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Arms offer protection

Kyle Sladek | Monday, October 4, 2010

This letter responds to Ryan Williams’ Sept. 30 editorial column “A safer world without guns.” Mr. Williams concludes the United States would be safer if government disarmed citizens of all automatic and semi-automatic rifles and handguns.

A ban like Mr. Williams suggests would effectively prevent citizens from defending themselves from attack. Bans like this have been imposed by American cities and by national governments; in each instance, gun control has led to higher murder rates.

In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council banned citizens from possessing handguns and operational weapons. Between 1976 and 2008, the D.C. murder rate was, on average, 73 percent higher than before the weapons ban. The Washington, D.C. murder rate fell 23 percent in 2009 after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the ban unconstitutional.

In June 2010, the Supreme Court declared the Chicago handgun ban unconstitutional. From the beginning of the ban in 1982 through its overturning, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns had been, on average, 40 percent higher than before the ban. Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17 percent lower than before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25 percent lower.

After passing laws that protect the citizen’s right to carry a handgun for protection, Florida, Texas and Michigan have all experienced a decrease in average murder rates larger than the simultaneous decrease in the national average murder rate.

A reasoned look at these FBI statistics reveals American citizens are considerably safer when their natural, God-given, Constitutional right to defend themselves is upheld — not infringed upon — by the government. Law-abiding citizens can be disarmed, but criminals will always illegally obtain guns as they do now. To restore the “common sense and sanity” Mr. Williams calls for, American citizens should look to firearms for protection. The adage “When seconds matter, the police are only minutes away” strikes a chord when considering the recent incidents at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. These tragedies might have been prevented if faculty and students were allowed to defend themselves with the same weapons used to murder them.

An estimated 2.5 million Americans each year defend themselves, their families and their property with firearms.

Check out nraila.org/armedcitizen for their stories.

Kyle Sladek


St. Edward’s Hall

Oct. 1