a concept recognized by both sides of the gun control debate.
The gun industry provides many jobs for people, and they are well-paying jobs at that. The gun industry is booming. Overall, the size of the commercial gun and ammunitions market is around $32 billion nationwide. Many gun industry workers earn an average of $140,000 per year, and as many as 211,000 are employed either directly or indirectly. Basic salesmen are even eligible for medical benefits (Townhall Magazine). The success of the gun industry has an impact on the amount of money that goes to the government. Taxes are paid on guns just like anything else. Taking away the gun industry will deal a severe blow to our economy. Thousands of people will become unemployed, and there will be a deficit in the amount of money that goes to the government.
When I read the statistics, I see that there are more benefits to gun ownership than there are drawbacks. However, it is only the drawbacks that are given the most publicity. But beyond those drawbacks, guns stimulate the economy, manage wildlife, and provide safety, security, and food for Americans. Firearms are a symbol of freedom in the United States of America, and as an American, I take pride in being able to own a gun.
“Murder and Homicide Rates Before and After Gun Bans.” Crime Research Center, 1 Dec. 2013,
http://www.crimeresearch.org/2013/12/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-after-gun-bans/. Accessed 15. September 2016.
Pavlich, Katie. “Guns and the Economy.” Townhall Magazine. 24 Apr. 2013.
Accessed 15 September 2016.
Richards, Sarah. “Why Background Checks for Gun Purchases Have Gun-Owner Support.”
Johns Hopkins Magazine, Fall 2015.
http://hub,jhu.edu/magazine/2015/fall/background-checks-guns/. Accessed 15 September 2016.