Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read Brian William Waddell's thoughts from a right-leaning perspective:
There is no more heinous act that I can think of than one human taking the life of another. The shooting in Aurora, Colorado early last Friday morning is one of the most chilling examples of murder that this country has witnessed. It is not, however, cause to nullify the rights of law-abiding citizens to gun ownership.
In the wake of this tragedy, many people are clamoring for tighter gun laws, and even the total repeal of the Second Amendment. While I do believe that their hearts are certainly in the right place, their reasoning is decidedly flawed.
In countries where guns are banned, such as England and Australia, there is no correlation between the bans and a decrease in overall gun violence. In fact, according to some reports, violent crime has increased in these countries thanks to criminals not needing to fear that their next victim may have a gun hidden under their bed.
Bringing the argument back home, an analysis of crime in all fifty states can't seem to pin down any measurable benefits to stricter gun laws. In restrictive Illinois, 80% of 2010 murders occurred when one person aimed at another and pulled the trigger. In contrast, only 49% of murderers in open-carry-friendly West Virginia in the same year used a firearm.
If the statistics just aren't human enough for you, I offer you an argument floated by conservatives at every turn over the past few days: If there had been just one other person in that theater carrying a concealed weapon, many lives could have been saved. This is a strong theory, and there are stories of normal people carrying concealed firearms who ended up as heroes just because they were in the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) place at the right time. One such instance occurred this past April when an Idaho man leveled his gun at an assailant who had gone on a stabbing spree in a Utah supermarket parking lot. Not many CCW holders would even think to bring their guns to a movie theater. Maybe more will now, but it's a little too late for Aurora.
A repeal of the Second Amendment is unlikely thanks to how hard it would be to pass a constitutional amendment on such a controversial issue. I'm sure the military personnel in that theater wouldn't want to see the Constitution that they are sworn to protect changed for the wrong reasons. Any regulation beyond what is supplied by the Constitution is strictly the purview of the States and not the Federal Government. I truly hope that every state in this Union puts the rights of the individual before a knee-jerk reaction to a terrible tragedy.