DO GUNS SAVE MORE LIVES THAN THEY TAKE? WRITTEN BY DOMINIQUE GARCIA

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Five seconds is the amount of time it takes for someone to pick up a gun and pull the trigger. Noting that, it also could only take five seconds for someone’s life to end. Five seconds is approximately the amount of time it has taken you to read this sentence. Scary? To those who are naive, yes.

The thought of an ink black, shiny gun may be petrifying to most. However; does the gut-wrenching fear of guns exemplify their true capability? When most hear of the word “gun”, they think of terrorists, massacres, and death. Could that opinion be flawed when looking at the real statistics of gun control? Credited to our founding fathers, the second amendment grants that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. However; due to mass shootings and terror attacks, some states make owning a gun illegal.With the overflow of controversial opinions, do statistics actually prove guns to be more safe than “deadly”?

The second amendment grants citizens the legal right to keep and bear arms. Despite the framed ideas of our founding fathers, this amendment has later become one of the most important yet problematic amendment the constitution has ever come to know. Because this amendment is associated such a delicate topic in present day society; the exact meaning of what the amendment grants is scrutinized in various ways. Because many silently questioned the true context of the amendment, this issue became legally confronted on June 26, 2008. In a supreme court case involving officer Dick Heller against District of Columbia, both ends quarreled the language of what this amendment truly stood for. Dick Heller was a special officer authorized to legally obtain a handgun during working hours at the Federal Judicial Center. He was able to carry his gun while on duty at work and as result of enjoying the mental security of having one, he applied for a registration certificate to keep a handgun at home. At the time, the District of Columbia law restricted gun possession for individuals, therefore, his request was denied. Was this constitutional?

The question which lingered for years, was clarified in this court case.

The Second Amendment right was investigated and the court concluded that the Second Amendment right is free for gun possession within the requirements of citizens with lawful purposes, no felon records, mental stability, and the most importantly; the state’s law. This debate also concluded that although it is lawful to keep and possess a gun for private use in their home, the law certainly prohibits gun possession in public yet hypersensitive places such as schools and government buildings.

With many gun related incidents, speaking of the right to bear arms has become a delicate topic to discuss in a legal as well as a personal aspect. According to the Huffington Post, around 49% of Americans are inclined to believe that gun control should be stricter, while 43% agreed that gun laws should remain the same if not, looser. With a total over 300 mass shootings just in the year 2015, I understand why people would be inclined to be against gun control.However, despite the horrors guns have caused, they have also helped citizens defend themselves from tragic and horrific events.

Statistics prove that people use guns to defend themselves over 6,850 times a day. That could potentially mean a baby being saved or someone preventing rape.

Did you know, approximately 200,000 women in the United States use guns to protect themselves against sexual crime every single year?That is on average 548 people a day, 23 women an hour.

Amanda Collins, a rape survivor, advocates for guns believing that gun ownership makes victims not defenseless targets. “As this stranger raped me while holding a pistol to my temple, I could see the police cruisers parked for the night, and I knew that no one was coming to help me.” Collins explains her traumatic experience. However; was she the only one? “Eventually, the man who raped me, James Biela, was caught. He was tried and convicted for not only raping me at gunpoint in a gun-free zone, but also raping two other woman and murdering Brianna Denison.” Collins, rightfully, obtains the idea feeling if she was armed, everything would have been different. “Had I been carrying my firearm, I would have been able to stop the attack. Not only that, but two other rapes would have been prevented and three young lives would have been saved, including my own.” In Texas, the state legalizes handguns to be owned by all. In 2015, this state had a total of 18,363 sexual assaults. On the contrary, California has laws which prohibit the carrying of handguns. In the year 2012, 31,790 Californian people were victims of sexual assault. Is this coincidental, or does the rate of sexual assault relate to the laws on handgun ownership?

In the first 164 days of 2016, the FBI investigated over 136 mass shootings.

By definition, a mass shooting requires four or more people to be wounded or dead. Hypothetically, if just three out of those minimum of four people died in each case, that would amount to approximately 408 deaths. Scary, yes?

The word “gun” often triggers the idea of mass shootings. However; it is statistically proven that gun ownership amongst civilians arguably prevents these tragic massacres. In smalltown Spartanburg, South Carolina churchgoer, Henry Guyton is being credited with saving many lives of fellow civilians when a murderer and leveled a shotgun. Guyton’s concealed handgun not only saved adults, but children too. He prevented the shooter from shooting up the church Is this the only time a civilian with a handgun was a hero? In Ohio, the man who is being called an "everyday hero" might have been arrested for violating the law. Does this seem fair?

In 2009 Atlanta, Georgia, Calvin Lavant and Jamal Hill broke into a party hosted at an apartment and forced everyone to the floor. After they raided the apartment, and separating the men and the women, the men exclaimed;

“we are about to have sex with these girls, then we are going to kill them all.”

At that point, Sean Barner, Marine, managed to get to the book bag he brought to the party. This man not only prevented rape of many, but as well as murder. What if that man did not have a gun? Would women experience not one, not two, but three of the most traumatic things society has to offer? Being held at gunpoint, rape, and shot dead in this story seem like such extreme situations, but scariest part is that this is an everyday reality. Though it may never be definitively answered as to whether or not these men would definitely rape and murder every girl, it proposes a massive “what-if” controversy on civilian gun ownership as a whole.

In conclusion, it is no doubt that guns can definitely be a deadly weapon, but in the hands of a hero; it could also be a lifesaver.

Although guns can cause damage, they save more lives they take, which is why I am a gun supporter and believe in the power of the second amendment.

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