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Explore your 2nd Amendment right

Mark Easley | Monday, February 16, 2009

I bet when you turned 18 you were excited to finally be able to legally buy a lottery ticket, tobacco products, and maybe even some pornography, but I bet you overlooked a critical freedom that became available when you crossed that milestone. In most states of the union, at age 18 you are able to purchase a long gun, which includes shotguns and many types of rifles, as long as you are an American citizen, are not a criminal, and have no record of unstable mental health. At 21, you are able to purchase a handgun in most states. That’s good to know, but why would anyone need to think about buying one? Aren’t guns outdated tools that are only useful in movies filled with zombies?

There are many arguments as to why or why not the second amendment should be heeded. One is hunting, and yes, there are still people who mostly survive off of what they shoot today. I think their rights should be secure as long as they hunt within the law, but I have to admit that is a small percentage of the population. Opponents argue that guns cause crime, which I again have to admit that guns make crimes much easier to commit. They argue that the police have guns and it’s their job to stop the “bad guys.” Now we come to the crucial juncture. We have institutionalized personal protection and outsourced it to others who are not our person. In the process we have surrendered our right to defend ourselves and instead have to pray for the help of those who are tasked by law to help us.

But what if no one comes? We have seen in episodes like Hurricane Katrina, you can’t depend on the government to save you (doesn’t matter who is in the White House). Now the majority democrats and liberals in the federal government will actively seek to limit your gun ownership rights even further. When this happens, you will be even more dependent on others to save you when chaos breaks out or as I like to say, “when the fecal matter hits the propeller.”

Buying a gun is not a complicated matter. At a certified dealer, you select a firearm that matches your needs. Like anything, you should shop around and find the real price. You may expect to fill out a mountain of paperwork to secure ownership in this country, but in fact it is only one or two sheets of paper with questions certifying that you are eligible to own a firearm. The dealer will then call in to the Department of Justice to verify that you check out, and the whole process takes about half an hour, give or take. It is always important to handle guns safely and before purchasing firearm, one should research gun safety tips or consult a professional. Gun ownership is a hefty responsibility. Any crimes committed with your firearm will be traced back to you, and any fatal mistakes you make while handling a gun will live with you forever. It is illegal to conceal your weapon in public without a concealed carry license, which can be acquired through a certification class.

Shooting guns can be a lot of fun, and there are many places that cater to gun enthusiasts. Often there will be gun clubs or local ranges in your area, where you can practice against targets. These places are good areas to interact with other gun owners and pick up tips and tricks to improve your accuracy and gun handling.

Thomas Jefferson wrote specifically in the Declaration of Independence that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Without guns, the revolutionaries would not have been able to break away from the tyranny of English monarchy. And so, it is a sacred right of Americans to also bear arms in the event our government is perverted by evil men, so that we as a people may restore a republic of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Guns are an insurance policy for survival when the law no longer applies. Whether it’s in the back alley with a gangster or the collapse of civilization, the ones who are prepared will be the ones who have a better chance to survive.

Mark Easley is a freshman computer engineering major. He can be contacted at measley@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necesarily those of The Observer.