Do People Have the Right to Bear Arms?



The topic of gun control and whether or not Americans should have the right to bear arms has been heavily debated over the past few decades. 

In the United States constitution, the second amendment says, “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.” 

Although the right to bear arms is our constitutional right, many people believe this right should be changed. 

According to Pew Research Center and their article, What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S, “the 45,222 total gun deaths in 2020 showed a 43% increase from the decade prior.” 

These statistics lead many people to believe the only solution is to ban guns. 

Image courtesy of Elizabeth Léka

“Guns have the ability to cause harm and to end the lives of others,” said an anonymous San Marcos student. 

Although this is very true, I believe the problem is with who is obtaining these weapons rather than guns themselves.

Personally, I do not believe everyone should own a gun, especially if that person has a criminal record. With that being said, I believe every American was born with the inherent right to bear arms. Many other students and teachers on campus believe this as well. 

Landon Sheffey, junior at San Marcos High School, said, “I think guns should be allowed. It’s a great law for us in the United States that we can protect ourselves from the government and people threatening our lives. Obviously, there are very bad things that happen with guns, but I don’t think that taking away guns will solve the problem.”

Although there are many tragedies that come from gun violence, that doesn’t mean that all guns are used wrongfully. 

According to the U.S Department of Justice’s article “Gun Ownership Provides Effective Self-Defense”, “A survey conducted by Florida State University Professor Gary Kleck estimates that there were approximately 645,000 defensive uses of handguns against persons per year, excluding police or military uses.” 

In this country, guns are frequently used in acts of self defense. If you take away people’s guns, then you’re also taking away their ability to defend themselves. The survey also found that guns of all types were used substantially more often defensively than criminally and that gun-wielding civilians in self-defense or some other legally justified cause killed between 1,500 and 2,800 felons annually. These statistics prove that not all gun related deaths are caused by deliberate gun violence, but in acts of self defense too.  

Another common misconception about guns and using them for self defense is that victims are at more danger if they are armed. 

According to that same article, “for both robbery and assault, victims who used guns for protection were less likely either to be attacked or injured than victims who responded in any other way, including those who did not resist at all; and victims who resisted robbers with guns were less likely to lose their property.” 

Time and time again, using guns for acts of self defense has proven to be effective. So the notion that victims are at more danger if they are armed is not true. 

Another reason the right to bear arms should be protected is that most people have taken a gun safety course on the weapon. 

According to a study by Pew Research Center and their article, “3 Views of gun safety and the key responsibilities of gun owners”, “Seven-in-ten gun owners say they have taken a gun safety course such as weapons training, hunter safety or firearm safety. Gun owners with multiple guns are more likely than those who own only one gun to report taking a gun safety course. About three-quarters of those who own two or more guns (77%) say they have done so.” 

This means that the majority of people who own a gun have taken a safety course on the weapon that they own. They know how to properly use it if necessary and take the right precautions when needed.

Finally, according another study by the the U.S Department of Justice and their article, “Gun Ownership Provides Effective Self-Defense”, “A follow-up study of rape found that using a gun or knife for protection reduced the likelihood of a completed rape, and using a gun reduced the likelihood of injury to close to zero.” 

The right to bear arms is a law that should be protected for years to come. The majority of guns used in this country are used in acts of self defense, and they are proven to work. I believe the problem is not with owning a gun, rather, it is making sure they do not fall into the wrong hands. This means putting more restrictions, passing more laws in regards to gun safety, and putting more money into background checks. Although many people do not want to own a gun, which is fine, people should have the right to choose.