Letter to the Editor: A conservative perspective on gun control

On a sunny July afternoon, a man walks into Point Blank Range and Gun Shop and approaches me with the desire to ensure his family’s safety. After spending over an hour showing him several weapons, he was ready to make his decision. Once the gentleman had filled out a 4437 form, had it double checked by both of my managers and had passed his FBI warranted background check, he was the proud owner of a Ruger 5.56 assault rifle. He would then be instructed during our free intro to assault rifle orientation later that same week. Knowing another family is protected by a perfectly capable and responsible firearm owner reaffirmed my admiration for the Second Amendment.

As someone who has grown up around guns, joined the Army National Guard as a combat engineer and currently works at Point Blank Range and Gun Shop, I am no stranger to the ongoing gun control debate. Pumped up politicians talk about taking away my rights and how the country would be a safer place with less guns out on the street. That makes sense, right? Less guns, less people die. That’s what Australia did after they had a mass shooting and haven’t had one since. This is where people forget that we aren’t Australia or some Scandinavian country with a completely different way of life than our own. This is the United States, where the freedom and responsibility of the individual is cherished and found at the very core of the American spirit. Ask yourself this, do you think that not only banning, but trying to round up a significant amount of the 312 million legal firearms would go over well in this country?

We already have shining examples of how gun control works in places like Chicago, St. Louis and Baltimore. Maryland is considered to have one of the strictest gun control systems in the country, but when we look at the numbers over the years, the “control” isn’t helping. According to the Baltimore police department, the gun related homicide count went from 80 homicides in 2010 to 123 in 2016. There are 275 gun related homicides so far in the city of Baltimore just this year. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. gun related homicides decreased by 39 percent from 1993 to 2011. During that same period of time we can see that firearm sales went from 147,484 in 2005 to 2,538,397 in 2016 according to the ATF, or Department of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.

Criminals have no regard for rules, safety or your personal well-being.

There are evil people in the world who want nothing more than to cause mass havoc and prey on those who cannot defend themselves. When the founding fathers had the Second Amendment in mind, it was for defense. Defense for your property, for your family and for the defense of the American dream. Just as much as defense should be promoted, so should responsibility. Keeping guns in the hands of responsible, safe and capable citizens is what will stop those who seek to harm the innocent.