2nd Amendment Rights
2nd Amendment Rights
Gun Control Versus Your 2nd Amendment Rights: The Truth.
Since the beginning of America built on this country’s foundation the people have found it necessary to be able to keep and bear arms. This freedom, this guaranteed right in our Constitution became an amendment to our freedoms. The second amendment was one in pack of the first 10 amendments known as The Bill of Rights, passed by congress in September 25, 1789. The second amendment states that “For their protection and for purposes of having a well trained militia the people of the states may keep and bear (own) arms (weapons), but the federal government or the state governments may pass laws against owning certain weapons and the way others may be used”. (Cullop, 1999, p.64)
This research will use the following questions to determine answers from various sources.
2. Does the media tell all of the truth about guns or only what makes news, and how much influence does the media have on Americans’ perception of guns?
3. What is the ultimate goal of Anti-Gun supporters’, working through courts, lies, and international treaties?
4. If banning guns is the answer to the problem, why have Britain, Australia, and Canada’s ban failed so horrendously to reduce crime.
5. Is the Second Amendment outdated, or is it America’s and it’s people’s best defense?
This review of literature on Second Amendment rights versus Gun control will focus on these five questions.
Do More Guns Cause More Crime or Less?
In a very influential and well-researched book, Lott (1998) pointed out the connection between guns and crime with actual tests, research and surveys. Examining crime rates in cities and states with strict and liberal gun laws Lott found that crime rates in cities and states with liberal gun laws are very much lower than states with stricter gun control laws, especially in states that allow citizens to gain a concealed handgun permit to carry a handgun on their person. Gun control advocates believed that the issuing of the permits would create vigilantes and Rambo like figures that would fight using a gun in any altercation that they were involved in. Nothing could have been more wrong, no incidents like the one described has happened in any state that issues concealed weapons permits. In a national survey conducted by Lott, 98 percent of the time that people use guns in defensive situations the legally carrying citizens merely has to brandish their firearms to stave off an attack. (Lott, 1998, p. 3) Thirty-one states in America allow citizens to carry concealed weapons, nearly all, require prior permits and training. In all thirty-one states, the murder and rape rates declined. (Elder, 2000, p.272) In America, the bad guys know that the occupant of a house or a car may have a gun. The National Institute of Justice surveyed two thousand felons in state prisons and asked ex-cons “is one reason burglars avoid houses when people are home is that they fear being shot during the crime.” 74 percent of the felons said yes. The
Survey also asked these felons whether they had abandoned at least one crime because they feared that the intended victim might be armed. Thirty-nine percent said they abandoned at least one crime; eight percent had abandoned such a crime “many” times; 34 percent admitted being “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”; and nearly 70 percent knew of a “colleague” that abandoned a crime, had been, scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by a victim packing heat. (Elder, 2000, p.272-273) All of these impacts on crime revolve around whether or not the person had a legal gun. With the gun control laws becoming stricter, one day, a homeowner may not be able to protect himself or his family.
Does the Media Tell all of the Truth About Guns or Only What Makes News?
How Much Influence Does the Media Have on Americans Perception of Guns?
The media have a natural inclination to report only dramatic events, which are “news,” while ignoring potentially tragic events, which are “not news.”
Even though a survey conducted during the fall of 2002 indicates that simply brandishing a gun stops crimes 95 percent of the time, and other surveys have also found high rates, it is very rare to see such a story. No conspiracy is really needed to explain why an editor finds a dead body on the ground very newsworthy (particularly
if it is a sympathetic person, like a victim of a gun shot). For example, a story in which a woman brandishes a gun and a criminal flees: No shots were fired, no crime is committed, and no one is even sure what crime would have been committed had a weapon not been drawn, nothing had actually happened. It is not emotionally gripping enough to make the story “newsworthy.”
The importance of newsworthiness can be seen in other ways. For example, even though fewer than one out of 1,000 defensive gun uses result in the attacker’s death, “newsworthiness” means the media will only cover the bloodier cases, where the attacker is virtually always shot and usually killed. Woundings might be about six times more frequent than killings, but one could never tell that from the stories the media chooses to cover.
