Letter to the Editor: Why America needs firearms

Zach Hurwitz

This article is a rebuttal to the recently-written opinion piece by sophomore Ronak Mohanty. His opinion article pertained to why America is in need of dire gun control reforms. I disagree, and so I am willing to defend my stance on this issue and provide adequate insight as to why. 

Mohanty claims that gun control would help our country, but he failed to mention the correct reason why we have the second amendment and what it protects. 

Gun control measures, such as background checks, are often unsuccessful in preventing weapon attacks. They don’t stop people, such as criminals, from obtaining firearms illegally. Criminals do not follow gun laws and never have. Additionally, they only slow down weapon purchases for law-abiding citizens who might need them for protection. 

Mohanty uses Japan as an example of the success of gun control; a country with an entirely different culture than the US, and an already low homicide rate when they banned guns. Thus, the comparison of Japan to the United States is impractical. 

In other more liberal countries such as Australia, there appears to be a decrease in gun violence that correlates to their weapons ban. Yet Australia, in particular, actually had decreasing gun violence and homicide rates decades before the ban, and the gun ban actually had little to no effect on the homicide rate in the country. In England, you could even see an increase in homicides after the gun ban, as well as knife attacks.

Another written aspect of gun protection is the second amendment. Through the second amendment, we can determine the true importance of weapons ownership. “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.” First and foremost, the ‘right to a well-regulated militia’ is a people’s army that follows the Constitution. Secondly, an individual’s right to bear arms should not be infringed upon; nobody should block a person’s right to own a gun or weapon that the government has. 

We have the second amendment in place to protect us from a tyrannical government. For example, if a government starts to strip the liberties away from the people, the people have the means to coerce the government into returning to democratic procedures. A gun ban or gun control itself is a way for the government to control and oppress its people. These are prevalent considering historical context; fascist countries with strict gun reforms include Nazi Germany to modern-day Venezuela. Whether people like it or not, we need guns in this country. 

The matter of fact is, a law-abiding citizen with a gun can stop attacks from potential ill-intentioned shooters. Guns, according to the CDC, stop over 2.5 million crimes each year. While school shootings and mass shootings are horrible, according to crimeresearch.org, 94% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have been in gun-free zones such as schools and malls. 

Moreover, look at the West Freeway Church shooting in White Settlement, Texas. After the horrible shooting at First Baptist Church in 2017, where a man shot and killed twenty-six people, Texas changed the law to allow churches and places of worship to decide whether or not they allow guns on the premises. On December 9, 2019, a man stormed into the West Freeway Church and killed two people with a highly illegal sawed-off shotgun. In the four seconds after that, a 71-year-old man on the volunteer security team at the church stopped the man in his tracks with a pistol that he was allowed to conceal-carry. Because of him and others who had guns on them at the time, countless lives were saved.

Hence, guns are a necessary evil. Criminals will always look to obtain weapons no matter what laws are in place. Gun control would only stop law-abiding citizens from protecting and defending themselves. It is quite possible that enforcing gun control in the country could increase violence nationwide. On top of that, what civil liberties will be stripped away next? If the second amendment dies, what will be the fate of the rest of the amendments that we Americans hold dear to our freedom and prosperity?