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Failure of Gun Control Laws

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Failure of Gun Control Laws

Americans are faced with an ever-growing problem of violence.

Our streets have become a battleground where the elderly are

beaten for their social security checks, where terrified women are

viciously attacked and raped, where teen-age gangsters

shoot it out for a patch of turf to sell their illegal drugs, and

where innocent children are caught daily in the crossfire of drive-by

shootings. We cannot ignore the damage that these criminals are doing

to our society, and we must take actions to stop these

horrors. However, the effort by some misguided individuals to

eliminate the legal ownership of firearms does not address the

real problem at hand, and simply disarms the innocent law-abiding

citizens who are most in need of a form of self-defense.

To fully understand the reasons behind the gun control

efforts, we must look at the history of our country, and the role

firearms have played in it. The second amendment to the Constitution

of the United States makes firearm ownership legal in this country.

There were good reasons for this freedom, reasons which persist today.

Firearms in the new world were used initially for hunting, and

occasionally for self-defense. However, when the colonists felt that

the burden of British oppression was too much for them to bear, they

picked up their personal firearms and went to war. Standing against

the British armies, these rebels found themselves opposed by the

greatest military force in the world at that time. The 18th century

witnessed the height of the British Empire, but the rough band of

colonial freedom fighters discovered the power of the Minuteman, the

average American gun owner. These Minutemen, so named because they

would pick up their personal guns and jump to the defense of their

country on a minute's notice, served a major part in winning the

American Revolution. The founding fathers of this country understood

that an armed populace was instrumental in fighting off oppression,

and they made the right to keep and bear arms a constitutionally

guaranteed right.

Over the years, some of the reasons for owning firearms have

changed. As our country grew into a strong nation, we expanded

westward, exploring the wilderness, and building new towns on the

frontier. Typically, these new towns were far away from the centers of

civilization, and the only law they had was dispensed by townsfolk

through the barrel of a gun. Crime existed, but could be minimized

when the townspeople fought back against the criminals. Eventually,

these organized townspeople developed police forces as their towns

grew in size. Fewer people carried their firearms on the street, but

the firearms were always there, ready to be used in self-defense.

It was after the Civil War that the first gun-control

advocates came into existence. These were southern leaders who were

afraid that the newly freed black slaves would assert their newfound

political rights, and these leaders wanted to make it easier to

oppress the free blacks. This oppression was accomplished by passing

laws making it illegal in many places for black people to own

firearms. With that effort, they assured themselves that the black

population would be subject to their control, and would not have the

ability to fight back. At the same time, the people who were most

intent on denying black people their basic rights walked around with

their firearms, making it impossible to resist their efforts. An

unarmed man stands little chance against an armed one, and these armed

men saw their plans work completely. It was a full century before the

civil rights activists of the 1960s were able to restore the

constitutional freedoms that blacks in this country were granted in

the 1860s.

Today's gun control activists are a slightly different breed.

They claim that gun violence in this country has gotten to a point

where something must be done to stop it. They would like to see

criminals disarmed, and they want the random violence to stop. I agree

with their sentiments. However, they are going about it in the wrong

way. While claiming that they want to take guns out of the hands of

criminals, they work to pass legislation that would take the guns out

of the hands of law-abiding citizens instead. For this ...

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