Why did the torrential news coverage of public school shootings in the 1990s fail to acknowledge when attacks were halted by citizens with guns? A similar example of selective reporting occurred, during a January 2002 shooting, which left three dead at the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. The event made international headlines from Australia to Nigeria and produced more calls for gun control. Yet in this age in which media and government officials clamor in favor of “gun-free school zones,” one fact was missing from virtually all the news coverage: The attack was stopped by two students who had guns in their cars. Isn’t it remarkable that out of
208 news stories in the week after the event, just four stories had mentioned that the
students who stopped the attack had guns? Only two local papers (the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Charlotte Observer) mentioned that the students actually pointed their guns at the attacker. In all, seventy-two stories described how the attacker was stopped, without mentioning that the student heroes had guns. But almost the same number of stories (sixty-eight) provided precise details on the gun used in the attack.
Larry Elder host of KABC radio in Los Angeles had a particularly disheartening discussion with a “readers’ representative” for the Los Angeles Times. The representative told Elder “Even if there was a good guy with a gun, I don’t know that he played a key role in this case.” All this speculation, despite the fact that these were the people that stopped the attack, He’s right; what possible role could the stoppers of the attack hold that would make them “Key”? No wonder people find it hard to believe what research has to show that there are two million defensive gun uses each year. After all, people frequently say, if these events are really happening, wouldn’t we hear about them on the news? But when was the last time a story appeared on the national evening news (or even the local news) about a citizen using his or her gun to stop a crime? Selective reporting of crimes such as the Appalachian Law School attack is just poor journalism. To get an idea of the imbalance in a major paper between stories about gun and stopping crimes, one can look through the New York Times to find how much coverage the paper gave to crimes committed with a gun involved during 2001. The New York Times published 104 gun crime news articles (69 New York city stories and 35 from the rest of the country). The stories on gun crimes ranged in length from a 66-word blurb in a Sunday paper regarding a bar shooting to a major 1,675 word front page story on a school shooting, for a total of 50,745 words. In comparison, the one defensive gun use story amounted to 163 words. (USA Today contained 5,660 words on crimes committed with guns and zero words on examples of defensive gun use.) The Washington Post provided the least lopsided coverage with 46,884 words worth of stories on crimes committed with guns 953 words on defensive stories. Of course, the imbalance in the print media isn’t just limited to newspapers. In a special issue of Newsweek during 1999 entitled “America Under the Gun.” Over 15,000 words and numerous graphics were provided in an attempt to address gun ownership’ there was not one mention of defensive gun use. Under the heading “America’s Weapons of Choice,” the table captions were “Top firearms traced to crimes, 1998”; “Firearm deaths per 100,000 people”; and “Percent of homicides using firearms” nothing on the “Top firearms used in self-defense.” Graphic, gut-wrenching pictures showed people who had been wounded by guns. No pictures were offered of people who had used guns defensively to save lives or prevent injuries.
What Is the Ultimate Goal of Anti-Gun Supporters’, Working Through Courts, Llies and International Treaties?
Some people would disagree, but the records indicate that the Founding Fathers wrote the right to bear arms into the constitution to protect citizens from the government should it go away. Firearms are our ultimate recourse against a corrupt regime. An armed populace is very difficult to rule by force; it’s a powerful deterrent to tyranny (Ventura, 2001, p.136).
