YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SAY I CAN'T OWN ONE MORE GUN
By Neal Ross
The other day at work I got into a discussion with a woman about firearms. It all began when I mentioned that I intend to buy a new pistol. This person told me that I shouldn't buy another gun, in fact nobody should have any guns because guns kill too many people in this country.
The following morning there was an article in the local paper about some idiot kid who had fired a shotgun into a car where a 2 old girl was sitting. This woman attempted to use this article to support her claims that nobody should own guns. I lost my cool and said some things I should not have, but I am tired of arguing with people who just will not listen to reason.
Samuel Adams once said that "Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason." Unfortunately, I am finding out that Adams was right, people refuse to listen to facts and instead base their decisions upon emotional reactions to events.
Daniel Webster once told us that "A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures." This is especially true when it comes to gun control legislation. Every time there is a tragic event where guns are used to kill people, an outcry is heard about stricter gun laws.
It seems as though some people think that everyone who owns a firearm is going to go out and kill someone, therefore all guns should be banned to save lives. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, there are approximately 192 million privately owned firearms in the United States. If the reasoning used by these people is correct, there would be 192 million firearm deaths per year and there would be 192 million people sitting in jails for killing someone with a firearm. Let's do the math, 192 million deaths, plus 192 million convicted murderers equals 384 million people. Hmmm, there are only 300 million people in this country, so the numbers don't add up.
The preponderance of guns does not equal firearm deaths, lack of morals and regard for human life does. The lack of morals on some peoples part is not legal grounds for infringing upon the rights of those who do respect life and the law. Unfortunately, people would rather punish everyone for the actions of a few. Personal integrity and responsibility don't seem to enter into the equation any more.
I wonder how many people are aware that there is a gun in every home in Switzerland? Every man in Switzerland is required to serve in their nations militia, and to keep their weapon on hand at home, ready for use should the need arise. Switzerland has very liberal gun laws, meaning that there are hardly any restrictions upon gun ownership. On top of that, they have a strong history of shooting traditions. Yet their crime rate is far lower than ours, where gun control laws are much stricter. Not only that, when a Swiss male has completed his time in the militia, he is entitled to keep his firearm for personal use. Any guess what the weapon of choice is for the Swiss militia? It is the SIG 550 assault rifle. So, not only are there lots of guns in Switzerland, there are lots of assault rifles privately owned. Therefore the logic that an abundance of guns kills people does not fly.
Allow me, for a moment, to use the logic of those who wish to ban guns. Are you aware that, in 1994 there were 38,505 firearm related deaths in the United States? Sounds like a lot, doesn't it. I guess we have to get rid of those guns. Hold on though, in that same year there were 40,719 vehicle deaths in the United States. That means there were 2200 more people killed by cars than there were guns. Why is there no push to ban cars?
Sound silly? I'm not done yet. What about the medical community? According to Dr. Richard Besser of the CDC, the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually was 20 million doses. The number of unnecessary medical procedures is 7.5 million unneeded surgeries, and there are 8.9 people unnecessarily hospitalized per year.
But these people don't die you say. Oh yeah? According to statistics 106,000 people die per year due to adverse drug reactions, 98,000 die per year due to medical error, 115,00 die per year from bedsores, 88,000 from infections they got while IN THE HOSPITAL, 108,000 from malnutrition, 37,136 from unnecessary surgeries, and a meager 32,000 die from required surgery related causes. That is a total of 783,936 people die per year in our nations hospitals. Why don't we ban doctors and hospitals as well, after all I am only using your logic that if people are dying, then we need to ban the cause of their deaths.
I am sorry to be the one who bursts your bubble, but guns are not the problem in this country, people are. Our nation was founded upon the belief that people had inalienable rights, and among those rights was the right to protect themselves and their property.
John Adams once said that, "Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion...in private self-defense." George Mason, a Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention, who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and along with James Madison, is known as a father of our nations Bill of Rights, once said, "Divine providence has given to every individual the means of self-defense...To disarm the people...is the best and most effective way to enslave them."
George Washington went further, by saying, "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. To secure peace, securely and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good."
I am tired of people who refuse to remember the principles upon which our nation was founded, and instead base their decisions upon emotional impulses that are not backed by any logic or reasoning.
Much like the Swiss, George Washington believed, "It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it."
Our seventeenth President, Andrew Jackson once said, "Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it."
Citizens include those who are born here, and those who immigrate here to live and enjoy the freedoms and benefits that this country offers them. I wonder, how many of those who think that guns should be banned can claim to have served this country by serving in this nations military? I did, for 3 enlistments, totaling 13 years. Not only myself, but my father, who served in World War II and the Korean Conflict, and my grandfather as well. I can also trace my family back to brothers who fought on opposing sides during the Civil War. How many others can make these claims, particularly those who have immigrated to this country?
This country was founded by immigrants, we can all trace our ancestors back to some land other than the United States, but as George Washington said, "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment."
America was founded, by immigrants from all nations who came here to live and seek their own place to live and practice their beliefs freely. However it was not a place where immigrants could come to dilute, or pollute if you will, the beliefs that made this country the very place they were given all these opportunities.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules." Jefferson also said, "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
The second amendment does not give me the right to own guns, it protects that natural right from those who would infringe upon it. There is a big difference. Since the second amendment is part and parcel of the Constitution, which is the highest law in the land, Article 6 of the Constitution for those who care to look, then my right to own guns is not yours to infringe upon, no matter what you believe.
For those who have emigrated here, you need to remember that this country opened its arms to accept you, as long as you obey our laws and respect our heritage. It is not your place to impose the beliefs and culture of your native land upon us, and that includes your beliefs on whether or not I should be allowed to own a single firearm, or a hundred.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, "In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American."
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I don't care if you believe that guns should be outlawed because that is the way that things were where you came from, or if it is because you believe that guns are evil and the cause of too much suffering, it is my Constitutionally protected right to own them. Therefore, if you wish to live in this country, my country, you need to respect our Constitution and the individual rights it was written to protect.
© 2008 - Neil Ross - All Rights Reserved