Friday, October 25, 2013

Just how dangerous are firearms? - Concealed weapons deter safety, harm citizens

1:00 AM

Jacob Miller
Staff Writer

Since 2007, concealed carriers have been responsible for 494 U.S. civilian deaths and 23 mass shootings, according to a study conducted by the Violence Policy Institute. It isn’t a coincidence that the number of deaths due to shootings have rose in direct correlation with the number of concealed guns per citizen.

These facts raise several questions. Primarily, how does our society continue to allow this? Why are concealed weapons, which are supposed to protect citizens, accounting for such a prodigious loss of life? How should we address the problem? The answer is quite simple: do away with concealed weapons altogether.

Supporters for concealed weapons argue their right to bear arms and that guns increase safety. However, the egregious harms concealed weapons cause significantly outweigh the supposed benefits for several reasons.

First, we tend to forget about the children. If there’s a firearm in a curious child’s reach, they might think it’s a toy and accidentally shoot someone close to them. I know, you would think guardians would store their weapons out of a child’s reach, but the likelihood of shootings caused by an owner’s concealed weapon are much greater than the possibility of a stranger breaking in and shooting.

And it won’t matter if guns don’t kill the children at home, because just this past year, Kansas drafted new legislation allowing people to carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools. The legislation also directly impacts most of us, as it allows concealed weapons on college campuses.

A 2013 Journal of American College Health survey conducted on fifteen midwestern college campuses found 20 percent of students have witnessed a crime on their campus that involved firearms, and shockingly enough, 78 percent of students expressed complete opposition to concealed weapons. 
Overwhelmingly, college students are not in favor of pro-gun laws, and it is obvious that with such laws, our culture isn’t headed in the right direction.

But all of these points seem to not matter if people only look to the second amendment for permission to carry concealed weapons. I completely agree with the amendment’s principles, but why on earth would anyone want to bear harmful consequences that stem from concealed weapons, especially when there are no real benefits? After all, the amendments were drafted out of the desire for governmental change, so they can be tweaked again; it is not like the second amendment is set in stone.

Supporters of concealed weapons often adopt the National Rifle Association’s motto, “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.” But what if it turns out the guys who end up with concealed weapons aren’t actually good at all?

The aforementioned Violence Policy Institute reports that out of 300 deadly incidents involving concealed weapons, 80 percent were done by people who had active domestic violence injunctions, were registered sex offenders, or formerly convicted felons. Do these sound like “good guys?”



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