The importance of the Second Amendment

By Brian Wilhelm

On December 15th of 1791, an Amendment was added to the Constitution of the United States. This Amendment, under the Bill of Rights, was called Amendment II. Amendment II stated the following: 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.

Never before has the debate over "the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms" reached such a climaxing level as it has today. Whenever we turn on the evening news, you can almost be sure to find some incident involving guns...if it bleeds, it leads. You can also most certainly expect to hear all of the "negatives" about guns. In the movies, we are bombarded with pictures of blood splattering gun violence. Our own President condemns lawfully owned firearms in the hands of youth as "a crime or accident waiting to happen." Nothing could be further from the truth!

The majority of gun owners in the United States are decent law-abiding citizens. More that 50% of all households in the U.S. have at least one gun. But, our left-wing media and politicians would have you believe that we live in an evil trigger-happy society. Whenever someone is gunned down in cold blood, we are lead to believe that those evil gun manufacturers are the culprits. Why is it so difficult to understand that the real culprits are the criminals! Criminals are the ones who obtain guns illegally by breaking into our homes, businesses, etc., stealing them, and using them against us.

Perhaps the government should concentrate on keeping criminals behind bars instead of releasing them after having served only half of their sentence. Perhaps instead of putting the blame on guns (which is only a machine that does not work without human input), we should place the blame where it belongs. Our dismay over violent conditions in our cities and towns should not be placed on the shoulders of those who are not responsible for those actions.

Our society is being pushed to believe that without guns, we are better off. Guns should only be in the hands of government officials. We are not responsible enough to have them. I think we have heard this before. Yes, we have. A group of people in Germany had the same idea a few years back...and we all know exactly where that led.

I am not a gun-toting extremist. The Right to possess a firearm is not a radical, extremist ideal. It is a fundamental Right. It is a Right that each U.S. citizen has the ability to choose to exercise, if they so wish. I happen to be one of the tens of millions choosing to exercise that Right. Am I a horrible, evil person for doing so? I don't think so. I legally purchased each gun I own. I obtained a license from the State of Indiana to carry my handgun. Yes, I carry a handgun!

I am also one of tens of millions who has survived a violent attack. It was an attempted carjacking with gunfire and all!! I was unarmed, they were armed. I wouldn't give them my car...so they tried to kill my fiancee and me. They missed, and I sped away. I was lucky that time. But next time, I may not be so lucky.

But, many have asked what good would a gun have been. I don't know how different the outcome would have been. But, a study called "Crime, Deterrence and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun [Laws]," appeared in the Journal of Legal Studies, a leading scholarly journal published by the University of Chicago. The study "find(s) that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crime and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1570 murders, 4177 rapes and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly."

This is a pretty startling observation. Unfortunately, it is an observation that did not make it into mainstream media. Again, facts produced that advocate the existence of a "right to bear arms" are all too often pushed away by our leftist culture.

Perhaps American citizens should wake up to the facts about guns in our society, and understand that a gun is not the culprit. We have the Right to lawfully possess a firearm for the protection of our property, our lives, and our family's lives. This is a very simple and basic Right, and it should "not be infringed."

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener

Bryan Wilhelm

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