Gun Restrictions Hurt Law-Abiding Citizens

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

Gun Restrictions Hurt Law-Abiding Citizens

by Aaron Lynch, Senior -- Lakewood High School, January 2000

Seventeen -- that is how many gun control laws Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold broke when they walked into Columbine High School last April.

After the incident at Columbine, an immediate knee jerk reaction was the public demand for more gun control regulations. Today, people believe that the answer to their problems, where guns are concerned, is to have more federal restriction, laws and legislation. If anything, this is the opposite of what needs to happen.

People, when proposing new gun control regulations, assume that others will abide by those laws. Those same people tend to forget that the people they want to keep guns away form are criminals, and criminals are the ones who break the laws. Thus, when gun ownership is outlawed, the people who will be in possession of guns will be the people who are willing to break the law. If someone is willing to defy laws against gun ownership, then they are probably willing to violate other laws, including those violating the rights of others (i.e., murder, assault, robbery.)

Under conditions where citizens would not be allowed to own guns, law-abiding people would not have a chance trying to defend themselves against gun-wielding thugs. One must ask themselves the question, "Who will win in a fight between a person with a bat and someone with a pistol?" This scenario reminds one of a variation on the golden rule, "Whoever has the gold (in this case guns) makes the rules."

Others state that concealed weapons are not an effective crime deterrent. Again, this is an untrue statement. A study by John Lott and David Mustard of the University of Chicago found that concealed handgun laws reduced murder by 8.5 percent and severe assault by 7 percent from 1977 to 1992. The study also found that had "right-to-carry" laws been in effect throughout the country, there would have been 1,600 fewer murders and 60,000 fewer assaults every year.

And last, but not least, "A criminal doesn't have the good sense to flee when approached with a gun; it merely provokes him," and "gun wielding victims are more likely to shoot bystanders and innocent people rather than their assailant, therefore making them a danger to society." As one may guess; untrue. A study by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck reported "that in 83 percent of cases in which a victim has a handgun, the criminal surrenders or flees." According to Kleck's studies, citizens successfully defend themselves with guns more than 700,000 times each year. The same study also proved that police are more than five times more likely to shoot an innocent person than are private gun owners.

Many people know about the disarmament of the German people during the reign of the Third Reich, but few are aware that it was not Hitler who imposed those gun regulations. It was the moderate Centrist and the Democratic Socialists of the Weimar Republic who called for gun restrictions to keep guns out of the hands of violent radicals like the Nazis. But the people's own regulations came back to bite them when the Reich began attacking the same German people who took guns out of the everyday person's hands.

People who state that the founders of the American Constitution, when including the Second Amendment did not intend for the average American to own a gun are wrong. The Founders created the Second Amendment because they did not know if America's new form of democratic government would last as they intended. The Founders wanted the American people to be able to defend themselves not only from hostile citizens, but also from their own government.

People must remember that there are more good than bad gun owners in the country and that you can take guns away from the good guys, but you cannot take the guns away from the bad guys.

The Colorado Freedom