My Stance On Guns and the Second Amendment

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There’s a popular ethical debate on whether the second amendment should be amended. On one hand, people argue that the more guns there are, the more violence will occur. The opposite side of the argument believes that the less guns there are, the more likely a violent act is to occur. For the sake of being straight forward, I stand with the latter. In a day and age when nearly two people die per second (According to Ecology.com), where someone stands on the matter brings constant backlash and demands a lot of thought.

One of the growingly common types of gun crimes are mass shootings, which are always splayed across our television screens. As of October 31, 370 mass shootings have occurred. This averages 1.22 mass shootings per day. In those shootings, 1,466 people were injured and 441 died for a total of 1,907 victims. While not all civilians are trained and capable, the majority who exercise their right to carry are ready in case they’re needed.

One case took place at a Walmart in Washington State. According to Kiro7, an armed civilian took down a shooter. It was later that authorities determined the civilian to be a pastor who also worked with the Oakville Fire Department where he was a lieutenant and an emergency medical technician. A witness Robert Berwick said, “I heard two bangs. It sounded like gunshots to me. I looked down the aisle and saw a person running.”

Another witness, Megan Chadwick, said her husband saw the civilian take down the shooter. “He said he watched him (the shooter) take his last breath.” “There were three civilians going after him (the shooter) to shoot him and two of them had their guns up-and then the third guy shot him through the window of the car.”

While this shooting didn’t occur during a gun free zone, it did occur near people who were armed and ready. Police call them Good Samaritans, while many gun activists are comfortable using the phrase, “Good guys with a gun.”

Another example similar to the Walmart shooting was a shooting where an armed civilian fired on a Texas church shooter and was labeled a ‘good Samaritan’. According to the Guardian, A former Nation Rifle Association instructor and the pickup truck driver who helped chase down a gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church, were the heroes.

Stephan Willeford, 55, said he was at his Sutherland Springs home when his daughter told him she heard gunfire at the first Baptist church that was nearby. “I kept heating the shots, one after another, very rapid shots- just ‘pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! – and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren’t just random shots,” Willeford said during an interview with the television stations KHBS/KHOG in fort smith and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Willeford said he loaded his magazine and ran barefoot across the street to the church where he saw the gunman and exchanged fire. While Willeford was unable to save the people who were killed inside of the church, he gave chase and the police were able to catch the shooter who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In this case, churches are common areas where guns are left behind at the door. No one inside the church was armed, and so no one was capable of fighting off the gunman.

On the opposite side, there are lots of areas where people are unarmed and completely at the mercy of anyone with a gun and a grudge. There are thousands of examples but the most common mass shootings are the ones that occur on school grounds. One of the most recent ones took place at a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama according to the New York Times. The city’s police

The Students were gathered at LaddPeebles Stadium for a game between LeFlore High School and Williamson High School when the gunfire erupted. Footage from the game that was posted to social media shows football players and watchers taking cover under the bleachers as screams were heard in the background. The safety policy on their website prohibits weapons, including firearms, knives and box cutters in the stadium regardless of a permit. No one on the premises was capable of taking down the 17 year old shooter and several people were injured in the wait for police officers to arrive on the scene.

School shootings are becoming common, and so there are hundreds of those to pull from, where students and faculty were left at the mercy of armed shooters while being forced to wait for the police to arrive. According to Safesmartliving.com, the average response time for the police after a call has been made is 10 minutes. A lot can happen within 10 minutes. One of the most recognized school shootings happened at Columbine high school and has since changed the way police officers respond mass shootings, According to CNN.

In April of 1999, two young men killed 13 people and changed the way emergency responders approach active shooter incidents such as the one that occurred in Parkland, Florida. Within just 13 minutes of the first call to police, 12 students had been fatally shot and a teacher, while 23 people were wounded before they took their own lives. SWAT only entered the building 47 minutes after the gunfire erupted.

The shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida was acted out by Nikolas Cruz, 19 years old, who fatally shot 17 people at his former school before blending in with the students and rushing out of the building. Imagine if there had been even just one person in both of those buildings who was armed and trained. They might have had a better chance in that case.

It can be argued that stricter laws would stop these sad events from taking place but that kind of thought is incorrect. For example, China is strict when it comes to their gun laws, yet 2.4 million people die per day. While the population of China is smaller than the population of the united states, their gun laws are more stricter and despite that, more people die per day in China than people that die per day in the united states.

Some people would go so far as to think removing guns from the equation altogether would help stop these mass shootings, but it wouldn’t change anything, but the way people are killed. If guns are removed from the equation, then people will find other ways to kill people. It’s in our nature. According to heritage.org, Mass shootings only account for 0.2 percent of homicides every year. Only 12 percent of mass killings Mass public shootings. Most mass killings are familicides, which are murders of family members or intimate partners, and felony-related killings such as robberies gone awry or gang-related “turf battles”.

Stricter laws on guns wouldn’t help because over 90 percent of public mass shootings take place in “gun free zones” where civilians cannot carry firearms. A complete ban on “Assault weapons” would only save a few lives because 6 out of every 10 mass public shootings are carried out by handguns, while only 1 out of 10 concerns rifles. Raising the minimum age for purchasing firearms would not target the main perpetrators because the average age of mass public shooters is 34.

Some say that removing firearms from the equation entirely would prevent mass shootings but according to heritage.org, Mass killers can find different ways to kill even without firearms. Some of the worst killings have occurred without firearms.

An example would be when an arsonist killed 32 people and injured 15 at the upstairs lounge in new Orleans in 1973, or when a disgruntled former airline employee killed 43 people after hijacking and crashing a passenger plane in 1987. In 2017, a man killed eight people, injured 11 others by plowing through pedestrians on a Manhattan bike path. There are too many different ways to kill people in large quantities; Bombings, Mass stabbings, and car attacks tend to kill more people than even the deadliest mass shootings in the united states.

I believe that getting rid of, or severely restricting, guns would leave the every day person unprotected, whereas if they were armed they could have a better chance. In many cases, when someone in the proximity is armed, they exercise that right in order to protect themselves and the people around them. When no one is armed, people are forced to run and hide and wait for the police, which sometimes could take too long to arrive on the scene.

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