Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Gun Control

'Armed Females of America' supports the use of guns in America. The Texas State Representative Suzanna Hupp states that guns are necessary in America, because individuals have ' the right to defend one's self and family.' This 'right' is found in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights 1789, therefore Americans should bear arms because it follows traditional American principles and values to do so. Furthermore, obtaining a gun in the household enables a family to feel safe and secure, because intruders are likely to escape when confronted with violence.
On the other hand, the website 'Coalition Against Gun Violence' which is based in California, is against the use of guns in America. They state that 'Freedom from fear is a basic human right.' Once again the emphasis is on the 'rights' of the individual, therefore both arguments are legally valid. However, the use of guns can provoke fear because there have been many murder cases in America as a result of guns, for example the Columbine Massacre in 1999 which received media coverage that further escalated the terror felt by civilians.
Nevertheless, 'Armed Females of America' argue that Americans should bear arms because this is an 'inalienable right endowed by our Creator.' Some Americans believe that the Bill of Rights is divinely inspired, therefore these individuals will most certainly obey the document, as it is God's will for civilians to own guns. This view may have formed from the Bible which teaches the sacredness of life: 'God created mankind in his own image,' (Genesis 1:27) therefore Americans have a duty to defend their lives.
Yet the 'Coalition Against Gun Violence' recognises that the use of guns in America 'costs our nation thousands of lives and billions of dollars every year.' The sacredness of life can also be an argument against the use of guns, because the weapon has the power to destroy life and this principle is condemned in the Bible: 'Thou shalt not kill' (Exodus 20.) Also, the right to bear arms can be costly in economic terms because of the investigations into gun crimes, medical treatment of victims and the attempts by the government to introduce policies that control the use of guns.
Overall, it seems that the majority of Americans support the right to bear arms, because it is included in the Bill of Rights, consequently it is a founding principle of America which can not be abolished. However, even though the right is not able to be removed, this doesn't necessarily mean that the right is justifiable. There are other means of defending oneself without ending another persons' life.
'Armed Females of America' offers merchandise, including a Rosie the Riveter mug which has been altered to encourage the use of guns. One of the websites' positive attributes is its representation of women, as they are shown to be strong, confident and able to defend themselves.

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