Reaction Paper: Carry Concealed Handguns

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React to the following sentences

(Sentence A) United States Citizens Should be Able to Carry Concealed Handguns

1.)  Concealed handguns are NOT an effective form of self-defense.  Someone carrying a gun for self-defense is more likely to be shot during an assault than an assault victim without a gun – attackers often surprise victims, making it difficult to use a concealed handgun.

2.)  The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows citizens to bear arms for a well-regulated militia.  The 2nd Amendment statement “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” does not mention concealed handguns and automatic rifles for personal use.

3.)  The Supreme Court’s 5-4 majority decision in District of Columbia v. Heller reasoned that 2nd Amendment rights have limits and that bans on some firearms have been legal:  “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…”

4.)  Carrying a concealed handgun increases the chances of a confrontation escalating and turning lethal.

5.)  Responsible adults can still be a threat to public safety if they are armed.  The chances of a handgun being used inappropriately increase when normally responsible adults are intoxicated, tired, afraid, or untrained in conflict resolution.

6.)  Easy access to firearms increases the risk of suicide because most of all suicide attempts are impulsive and easy access gives individuals the means to act on their impulses.

7.)  Criminals are more likely to arm themselves with firearms if they suspect that victims may also be armed.  Felons report that they often carry firearms to deter victims from resisting.  A victim drawing a gun during an attack sends a signal to the offender that more force must be used to overpower the victim during an attack.

8.)  Adults who carry concealed handguns are often inadequately trained. Public safety should be left to trained police officers who are less likely to shoot innocent bystanders.

9.)  Responsible adults with concealed handguns make it more difficult for police to distinguish criminals from ordinary citizens and to identify perpetrators during a shooting.

(Sentence B) United States Citizens Should NOT be Able to Carry Concealed Handguns

1.)  Criminals are less likely to attack someone that they believe might be armed (criminals never know who is armed).

2.)  The right to own and possess guns is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals stated that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms “must be interpreted to include a right to have a concealed gun in public, to have it ready for use, and to have it for self-defense.”

3.)  According to a 1997 study of National Crime Victimization Survey data, “robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self-protection or those who did not resist at all.”

4.)  Even if an adult never needs to draw a concealed handgun for self-defense, a person may feel safer being armed and feel freer to go outside at night or in dangerous areas.

5.)  Most adults who legally own and possess firearms are law-abiding citizens who do not misuse their firearms.  According to a 2000 report by statistician William Sturdevant, the general public is 5.7 times more likely to be arrested for violent offenses, and 13.5 times more likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses, than concealed carry weapon permit holders.

6.)  Carrying a concealed handgun could aid in ending public shooting sprees.  The 1999 Columbine High School massacre and 2007 Virginia Tech shooting could have been ended and lives saved by an armed citizen shooting the assailants.

7.)  The government cannot guarantee the safety of its citizens.  Protecting oneself and family is a personal duty and the government should not impede the ability of responsible adults to defend themselves.

8.)  Criminals carry weapons regardless of their legality.  Responsible citizens should have the same advantages when it comes to protecting themselves from armed attackers.

9.)  Concealed handguns are an effective non-lethal form of self-defense a majority of the time.

My Reaction to Concealed Hand Guns

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In the statement that the citizens of United States should be in a position to carry hidden guns, a point that strongly contradicts with my view is the one that supports this statement by arguing that since the security of citizens is not assured, the government should not hinder the capability of responsible grownups to protect themselves because it is an individual responsibility to safeguard oneself and family.

It is evident that the government is working hard to ensure each citizen is safe from security threats inside and outside the country. The efforts of the government can be seen on its strategies that evolve alongside surfacing security threats. For example, the government has different military forces that ensure both external and internal security is maintained.

Police checkpoints and patrols are also efforts of the government to reduce crime. Additionally, apart from establishing a tip line where planned crimes and emergencies can be reported, the government has created an efficient disaster, crime and emergency response system. The argument that the government is not assuring security of its citizens is dump and misleading therefore it must not be used to support the statement that United States citizens should be permitted to carry hidden guns.

Another point that runs contrary to my opinion is the statement that a person feels safer when armed and can go to either dangerous areas or outside at night even if they do not need to pull out the hidden handgun for self-protection. In my own opinion, feeling safe is different from being or staying safe hence all gun owners must use their gun privileges responsibly.

Related Reading: War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration

Looking for trouble in dangerous places just because there is a concealed gun is dangerous. Besides, the weapon might end up in the wrong hands if stolen or taken by force thus increasing crime rates. Personal hidden guns should only be used when criminals trespass. The work of going to dangerous places should be left for the police since they are well trained to handle security concerns. The statement is not important since it encourages people to risk their lives just because they own guns therefore it should not be used to support carrying of concealed guns by United States citizens.

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