Kelsey S. Utah

Guns Deserve Respect, Not Hate

Who is to blame? The gun, or the person who wields it?

Phoebe M. Bovy, in her article ‘It’s Time To Ban Guns’ believes that, “What’s needed to stop all gun violence is a vocal ban guns contingent,” that somehow, if everyone gets vocal about banning guns and succeeds, gun violence will no longer be a problem. She, and those who agree with her, are sadly mistaken.

My family owns guns. I don’t use them, and I’ve never really felt the need or desire to. But I, along with every other American, should have the choice to learn how to shoot and legally own a gun if that’s what I want to do. Everyone should have that choice.

Our gun rights are a part of our freedom. No, we don’t have to own guns or know how to shoot a gun, but we should have the right to that knowledge and skill. We are born with free agency, the right to choose. This is what the United States is supposed to stand for; the second amendment of the constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I, for one, am not ready to sit back like a docile house pet and let them take away my rights.

Accidental shootings are more of a problem than they should be. Peter Manseau from the LA times writes, “On March 6, Lana Meisner, wife of former Eagles bassist Randy Meisner, unintentionally shot and killed herself when she jostled a rifle stored in a closet in her Studio City residence. The following morning, the sound of a gunshot in a Sacramento home led a mother to discover her 2-year-old daughter bleeding on the floor,” and goes on to blame people for continually using guns when accidents like this keep happening. While it is true that there are far too many accidents far too often, we don’t need to ban guns. Both of these accidents could have been prevented if the guns were stored in a safe place. A gun is a weapon, and all owners should treat it with the respect and caution it deserves, no matter how experienced they are. If the right precautions are taken, these accidents can be prevented. The true problem lies behind the people who don’t care enough to handle and store their guns safely. These accidents happen because of one thing: negligence.

People also seem to believe that banning guns is going to fix the whole problem. But banning or illegalizing things hasn’t had quite the perfect effect in the past. The real problem is that the people who shouldn’t have guns are finding ways to get a hold of them. That’s not going to stop just because guns have been banned. Like drugs, people are still going to find ways to get their hands on them, and someone else is going to make a lot of money off of it. The only thing that banning guns is really going to do is make the innocent people more vulnerable.

A good example of how banning guns would only make us more vulnerable is the Aurora, Colorado shooting. John Lott from Fox News informs, “Out of all the movie theaters within 20 minutes of his apartment showing the new Batman movie that night, it was the only one where guns were banned. In Colorado, individuals with permits can carry concealed handguns in most malls, stores, movie theaters, and restaurants. But private businesses can determine whether permit holders can carry guns on their private property.” So, out of all of the theaters in his area, he chose the one that just so happened to ban guns. This doesn’t mean that the fact that they banned guns caused this man to come in and kill everyone, but it let him know. He knew that no one else in there would be armed. And if I were him, and wanted to do what he did, I would be much more confident in my plans if I knew I had such an advantage.

Banning guns is not going to have the effect on gun control that we want it to have. People want to erase guns; they want the problem to just go away so they don’t have to worry about it. What we need to do is focus on standing up for our rights, and I think sometimes the best thing you can do is learn to protect yourself. Because no matter what laws or restrictions are made, the wrong people are always going to find a way to get their hands on guns. In the end, it comes down to each individual person and what they are willing to do to protect themselves.

Spanish Fork High School

AP Language 16-17

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