Pros and Cons of the Right to Bear Arms

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The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution or “The Right to Bear Arms” was ratified on December 15, 1791. It basically gives an individual the right to self-defense by ways of having arms or handguns. According to supporters, this right is tantamount to the right to freedom of speech. Despite its good intentions, however, contentions on whether a private citizen should be allowed to own guns still exist. To have a better understanding, here are the advantages and disadvantages of the Second Amendment from the points of view of both sides.

List of Pros of the Right to Bear Arms

1. Public Safety
Advocates for the right to have arms for self-defense posit that according to a study conducted years ago, potential criminals are less likely to attack an individual who has a gun in possession than someone who does not resist at all or have another form of defense. Moreover, a published journal stated that about 55.5% of criminals often retreat when they see that their victims draw out guns. These results are clear indications that private citizens are safer if they are armed with guns.

2. Right to Self-Defense
Supporters for gun ownership argue that bad elements have guns and use them to victimize innocent people. If these criminals have this advantage, ordinary citizens should have the right to protect themselves from bad people and to own guns as well. Also, adults who are legal gun owners are mostly law abiding citizens.

3. Feeling of Security
Proponents of the right to bear arms claim that people who carry concealed guns or simply own handguns feel safer even without having to use these weapons at all. It is more of having a sense of security by knowing a gun is just there waiting to be used for protection against attackers than using it.

List of Cons of the Right to Bear Arms

1. Misconception on the Second Amendment
Critics of the right to bear arms argue that the Second Amendment only gives an individual the right own guns if they are enlisted in the military service and it did not specify that a private citizen can use a gun for personal use and self-defense.

2. Increase in Crime Rates and Deaths
Opponents of pro-gun ownership contradict the position of supporters about the reduction of committed crimes since there are more crimes of assault and even rape with the increase of the number of people who own guns. This is also brought about the “shall issue” law in jurisdictions where concealed guns are licensed depending on the criteria listed by the law. On top of this, there are more suicide attempts using guns. That said, the right to own guns has a significant effect on crime rates.

3. Lack of Training
People against gun ownership say that being lax when it comes to allowing private citizens to bear arms only result to individuals who lack the proper training to handle guns. Consequently, these people are more likely to get hurt if they are attacked by criminals since they do not have the right skills to use weapons like guns.

Being lenient about people owning and using guns has disadvantages because one can never be too careful. However, with crimes being rampant, having a gun might be the most logical thing to do. What is important is to know the pros and cons of the right to bear arms to discern which side has more weight.