First Word: Law abiding citizens deserve their guns

Noah Roux, Contributing Writer

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     Our daily news cycle has been dominated by the news of the Parkland shooting and the subsequent gun policy debate. Our nation pauses and pays its respects to the innocent high schoolers who lost their lives; as a nation we mourn together. However, after the initial shock of the tragedy, we quickly return to the mud throwing that we see after each of these tragedies, the talking points becoming once again divisive and unfair.

     It is important to first understand the positions of either side, and to recognize that no one in America wants these terrible shootings to continue. Democrats and Republicans all agree that they need to end now. We disagree about how to get this done and we have a large discussion ahead of us about the policies that should be put into place to solve the problem. Instead of pointing fingers, it’s time to work together, take a step back and listen. I would like to present a conservative argument for the future of the Second Amendment and what we as a nation can implement to curb these tragedies.

     Why is the second amendment so important to so many Americans? Forty-two percent of Americans own guns. People use them for hunting, especially in rural areas like here in PA. Law abiding Americans should be allowed to use these guns for sport.

     Not only are guns used for sport, they are also used for self-defense. A common argument you will hear is that the Second Amendment was created to protect us from the government and that it is archaic.

     Despite the mass shootings that have increased in number, the number of defensive gun uses are higher than the number of criminal firearm use. According to research from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council that was published by the CDC, there is a broad range of defensive gun uses from 500,000 to over 3 million.

     That includes simply making it clear to a potential criminal that you have a firearm and are willing to defend yourself. There were 11,208 firearm homicides and 414,562 nonfatal illegal gun uses, making it clear that guns are more often used to defend people than they are to hurt others. According to some on the left the more guns we have in the country, the more gun violence we should have. This cannot be true. According to the CDC, gun ownership increased by 56 percent from 1993 to 2003, and gun violence decreased by almost 50 percent, a trend that has continued.
Let’s take a step back and analyze the situation again. More people than ever own guns, and yet gun violence has gone down. The ratio of guns per capita has not changed, either. If anything, there are more guns in America. So, what has changed in our country that has increased the rate of these mass shooting attacks on soft targets, like schools, theater and the concert in Vegas?

     There has got be a reason why these things have become so much more prominent, and the answer simply cannot be that there are too many guns. This is a deeper problem. President Trump has suggested that there is a mental health problem in this country, and that If we increase the power of background checks we can try to stop those who shouldn’t have these weapons in the first place. There needs to be a new system of vetting and recognizing those kinds of people before they ever get close to purchasing a firearm, without taking away guns from law abiding citizens.

     There have been other troubling facts to come out of this case. The Broward County police department responded to 39 calls about troubling behavior from the suspect in the Parkland shooting. This could have been avoided if the system was stricter and people did their job to stop these kinds of people from having guns.

     The policy proposed by the Trump administration includes hardening our background check system and strengthening school security. Ninety-nine percent of mass shootings take place in gun-free zones. Deranged murderers want to attack places that they know they are not likely to find armed resistance. Trying to confiscate people’s guns is not going to make people safer. The next mass shooter is already out there, and they most likely already have a gun. I leave you with this question: How do we stop him?

Noah is a Sophmore Political Science major. He is the Vice President of the BU College Republicans and is a contributing writer.