Firearms; Vital Tools for Self Defense or Deadly Killers?

Topics: Firearm, Handgun, Gun Control Pages: 6 (2044 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Firearms; Vital Tools for Self Defense or Deadly Killers?


There are presently in excess of 200 million guns in the United States, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Each year this number grows by 4 to 5 million. There are 60 to 65 million legal owners of one or more guns.1 There is a firearm on the premises of more than half the households in America. Most of them keep guns for protection. The others keep them for hunting, target shooting, collecting, and similar pursuits.

In recent years nearly 35,000 people have been killed annually by guns in the United States. These deaths include 15,000 murders, 18,000 suicides, and 1,500 accidents.2 It is because of these statistics that many would like to ban guns altogether. But is that really in your best interest? Would it really benefit this country, or reduce the number of murders in this country? Consider the evidence in this article and you will see that guns should not be outlawed and that less gun control in necessary to preserve what the founders of this country believed in.

Guns are Beneficial

Guns can help prevent crime. This is a view held by many opponents to gun control. The criminals themselves agree. As part of a three - year study by the U. S. Department of Justice, criminals in prisons across the nation were interviewed. Sixty percent feared being shot by an armed citizen more than being shot by the police. fifty - three percent did not commit a specific crime because they were afraid the victim was armed. Fifty - seven percent of them were scared off by an armed victim who either brandished a gun or actually fired it.3 This alone shows that crime would drop if more citizens owned, carried and knew how to use guns.

One such case involved eleven - year old Jason Green of Houston, Texas. Home alone one night, he heard noises in the house. Arming himself with his father's shotgun he investigated and caught a burglar in the act. Just then his mother pulled up outside in the family car. Fearing the burglar might harm his mother Jason fired. His mother reacted by bursting into the house and firing her revolver. Hit by bullets from both guns the burglar died.

Jason's mother, like Jason, was defending her house against an intruder. There are about 645,000 defensive uses of handguns each year, according to Gary Kleck, a professor at Florida State University. He bases his figure on several surveys on handgun use, including one done for an organization that favors banning all guns. Kleck also concluded that hand guns used in self - defense, or some other legally justified cause kill 1,500 to 2,800 criminals every year. If other types of firearms besides handguns are included, then over 1,000,000 law - abiding citizens use guns for self - defense annually.

Guns also provide vulnerable women with some form of protection against rape and other violent crime. Recently, Orlando, Florida saw an increase in the number of rapes over a twelve - month period from 12.8 per 100,000 to 35.9 per100,000. Women in Orlando were afraid to go out alone, even in the daytime. Citizens of Orlando demanded that something be done.

Something was done. the Orlando Police Department set up a program to train women to use handguns. Over three thousand women armed themselves and took training courses. As a result, Orlando's rape figure dropped to 4.1 per 100,000 - a 90 percent drop from the previous high. Similar programs in Detroit and Highland Park, Michigan, and Montgomery, Alabama saw impressive reductions in crimes against women, including both rape and robbery.

One woman victim decided on her own that she had enough. A fifty - one year old woman of Los Angeles, California, twice raped by the same man, purchased a handgun and took lesions to learn how to use it. When the man return a third time she shot and killed him.

These are just a handful of examples of why handguns help prevent crime. There are...

Bibliography: Aitkens, Maggi. Should We Have Gun Control. Minniapolis, Minn: ., Lerner
Publications. 1992.
Bernard, Neil. Gun Control. San Diego, Ca.: Lucent Books. 1991.
Gottfried, Ted., Gun Control and The Right to Bear Arms. Brookfield, Ct.:
The Millbrook Press., 1993
Gottlieb, Alan. Gun Rights Fact Book Bellevue, Washington: Merril Press, 1988.
Robers, Joseph Jr.The Armed Citizen. Washington D.C. : The Nation Rifile
Association of America. 1989.
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