There has been a lot of buzz in the past decades about the Second Amendment and what it means to Americans. If you talk to a more liberal-leaning demographic, you are likely to hear about mass shootings and domestic terrorism incidents when the subject is brought up. In addition, neither the media nor anti-gun lobbyists who aren't even familiar with their own concealed carry laws, let alone how to handle a weapon, actively promote verifiable gun facts to their audiences. The truth is that most guns are used in self-defense, and there are plenty of statistics that support responsible gun ownership. It is every American's responsibility to understand the nuances of the Second Amendment and what the available gun facts mean.
Do Statistics Support Self Defense?
Public dialogue largely portrays The Second Amendment and gun control as emotionally charged issues. While it makes sense that there is a lot of feeling wrapped up in both crime rates and protecting personal freedom, the fact is that, though it is almost always dramatic stories that make the news, there are plenty of statistics about how Americans use guns. Regardless of how gut wrenching it is to think about gun crimes, almost all guns are used by a legal owner in self-defense. In fact, for every act of criminal gun use, there are 80 times as many incidences where firearms are used to protect and defend responsible citizens. In addition, over 200,000 American women use guns every year to protect themselves from a sexual assault, making concealed carry an especially good idea for women.
How Do Crime and Gun Ownership Correlate?
You probably haven't heard many news outlets or media sources cite credible gun facts, but they are available. According to the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, for example, countries with a high percentage of gun owners such as the United States and Switzerland have a correspondingly lower rate of violent crime. In the UK, where it's illegal to own a handgun, the murder rate is higher than any other EU country, and criminals seem to flock to areas that are designated as "gun-free zones." It's quite clear from all available evidence that banning guns does not discourage criminal activity and that the availability of firearms provides honest and law-abiding citizens with the means to protect and defend their homes and property. This fact is something that even criminals recognize as three out of every five convicted felons report that they avoid victims that they know are armed in favor of easier targets.
With so much attention placed on the Second Amendment, it is unfortunate that public education hasn't kept pace with this important Constitutional issue. While less informed citizens see guns as a stronghold of an outdated culture obsessed with hunting, the fact is that guns are essential to the overall safety and security of all Americans. Guns are, by a wide and discernible margin, primarily used by law-abiding citizens as a means of self-defense, and it would be irresponsible to remove this essential tool of public protection.
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