Story last updated at 5/21/2014 - 5:45 pm
Over one-third of Americans own guns. These firearms are used for many different things, such as protection, subsistence living and recreation. Recently, there have been many people trying to enforce gun control, which could possibly interfere with these uses. Americans need to protect their right to keep and bear arms.
Guns are a form of protection, and many people can vouch that guns have saved their lives in a dangerous situation. One woman tells a story about an attempted break in she experienced: "If I had not had a weapon (a shotgun she had) and had not been shown how to use it, he (the man attempting to break in) would have gotten into my house."
The man had been trying relentlessly to unlock the woman's back door. When he saw she had a gun, he left. Another man had an even closer call. John Haxby, a TV newsman, was visiting his brother in Arizona a while back. While sitting in the passenger seat of his brother's car at a red light, a man with a knife came up to Haxby's window and opened the door. The man began to lunge at Haxby with the knife, but he suddenly stopped and ran. Haxby looked back at his brother in the driver's seat to find that there was a pistol in his brother's hands. The man saw the gun and ran.
Not only are guns a form of protection, but people also use them for subsistence living. Here in Alaska, many people live off the land. This means growing your own fruits and vegetables, fishing, and hunting. This subsistence living requires living requires guns.
So we can conclude that guns are used for protection and subsistence living, but that aside, there is still the Second Amendment that specifically states that it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and that that right cannot be taken away. By anyone. Even the federal government. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the right to limit an individual's right to own firearms. It is most certainly not listed under what powers the federal government actually does have, or anywhere in the Constitution.
Also, the Second Amendment ensures that the government will never get what Joseph Sobran refers to in the book Gun Control as a "monopoly of weaponry." Just like the First Amendment ensures that religion and the press will not be monopolized. Also, the 14th amendment says the states basically have to follow the same rules as the government. Notice that it is particularly called a "right." This means that people can't keep and bear arms only with the permission of the government. Not to mention, the Constitution reads, "... the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Also, Samuel Adams once stated during the Massachusetts Convention to Ratify the Constitution in 1788, "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
Certainly, some can argue that gun control could make the country a safer place to live. Some might even be able to sleep better at night with the knowledge that their neighbor doesn't have a weapon next door. Gun control could also quite possibly reduce gun violence. Still, Americans should not have the right to keep and bear arms taken away from them.
Our right as Americans to keep and bear arms should be protected. Not only does the Second Amendment state that our right shall not be infringed, but many Americans rely on guns for food for the table, and most importantly, people rely on guns for protection. So next time you hear about putting gun control into action, think about people like John Haxby, or the woman who had a man trying to break into her house, who probably wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the guns that helped save their lives.
Editor's Note: This is the ninth in a series of 10 essays that will be running weekly in the Capital City Weekly. Each year for the past 10, students at Floyd Dryden Middle School compose, edit and pick editorial essays for publication in the CCW. Essays are picked by a student editorial board, and the Capital City Weekly is pleased to donate space for these young writers.
The students who served on the editorial board are Andyn Mulgrew-Truitt (Editorial Board Leader), Gabrielle Scales (Editorial Board Leader), Cassie Dzinich, Matthew Edwards, Mason Fowler, Janessa Goodman, Taia Hadfield, Dang Xue Loseby, Luis Medrano, Cierra McCain, Emily Mossberg, Gray Price, Maxie Saceda-Hurt, Abby Schmidt, Anthony Simpson, Colton Tersteeg, Jillian Tracy and Kasey Watts. The Capital City Weekly does not advocate or oppose the opinions expressed here.