Bernard Socha is senior mechanical and electrical engineering double major with a minor in physics. He is the president of the IEEE and amateur radio club and treasurer of college republicans and PSPE.
“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.” Twenty-seven words written by our founding fathers to ensure the ultimate check on government and the fastest most reliable self-defense, the right for the average citizen to own and use a ﬁ rearm.
Jefferson himself said, “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
Before the formation of the United States or the ratiﬁcation of the Bill of Rights, the United States Colonies were dependent on their ability to know how to use a gun. Frequent defense and putting dinner on the table were a must for settlers. Once the tyrannies of England became too great, the colonists turned to their simple muzzle loading riﬂe. This tool freed the United States, allowed it to grow into the country we have become, and have kept it free against attacks of all kinds.
James Agresti, president of “Just Facts” research and e d u c a t i o n a l institute, has found that nearly half of all American households have at least one gun, and they are used an estimated one million times per year in defense.
In a study of prisoners, more than a third of those interviewed were scared off by their victim having a gun and two out of ﬁve criminals did not attempt to commit the crime due to the victim owning a gun.
Agresti has also found that of the non-fatal accidents in the US, 46 percent are due to falls, 9 percent to poisoning, and only 0.4 percent to guns. You are more than 20 times more likely to be injured by poison in 2016 than a gun and one hundred times more likely to fall and hurt yourself. Of fatal accidents nearly 55 people are killed driving for every gun death, according to the highway safety institute and the University of Utah.
Today, many liberals and the media aim to revoke the fundamental right to own and use a ﬁrearm, citing mass shooting, gun violence, and the lack of intelligence of American citizens to house a weapon. The largest school killing occurred in 1927, killed 38 elementary children and not a shot was ﬁ red. Andrew Kehoe used explosives in Bath Township Michigan to kill a total of 44 and injured 58.
Criminals by deﬁnition break the law. Curbing the public’s right to own a weapon will have no effect. Angela Valdez, author and researcher, has found that four of every five guns used in a crime are acquired illegally. There is no way to control the spread of illegal weapons, just as the ﬁght to control illegal drugs fails.
Valdez also found the opposite to be true; of the six states with the strictest gun control, crime rates are 23 percent higher, an additional one in four crimes. DC banned handguns in 1977 and by 1990 homicides tripled. The Chinese removed the gun rights of their people in 1935 and between 1948 and 1952 over twenty million were killed. The Soviet Union did the same and between 1915 and 1917 an additional 20 million were killed.
Geraldine Wood states in 1934 Canada registered handguns, and 61 years later banned them. By 2003, all riﬂes and shotguns were registered, likely to slowly go the way of their handguns. The U.S. has also enacted gun control over the last century. In 1934 automatic weapons and in 1990 semiautomatic weapons, the kind used in many mass shootings were banned. Just less than 2,000 felons were denied access to guns and 30 years later the mentally ill were barred from owning all weapons.
Criminals will always have access to weapons, and a gun is just a tool until a criminal pulls the trigger.