In 1992, Senator John H. Chafee proposed a bill to require the government confiscation of almost all of the sixty million privately owned handguns in the nation. (Bovard, 2000, p.217) The Ultimate goal of the Anti-Gun crowd is plain simple and obvious, confiscation! In 1983, Rep. John Dingell, liberal chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) “a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today.” The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution investigated the BATF and concluded; “Enforcement tactics made possible by current firearms laws are constitutionally, legally and practically reprehensible. Approximately 75% of BATF gun prosecutions were aimed at ordinary citizens who had neither criminal intent nor knowledge? But were enticed by agents into unknowing technical violations.” John Lewis of the Second
Amendment Foundation noted that in 1980 that the BATF seize weapons without making any arrest; it also continues to withhold collections even after the acquittal of the defendant. Guns are far more effective defensive weapons than many politicians admit. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck reported “that in 83% of cases in which a victim has a handgun, the criminal surrenders or flees. According to Kleck, citizens successfully defend themselves with guns more than 700,000 times each year. It is well established that ‘official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for failure to
provide adequate police protection.” A federal appeals court declared in 1982, “There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.” New York mayor David Dinkins stated “the people have no constitutional or Federal right to have the police respond to their calls for assistance or to receive police protection against potential harm caused by private parties.” The Government has no obligation to defend the individual citizen, and, with gun bans, the individual has no right to defend their selves. (Bovard, 2000, p. 223) Gun bans don’t ban guns; rather they only ban citizens from legally defending themselves with guns. The more difficult the Anti-Gun crowd and the Government makes it for law-abiding citizens to get guns, the more power criminals who do have guns will have. Given the fact that the government can neither successfully ban guns nor defend American citizens, does the government have the moral right to attempt to selectively seize guns from law-abiding citizens? Gun bans are an attempt to confiscate the right of self-defense. Politicians perennially react to the police’s
total failure to control crime by trying to disarm law-abiding citizens. In a nutshell, gun bans mean that because criminals abuse guns, law-abiding citizens have no right to defend themselves. (Bovard, 2000, p.224)
If Banning Guns is the Answer to the Problem, then Why have Britain, Australia, and
Canada’s Ban Failed so Horrendously to Reduce Crime?
Australia, Britain and Canada, have recently bargained away ancient rights of individual self-defense. Congressional researchers reported, “It is difficult to find correlation between the existence of strict firearms regulations and a lower incidence of gun-related crimes.” Canada cracked down on handguns and suffered a dramatic increase in the percentage of homicides caused by handguns. Researchers found higher crime in strictly regulated Germany than in countries with liberal gun policies like Israel and Switzerland. Obviously, social pathology--not guns--determines how violent a society will be. Despite tight licensing procedures in recent years, handgun related robbery in Britain rose 200 percent during the last dozen years, five times as fast as the rise in the United States. While Britain’s tight handgun laws have not been able to reverse a crime wave, this mother country of ancient liberties is methodically shedding the democratic rights of citizenry. Now the U.K. has a crime problem worse than ours. By 2000, Australian authorities had confiscated some 660,000 privately owned firearms for destruction. Once again, gun control is moving
hand-in-hand with a rise in crime. The Australian Institute of Criminology reports that between 1996 and 1998 assaults rose 16 percent, armed robberies rose 73 percent, and unlawful entries rose eight percent. Is this is the right answer to guns?
I’ll take my chances with the wrong answer and I’ll take my guns along for the ride. (LaPierre and Baker, 2002, p.149-154)
Is the Second Amendment Outdated, Or Iis It America and It’s People’s Best Defense?
The Second Amendment is by far not outdated; it is an Amendment, a freedom to last throughout the ages as it has already. The Second Amendment since the 1970’s has come under ever increasing debate. The bottom line is that the right to defend oneself, family, and personal property is not negotiable. Many would say to rely on the police but as previously indicated, the police have no obligation to protect the people. One must protect himself, if he doesn’t, he cannot expect anyone else to do it for him. The fact that 31 states recognize the right to carry a concealed weapon, tells citizens that their second amendment rights must be valuable. Each citizen must be aware of his rights. One should check his state laws and exercise his 2nd Amendment rights.
Bovard, J. (October 19, 1994). Lost rights the destruction of American liberty.
New York: Palgrave Press, pp. 216-226.
Cullop, F. (October 15, 1969). The constitution of the United States of America
Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, pp 1-65.
Elder, L. (March 18, 2002). Showdown, New York: St. Martin’s press pp. 248-267.
Elder, L. (March 7, 2000). The ten things you can’t say in America.
New York: St. Martin’s press pp. 268-300.
LaPierre, W., & Baker J. (2002) Shooting straight Washington: Renergy
Publishing Inc, pp. 1-189.
LaPierre, W. (2003) Guns freedom and terrorism). Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Inc, pp. 1-211.
Liddy, G. (2002) When I was a kid this country was free, Washington:
Renergy Publishing Inc, pp. 13-29.
Lott, J. Jr. (2000) More guns less crime, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
pp. 1 - 243
Lott, J. Jr. (2003) The bias against guns why almost everything you’ve heard about
gun control is wrong., Washington: Renergy Publishing Inc, pp. 3-261
Ventura, J. (2000) Do I stand alone. New York: Pocket books, pp. 134-138.