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!”