America Needs Its Guns

Catherine Greub, Editor

Catherine Greub,  Columnist

A Pew Research survey concluded that three in ten American adults own a gun. That is roughly 99 million Americans.

If you are not one of them, you might consider becoming one.

Owning a gun offers self-protection. Every day in America there are innocent people harmed by criminals who illegally own and use guns. While police officers are a godsend to our great nation, they do not come to help you until after the crime is done. Having a gun offers defense until first responders reach you.

Illinois voters agree with the use of guns for self-defense; that’s why Illinois lawmakers passed a concealed carry law. According to the Chicago Tribune, residents “can own firearms but with several conditions: You must be 21 years old and possess a firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card and concealed carry license, both issued by Illinois State Police. Prior to getting a concealed carry license, residents must complete a 16-hour training course.”

Law-abiding citizens who are interested in making use of the concealed carry law go through an intense background check where law enforcement can decline their application. Furthermore, all carriers must have their FOID card and concealed carry permits on them at all times.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions that unfairly target supporters of the Second Amendment.

For one, they say Second Amendment advocates openly oppose all gun control. Personally, I have family members in the police force and military who support a three-day holding term when purchasing a gun.  This is an appropriate and very fair law for citizens to abide by.

The vast majority of gun owners are in support of protection and safety laws. Both political parties agree. According to a Pew Research fall 2019 survey, nine out of 10 Republicans or Republican-leaning citizens (92%) agreed with Democrats or leaning Democrats (91%) to prevent people with mental illnesses from buying guns. And both Democrats (93%) and Republicans (82%) favor background checks.

Another misconception is that guns are used solely to shoot people.”

Another misconception is that guns are used solely to shoot people. The vast majority of gun owners are lawful, respectable citizens. We need to start blaming the criminal owners of guns, not the guns.

After the Las Vegas massacre, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, touched on “crime guns,” a term that Chicago police say are “illegally possessed, used, or suspected to be used in furtherance of a crime.” Sanders highlighted the argument that President Trump has made in his previous presidential campaign: Chicago, with the strictest gun laws in the country, is not able to avoid the shootings and still remains a dangerous city.

About six in 10 “crime guns” recovered have been from outside the state of Illinois, which is why we need laws to stop illegal gun ownership but allow legal, self-defense, gun ownership.

If America made gun ownership illegal, law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and risk enduring harm from illegal gun owners and criminals who hadn’t.

Gun rights give Americans and law-abiding citizens the right to self-defense. It is time to take action against the criminals with illegal guns and allow legally protected citizens to own guns.