OPINION: Don’t restrict firearm freedoms
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 13:01
We are all devastated by tragedy. Columbine, Aurora and now the heartbreaking event in Newtown, Conn. always seem to raise poignant questions about our nation’s laws. Most of us know that on Dec. 14, 2012, a deranged man took the life of 20 children and 6 adults in the worst elementary school shooting in U.S. history.
What many of us may not know is that on the exact same day in China, there was a similar incident. Not long after Adam Lanza took the lives of these school children in Connecticut, the official Chinese state newspaper Xinhua Newswire — they don’t really have free press there — ran an editorial headlined “Innocent blood demands no delay for U.S. gun control.” On that same day, 23 children were stabbed or slashed with a knife in Central China’s Henan province, where guns are entirely banned. All of the children were permanently disfigured.
Some would say that the events in China were somehow better because children didn’t die but were only permanently disfigured — but this devalues the children. A tragedy is a tragedy no matter how you put it. Sick, deranged people are psychopaths whether they have guns, knives, their fists, airplanes or bombs. We live in a crazy world, I’ll admit that, but what we find with any tragedy is that people have a tendency to lose all sense of reason in an attempt to blame something — anything. How else can they make sense of such a pointless and disgusting act? And so, we find that an inanimate object such as a gun is proclaimed the culprit. But when Cain slew Abel, was the club he used to blame? Common sense dictates that we not seek to ban hand tools for the act of perdition.
Yet within minutes, the news media and several politicians were preaching the need for gun control. This isn’t new, but let me walk you through an alternate line of logic and reason. With all the disgusting things that the media preaches and inspires it is obvious that crime increases. Drug use and sex are glamorized in the movies. Murder, rape, and homosexuality are promoted on the big screen. Of course it could be argued that we should censor and ban our media. It only makes sense because they are the ones to blame, right?
The request would be laughable if it weren’t so absurd. Of course we shouldn’t censor or even blame the media for tragedies committed by psychopaths and deranged killers. The fault lies only in that person, not in the news media, a gun or anything else. But if it could be argued that it is the media’s fault, then why not simply censor, ban or control them? Well, first off because we don’t live in Soviet Russia — thank heaven — and second, because it would be an obvious violation of First Amendment rights.
Why then are some people so keen to use their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press to destroy someone else’s Second Amendment rights to own firearms? Why is freedom suddenly becoming a license to destroy freedom? It isn’t. It never was, and it never should be. People need to understand what it is that we are even talking about when we use the word “freedom.”
The Second Amendment has never been and never will be about hunting or recreational shooting. It was and always will be about a people having a means to control their government and keep safety and security within their communities. It was and always will be about a person having and keeping their God-given, natural right to self-preservation and protection of themselves and their families.
What we really should be talking about is the fact that Columbine, Aurora, and Newtown Conn. are all gun-free zones. The obvious, constantly-missed fact of the matter is that where guns are allowed — as per the Constitution and the laws of nature — there is less crime. Why? Because if I’m a criminal, then I am much less likely to rob the house of someone that I know may be carrying a gun. I will be less likely to commit any crime, especially violent ones, knowing guns are around.
To sum up, let me cite an example that you can Google search at your leisure. In Kennesaw, Ga., a city ordinance was signed in 1982 making gun ownership mandatory. To live there, you must own a firearm. Guess whose crime plummeted instantly by 74 percent? Guess whose crime rates stay impressively low to this day? You guessed it: Kennesaw, Ga.
Banning guns is not the solution any more than banning puppies is the solution for a rabid dog. Common sense dictates that people wake up to their situations and get their morals back on track. Common sense requires all of us to lay aside our emotions and hearken to reason. Common sense cries out for virtue, not for vice, and when it comes to principles, common sense pleads for restoration, not more regulation.
–Richard Winters is a senior majoring in Law and Constitution Studies and Communication Studies. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.