Take our guns — and our safety, too

Ashley Pierce is a political science freshman and Mustang Daily conservative columnist.

Let me first begin by stating what a tragedy and devastation the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was. The fact that innocent and young lives were taken from this country will always be horrific and weigh heavily on Americans’ hearts.

As weeks pass, the country’s mood has turned from mourning to alert. Advocates of gun control view the shooting as another reason why legalization of guns is dangerous and why the Second Amendment needs to be eradicated and, honestly, I can understand that. We have massacres that involve deadly weapons; naturally, the solution would be to ban such weapons.

But there’s more to the story than that. Perhaps the solution is not to ban guns, but to give more leniencies to carrying the weapons. The fact of the matter is that guns, being able to deal death, work as protection as well because everyone fears of being on that receiving end.

The worst shootings in our nation’s history have been in gun-free zones. These are designated areas in which registered concealed weapons are not allowed. Shooters, however (as nice and honorable as they might seem), are not likely to obey laws and regulations as they prepare to take lives. While gun-free zones seem like they would provide safety, they only disarm American citizens — the ones not planning on murder.

On Dec. 17, a theater shooting occurred in San Antonio. But it was not widely circulated by the mainstream media, and it’s rather clear why. In this instance the shooter was stopped before many could be injured. The theatre (in a non-gun-free zone) happened to be in the company of an off-duty cop (carrying a concealed weapon) who shot the shooter before more harm could befall movie goers.

Another recent news story not widely circulated involved a mother of two shooting a home invader in order to protect her family. When the man attempted to break into their home, the woman hid in a crawl space with her children and shot the intruder once he found their hiding place.

Had these citizens not been in the possession of guns, their lives may have turned out very differently. More would have been injured or killed in the San Antonio shooting, and a family could have been destroyed.

So while guns can kill, the proof is right there in front of us that their ability to kill is also what keeps many Americans safe and allows them to feel secure. Taking guns away from all American citizens will not keep guns out of everyone’s hands. Criminals and murderers who plan shootings and the like will not read the paper “Guns now banned” and think, “Oh my! Well I guess I’m out of luck then.” They will always find a way to obtain such weapons — but with guns banned, they now are released against an unarmed and defenseless populace.

I know, I know, we’re not defenseless! We have police! The San Luis Obispo Police Department has a goal of a four-minute response time — and they meet that 95 percent of the time, according to their own measures. That’s a speedy arrival, I will surely give them that, but four minutes when faced with imminent danger is awfully long.

The guns don’t even have to be fired; announcing that you carry one to an intruder or mugger is enough to soon see them dashing out your window or fleeing to the nearest crowded area. Their own tactics are turned against them — and man, how they hate it when the tables are turned and they’re the ones watching their lives flash before their eyes.

Gun-free zones and even complete eradication of the Second Amendment will not result in a safer America but a vulnerable and less free one. There’s a reason the Aurora Batman shooter drove past countless theaters to get to the one in a gun-free zone: so he alone carried a gun and had the potential to kill.

That’s the future of America if we give up our right to bear arms — a fundamental right. With our ability to freely pursuit happiness and justice, we surely too have the freedom to feel safe in our own homes.

And so here’s to hoping there won’t soon be a South Park episode featuring our favorite rednecks shouting “They took our guns!”

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  • Mike

    Proof read your articles please

    • Selina

      Agreed. This article reeks of regurgitated NRA garbage and not an iota of creativity.

  • Antonio

    I cannot bring myself to see the logic of your argument. So, essentially, if everyone carries a concealed weapon we are all safer? So, we should not only fear the madmen that purposely go about killing people but also anyone inebriated at a public place?
    I say we do a comparative analysis with countries who have practically no gun free zones, like the Dominican Republic, where shootings occur over someone loosing a game of dominioes or, even more ridiculous still, blaming someone else for a fart. Oh wait, that one happened hear also (http://now.msn.com/furious-man-pulls-gun-on-neighbor-for-farting).
    More guns do not solve anything. Allowing people to carry guns does not alleviate the issue. Are you saying that we should have schools full of weapons just in case? Would you find it ok for an elementary school teacher to have .44 in his/her desk?
    Let’s get these assault guns off the streets. Let’s get these high capacity magazines out of your average Joe’s hand; I rather leave in a world where a man planning to shoot up a theater can only do so with nine rounds than 120.
    In the end, gun control is far more effective than what you’re suggesting. The stories you mention do not justify your assertion. People can miss, there’s colateral damage, etc.

