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Owning a Gun is as American as Apple Pie

October 4, 2015
Plain English Version
After the Oregon community college shooting.

After the Oregon community college shooting.

Is there any way to stop mass gun violence in the United States? It does not matter if the killers are doing it for crazed reasons of belief or if they are just plain mentally unbalanced.

Some conservatives say the answer is more guns in more hands. They say this will result in the shooters being shot before they kill more. It is a little hard to know why this would work in a dark movie theater. They say big cities like New York have strict gun laws. Still, weapons pour in from other states.

Guns are a vital part of America’s history. The nation was founded in a revolutionary war. Great events took place as men were “called to arms.”

Then there is the Constitution. The second amendment says: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Some think the amendment means arms for a citizen military, such as the National Guard. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a powerful gun lobby. It says the amendment means any adult can own a gun.

What is behind the love of guns? Historians say it began with the settling of the West. Settlers armed themselves to protect against Indians and bandits.

Two ideas have followed from that experience. The first is the idea of the inherent right to be armed. The second idea is based on the fear that federal government wants to take away the rights of Americans to be armed. There is no basis for this second idea. Many call it a conspiracy theory.

Most Americans support laws that put limits on who can own a weapon. Before they can buy guns, the public wants background checks to determine if people are mentally ill or if they have criminal records. They say hunters do not need automatic weapons to kill game. They want to use common sense laws to protect the public.

Why does Congress not pass sensible gun laws? Ask your Representative.


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