Gun Ownership is a Right, Not a Privilege

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin issued a statement that argued cities should be able to ban guns, and that denying cities that ability would result in increased crime. This statement, aside from being inaccurate, fails to take into account that gun ownership is a right, and the rights of law abiding citizens cannot be denied just because it is politically expedient to do so. Allow me to explain further:

Gun ownership is a right, not a privilege
First and foremost, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s statement assumes that it is OK to deny millions of law abiding people the basic, constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, just because some city officials (incorrectly) believe it will help prevent crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. We don’t allow cities to conduct warantless searches just because it might result in more drugs being taken off the street. We don’t allow cities to hold citizens in jail indefinitely, without a trial, just because it might prevent crime. Nor do we allow cities to decide that free speech can banned in the name of expediency. Each of those rights, along with the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, is a right guaranteed by the constitution, which is binding upon all levels of government. To make things even worse, trying to take away gun rights can end up hurting our other rights too.

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Banning guns won’t stop criminals
As I’ve previously stated at length, criminals ignore gun control laws. First of all, many of the criminals who misuse guns are already convicted felons who could not lawfully possess a gun, but still chose to buy a gun on the black market. Gun control laws won’t stop these criminals, since black market gun dealers certainly don’t perform background checks. Nor will the gun control laws deter a criminal who is not already deterred by the laws against murder, rape, robbery, etc., since someone facing life in prison won’t care about some relatively minor gun possession charge. Instead, gun control only disarms the law abiding citizens, who wouldn’t have misused a gun in the first place.