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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    LETTER: Bearing arms is a right

    The founding fathers did not bestow our rights, they acknowledged they pre-existed, so please do a little more research on the subject of constitutional history.

    If a person lives in the countryside, do they have more right or need to own a gun than a person living in a crime-ridden city, as Barack Obama infers? In reality, this is discrimination. If a person never uses their insurance policy, they have no need to pay for it? Your position that many people who own firearms have no need for them is neither accurate nor agreeable.

    Your argument reminds me of an argument published by Mr. Steven Heyman in his “Natural Rights and the second amendment” — Chicago-Kent Law Review, in 2000. In his interpretation of John Locke’s writings from the late 18th century, a person must surrender the inherent natural right to defend oneself upon entrance into a society.

    What you and Mr. Heyman fail to account for is that, in reality, not everyone will follow the rule of law, as evidenced by the existence of crime. Nor does this argument address the inability or unwillingness of government to protect each and every citizen nor the need of the individual to protect themselves against a government.

    Steven, I invite you to spend time on our famous “Cass Corridor” in Detroit, without a firearm or any weapon to defend yourself. Let’s see how long you keep the attitude that the only time that was treacherous was in the past. It doesn’t have to be trees and grass for it to be a wilderness. In fact, there are many “urban wildernesses” throughout the United States. You make the assumption that all police officers or military are proficient in use of firearms, but reality is entirely different. I have personally viewed unsafe actions by parties from both groups. And what ex-military people who are properly trained and proficient in the use of weapons? These number in the tens of millions throughout the U.S, myself included. Is this training only acceptable to be practiced in the military? Once they are out, are their memories completely wiped clean of any knowledge or practice they acquired while using the weapons? People can be trained, and despite human error, trusted to be able to use their weapons.

    Let us go to the next issue in Chicago, New York City, and of course the recent Heller legal battleground, Washington, D.C., who continue to have the highest violent crime in metropolitan areas in the United States. Of course, the politicians like Daly and Bloomberg blame the surrounding areas for the influx of guns, but again, is it the law abiding, or the criminals who are bringing those weapons in?

    Why then continue doing something that has failed? Great Britain now has a growing knife violence problem after banning all guns in 1997. In fact, violent crime has gone to 1,720 per 100,000 U.K subject’s in 2006 from 841 violent crimes per 100,000 in 1997, according to British police data. In the United States during the same period there were 611 violent crimes per 100,000 in 1997 and 463 per 100,000 in 2006, according to FBI data.

    Interesting correlation — no guns in the U.K. and there is a higher violence rate, less restrictions in the U.S. and there is a lower violent rate. Bans and severe restrictions do not stop violence, never have, and never will. Further evidence, just look at the war on drugs, banning drugs really stopped them from being used, eh?

    No one government has the ability to protect any single person 24 hours a day, seven days a week for their entire life. The protection you envision is a fantasy, so please quit wasting our time spewing your unsupported, indefensible premise. Next time, care to do a little research. Use FBI crime data, CDC death rates or similar data sources. They are real. Information from any pro- or anti-gun group usually contains a slew of selected data points and surveys based on extremely small sample sizes then extrapolated into the entire population making them unreliable as facts.

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