Former White House Press Secretary James Brady died today. When James Brady was shot alongside President Reagan, that moment underscored violence by handguns in America, as if we needed more reminders. Presidents and politicians, famous rock stars, and masses of regular people are gunned down all of the time at the hands of violent people who have ready access to guns and ammo. They do so because the Constitution guarantees individuals the right to bear arms.
At the time the Constitution was written, America was a frontier land. Guns were needed to hunt for game to eat. There was insufficient law enforcement and military security to protect the civilian population. Citizens were enlisted to assist in self protection. As the nation matured, citizens created governments with local police departments and state police departments to protect them against criminals. Coincident with that maturity should have been an increase in gun control, or a decrease in guns among the people.
Why? Here are some good reasons:
- Proliferation of guns in communities among citizens increases the probability that guns will be used by criminals or by mentally disturbed people in committing crimes.
- Proliferation of guns in communities increases the probability of accidents resulting in death or injury.
- The adage that guns are needed by citizens to offset abuse by government is obsolete.
Explore these ideas further in the annotated description. Also, consider the gun advocate’s rebuttal.
- Guns are a last line of defense
“There are those who say that owning guns to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government is useless, because the modern American Military is so powerful.”
- Need them to protect the family.
- We arm ourselves because we have to and because we can.
Most people today favor more gun control if not outlawing them altogether. Eventually, if we live long enough, maybe We the People will motivate our elected representatives to help us all come to our senses about this. It would be a wonderful day when the James Brady laws become enacted.