Anybody who pays attention to the news knows that there is a hysterical rush by many politicians and pundits to call for gun control after a mass shooting. While some use the tragedy for their own political power or gain, many are well-meaning individuals, who are least attempting to do something about senseless violence. While tragedies may seem like the perfect time to capitalize politically on fear and outrage, efforts to restrict gun rights continually fall on deaf ears. Below are three reasons why many Americans are not only rejecting gun control hysteria but also deciding to lawfully arm themselves in the wake of mass shootings:The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding While gun ownership has been declining as a percentage of the population, millions upon millions of Americans own firearms and never break the law. One critical mistake following a mass shooting is that many elected officials and media members try to link lawful firearm owners with terrorists and deranged individuals. Most Americans see through this ruse and the argument rings hollow, or is even offensive. It’s easy for Americans to dismiss gun control arguments if ownership in itself is presented to them as being on the same moral plane as Islamic terrorism or lashing out due to a mental illness. One can easily argue that it’s the millions of safety conscious and legal owners whose lawful actions daily disarm the argument for more gun control. Besides, over 1,000 Americans per day use a firearm lawfully in self-defense to protect themselves or a loved one from harm. After the terrorist shooting in Orlando, President Barack Obama once again declared his intention that he would use executive orders to tighten firearm restrictions. The president has argued that if Congress won’t act, he will. But many lawmakers oppose more restrictions for the simple reason that their constituents stand firmly against them as well. The ConstitutionThe Second Amendment already faces more regulation and restrictions than any of our inherent rights guaranteed by the Constitution. There are federal background checks, and many states require permits, professional training, and a rigorous passing of a background check for carrying a concealed firearm. While many federal courts in the United States have been trending more activist and liberal, they are at the same time strengthening Second Amendment protections. This is one of the few and clear legal areas where the Supreme Court has clarified the intention on this issue to align closer with the intent of the American framers. In his seminal 1833 commentary on the U.S. Constitution, former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story called the Second Amendment “the palladium” of liberty. Justice Story rightfully noted that the Second Amendment has nothing to with hunting or recreation but is ultimately oriented toward the defense of liberty in the republic. Ignorance of firearms by many gun control advocates Whether it’s the public, politicians, or media sounding the alarm for gun control, one often glaring problem is the ignorance of firearms and how they function and operate. Immediately after Orlando, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, actress Susan Sarandon, and television producer Seth McFarlane called for a ban on “automatic weapons,” which of course has been banned by the U.S. government for over 80 years. Florida Congressman Alan Grayson comically decried that the semi-automatic AR-15 fired 700 rounds per minute. Most calling for gun control have no idea that semi-automatic rifles on the market, even the ones that appear “less scary” operate and function identically to an AR-15 rifle. Those serious about advocating for gun control should at least educate themselves on all of the laws and restrictions already placed on firearms before making their case.
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