    • Ashley Pierce

      Comparative analysis? Here you go.

      http://theacru.org/acru/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

      Their findings are that countries lacking private gun ownership have higher murder and suicide rates compared to countries that have high private gun ownership.

      Thank you for giving me the passion to find this article. I only wish I had found it the first time I researched for this piece.

      • J.K.

        Ms. Pierce,

        I would like to point out that in the last paragraph from the link you posted, the author clarifies the opinions of the professors who completed the study:

        “It is important to note here that Profs. Kates and Mauser are not pro-gun zealots. In fact, they go out of their way to stress that their study neither proves that gun control causes higher murder rates nor that increased gun ownership necessarily leads to lower murder rates. [...] But what is clear, and what they do say, is that gun control is ineffectual at preventing murder, and apparently counterproductive.”

        While it is difficult to argue with the results of their findings, we still need to take this information with a grain of salt. Both professors stress that gun control does not correlate to an increase in murder rates. We cannot generalize the issue to simply gun control affecting murder rates, because there are so many variables involved.

        The issue at hand is that a civilian currently has the ability to purchase assault weapons, and if they so choose, can engage in an act of mass murder. Stricter gun control should (and hopefully would) prevent this from happening.

        Now I’m not so naive as to believe that stricter gun control will prevent people from killing others. However it would certainly help us to avoid tragedies such as the Sandy Hook shooting, and other forms of gun violence.

        The key thing to remember in this argument is gun control to mediate gun violence. It’s not appropriate to generalize murder rates to one form of violence.

    • Cameron

      Antonio,

      I think that reasonable people can disagree on whether having more guns in the hands of citizenry makes society safer or not. Just as reasonable people can disagree on whether abortion, etc. is good policy or not. But regardless, the important part is people’s personal opinions shouldn’t trample on others’ rights. If you go get an abortion or gay marriage, what does that matter to me? If I want to own a gun, or carry a concealed weapon, what does that matter to you? If it gets misused, there are laws to deal with that, but the actual act of carrying/possessing a gun hurts no one. If you decide that the best way to protect your family in a home invasion is to gather everyone, lock the door, call police, and wait, I applaud you for making a decision that is good for you. If I decide the best way to protect my family is to gather everyone, lock the door, and arm myself with firearms, and then call police, please respect that I feel this is the best decision for me. And yes, I do personally believe that owning and carrying firearms makes one safer. I have taken firearms training classes with retired law enforcement officers, and all have numerous accounts of citizens with firearms saving themselves from an armed criminal.

      To briefly touch on your point of banning high capacity magazines, it is tempting to say that “no one needs a 15 round magazine” or 20 or 30 or however many rounds. But really…is that going to do anything to stop mass shootings? I can drop an empty CA-legal 10 round magazine from my handgun, insert a new full 10-round mag, and rack the slide in just under 1.5 seconds. Many good shooters who practice frequently can do it in under 1 second. Are you going to tackle an active shooter in the 1-2 seconds it will take him to reload low capacity mags? Honestly, you can pass a law but it doesn’t mean it will do a damn thing.

      Oooh and my favorite, the “assault weapons” ban. Why does anybody need a scary, military-looking weapon? Because there is no difference between a semiautomatic rifle used on a ranch by a farmer to shoot varmints (I assume you don’t want to ban those) and the AR-15. Except one is made of brown wood. And the other is made of black plastic. Ahhh now it’s an assault rifle!!! Wood stock okay. Plastic pistol grip assault rifle! Normal muzzle okay. Flash suppressor assault rifle! I encourage you to educate yourself at http://www.assaultweapon.info/

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