When you outlaw guns…

A wild boar head sits proudly over our mantle in the livingroom; a few quail feathers from a very memorable hunting trip hang high on the wall inside our garage; some of the most perfectly assassinated paper-person-targets are kept as memorabelia in our basement. I know the exact size and shape of the bright orange discs used in trap shooting; I’ve tasted (and enjoyed) fresh deer jerkey. I am the daughter of a gun owner, the daughter of a member of the NRA.

I have often heard a cascade of pro-gun propoganda pour into my ears on more occasions than I could ever possibly count, and although these constant reminders of one of my dad’s favorite hobbies can be found just about anywhere in my house, when it comes to the actual guns themselves, well they’re just about never seen. Although I know that some of his guns are held in a massive bank safe (to which no one but my father knows the combination) I’m honestly not sure where the bullets are. The only time I see his guns out are when he is cleaning them, and at that point, they’re in about 15 different pieces. Especially as a child, I can claim for a fact that I never saw one of those weapons out unattended.

This long introduction was pretty much to show everyone that I grew up around a law-abiding, cautious, responsible gun owner. I’ve personally seen firearms used for nothing except extremely safe sport and enjoyment. So, of course, when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, for me, there’s no question. Recently, Mayor Daley (Chicago) has promoted SB16, a gun control act that, above all, states that it is prohibited to “knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed a semi-automatic assault weapon, an assault weapon attachment, any .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge”. Yikes! All around the country, gun control laws and laws banning the ownership of firearms are popping up more and more often.

In my opinion (and remember, opinions are like…) the banning and severe restriction of firearms is a route that the U.S. should be hesitant to travel down. Let’s take the ever-classic example of prohibition. When alcohol was prohibited, mob activity flourished and thrived. Speakeasies had massive profits. Those willing to break the law got the most out of prohibition and benefited greatly from it. Violence of all sorts (mostly mob related, as different groups tried to control the flow of alcohol) ran through the country. The bottom line is: Prohibition did not work. Rather, it increased illegal activity and made alcohol something that was no longer regulated by government to reach safety and quality requirements. People continued to drink.

My history classes here at school have taught me, among other things, that we have to look to history and learn from it. We have to find parallels that will help us prepare for the future (and yeah, even the present). History DOES tend to repeat itself, and outlawing firearms poses a number of threats to our society. When guns are made illegal, law abiding citizens will not possess them, but convicts will.

While I do agree that strict background checks should be done before one is allowed to buy a firearm, we must remember that the black market exists. Just look at how easy it is for millions of people to obtain illicit drugs. I am 19 years old, and I have already witnessed friends use marijuana, cocaine, and speed. The black market is far-reaching, and this is probably the area in which our law enforcement officials should focus. The upstanding citizen selling guns from his privately owned shop is not the person we need to worry about. And while the “good citizens” of this country would discard and destroy their weapons, what type of opportunity would this pose for the criminals of the U.S.?

Ah, and to finish my title, a quote my dad has shared with me time and time again:
When you outlaw guns, only the outlaws have them.

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12 Responses to “When you outlaw guns…”

  1. Trent Says:

    I completely agree with your post. While laws are needed to regulate guns, we also need to understand that people have the right to own them. It says so in the Constitution. What’s more, people need to be sure that they can protect themselves, their rights and their lands and families from the government if need be. Why do you think people can’t own guns in Communist countries?

    P.S. You are a terrific writer.

  2. 06jk Says:

    Thanks!!!

  3. Jorge Kouadio Says:

    Article [II.]

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    That was taken from http://www.house.gov/paul/const-amend.html#1 (official site for the U.S. House of Representatives).

    Now I personally believe that guns should be outlawed period. Nothing good comes from deadly force. The Constitution was written in a different time hence all of the amendments to it. Look at countries such as Japan, Australia, and the UK last time I checked they weren’t communist, have very strict gun laws, and have lower gun crime rates. Visit http://www.guninformation.org/ it is a well cited site that supports my claims.

  4. 06jk Says:

    Jorge-

    Trent never said that non-communist countries don’t outlaw guns, only that communist countries DO. While the Constitution was written in a different time, the Framers intended for it to always be applicable (for example, Congress is given the power to raise an army, not the power to “buy muskets” as the Framers knew they could not forsee advancements in society and technology, i.e. nuclear weapons).

    The Amendment process is the proper way for the Constitution to “change”; it is not meant to change based on public assumption. This leads to chaos and absolutely no uniformity if every individual citizen can interpret the Constitution in his or her own way.

    Your argument thus doesn’t convince me- if times WERE different and we wanted this change in the right to own guns, wouldn’t we have made the amendment?

    ‘‘The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”
    -Adolf Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938

    If you would no longer like to see the government allow citizens to own guns, you should write your representative in support for an amendment as such. Until that time, your citation of the Second Amendment has made the law quite clear.

    P.S. States with concealed carry laws such as Texas and Florida have ridiculously lower crime rates than states who do not allow such action. While I am not saying that these laws are good or bad, it goes to show that statistics don’t always point people in the same direction of opinion.

  5. 06jk Says:

    P.P.S.

    Jorge, here is a link to an article citing that the prohibition of guns in Australia has NOT affected a decrease in crime rates http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1736501,00.html

  6. Jorge Says:

    Well in Australia it was legal to own and easy to obtain fully-automatic assault weapons. Obviously those not willing to comply with the law could easily keep such weapons. The first step would be to make it more difficult to obtain firearms in the first place as it is now it is easier to get a gun than a drivers license here in the US. The only things guns do are kill thats their purpose it is what they were invented to do and they do it quite well. How about we look at gun control and crime in Japanhttp://www.davekopel.com/2A/Foreign/Japan-Gun-Control-and-People-Control.htm.

  7. Jorge Says:

    http://www.davekopel.com/2A/Foreign/Japan-Gun-Control-and-People-Control.htm

  8. Kameron Says:

    I totally agree. To 06jk—
    ‘‘The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”
    -Adolf Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938

    I wonder why? Maybe it’s b/c our founding fathers allowed the bearing of arms to PROTECT us from the government.W/o protection from the gov’t, gov’t has complete control, also Without any personal protection (such as when a robber breaks into ur house) what are u going to do? Beg him to death does it’s part. This robber will probably have a gun, hence, its a robber, illegal, just like illicit drugs (that u see passed around school everyday), but he will most likly have one.

  9. Kellene Says:

    Brilliant post, thank you for speaking up and sharing. It’s great to hear these views from a young adult as well. If we look south of the border to Mexico, gun laws are tight there, but they still experience horrific violence. Laws will not fix these problems, but they will certainly make it so that law abiding citizens will have no way to defend and protect both themselves, their property, and most importantly, their families. http://tinyurl.com/c7e8pg Your father is an excellent example of an inidividual who taught a healthy respect of firearms to his children. Bravo. http://tinyurl.com/7th2zp

  10. progressboink Says:

    Completely agree with your post. I smiled when I saw your age – I’m 19 as well.
    I used to be in the “no guns” camp…until I actually fired one. I enjoy shooting for recreation and know that when I turn 21 I will be applying for my CHL. I feel better knowing I can take a bad situation into my own hands in the interest of my safety.
    What I have failed time and time again to explain to friends, co-workers, and classmates is what you stated above: when guns are made illegal, it only ensures that criminals have them and their victims don’t. Not quite the outcome we want now, is it?

  11. 06jk Says:

    Hey thanks! I’m actually 21 now, but that’s so cool to see other older teens feeling the same.

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