Letter to the editor
Posted April 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm in Opinion
Presence of guns creates a safer society
John Gudenziâs opinion article published April 23, titled âPresence of guns would trigger anxiety,â is laden with misrepresentations. The most heinous of them is the misrepresentation of the ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals, which decided to revoke the earlier ruling â not on the basis of the judges being members of the National Rifle Association or on Constitutional grounds â but because they interpreted the law to mean that the decision to ban guns on campuses is one that is left to the universityâs Board of Regents â not the state of Colorado.
But seeing as how the majority of Gudenziâs piece is an attack on gun rights, I will take the opportunity to refute them. First is the realization that gun control laws did not prevent the murders at Virginia Tech, Columbine or any other school affected by firearm tragedies. Gun control laws are not a reaction to these murders; they are justification in context of failure. When people like Gudenzi see gun control laws fail, as they did at Virginia Tech, the answer is apparently more and stronger gun control laws. The problem with this line of thinking is that criminals do not follow the law. The people who are disturbed enough to commit these heinous acts are not going to feel bound by these laws, and thus these laws only punish the people whose rights have been taken away.
Beside the absurdity of the fictional situation composed by Gudenzi to justify his position â that a USC student would murder another USC student in the middle of the day because they bumped into each other accidentally â Gudenzi misinterprets the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment does not exist to ensure that citizens can rise up against a tyrannical government; it exists to ensure that citizens are assured the right of self-
defense against a tyrannical government. Just as the First Amendment is interpreted in modern times to guarantee the right of expression, the Second Amendment is now interpreted to guarantee the right to self-defense.
Should we outlaw karate schools because people can use karate to kill other people? Should I be scared just because the woman sitting next to me in lecture took a USC-sanctioned self-defense class the night before? Of course not. These are irrational reactions, and I believe that Gudenziâs choice of hypothetical situation speaks more to his fear that his classmates are psychopaths than his fear that those psychopaths might know karate.
The existence of guns in society makes everyone safer. When society institutes gun control laws, an attacker knows that there is a greater chance that his victim will be unarmed â unable to use a weapon that is the great equalizer in a fight. When society removes gun control laws, people can carry around firearms with the secure feeling that they will be able to defend themselves no matter how strong their attacker is.
As a result, crime goes down, and we respect each other as equals.
Sophomore, Computer Science