Democratic front-runners push for gun buy-back program

   In the wake of recent mass shootings, several democratic hopefuls have begun to pressure the federal government to enforce stricter gun laws and implement a gun buyback system that would force citizens to sell their firearms to the government. Former Representative of Texas’ 16th Congressional District, Beto O’Rourke, has become the spokesperson for this legislation in what he thinks are the necessary means to combat gun violence in America. What O’Rourke fails to realize is that any form of legislation restricting citizens’ use of firearms is unconstitutional and limiting citizens’ access to firearms only makes them even more at risk for government tyranny. 

   In August, O’Rourke proposed a ban on “assault” weapons, trigger cranks, silencers, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines in an effort to address “gun violence and white nationalism,” and if elected, he promised to pressure Congress to enact universal background checks and red-flag laws. O’Rourke’s proposals came just days after the El Paso shooting as he, once again, used a tragic event to fuel his political campaign. With each fresh disaster, he and his fellow candidates become even more entrenched in their beliefs about the root cause of gun violence and seek to take guns from law-abiding citizens. 

   The Founding Fathers of America wrote the Second Amendment as follows: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Their purpose for including it in the Bill of Rights was primarily to ensure that the government would always be afraid of a citizen-led uprising against tyranny. By arming citizens, they would not only have the means to defend themselves from an all-powerful government, but they would also have the power to abolish an oppressive one as stated in the Declaration of Independence. 

   While rights protected by the constitution are not absolute, any legislation aimed at limiting Second Amendment rights should have evidence proving its worthiness and projected effectiveness. “Some of my colleagues argue that by further curtailing our Second Amendment rights, they can enhance public safety,” said Junior Louisiana Senator John Kennedy in early September. “Fine, the burden of proof is on them. I’m willing to have that debate, but I want the bacon without the sizzle–no speculation, no false comfort, no pulling stuff out of your orifices.” The Second Amendment is the only amendment that blatantly states “shall not be infringed,” yet it is the amendment that is infringed upon the most. In its most basic interpretation, it protects the right of the people to defend their right to life and liberty. 

   Not only do the democratic hopefuls vow to strip Americans of their most intrinsic constitutional rights, but they also incessantly spread lies about gun violence. The widespread statistic spouted by democratic politicians is that there are roughly 33,000 gun deaths every year in America. When this number is broken down into its smaller parts, it is easy to see how extremely misleading it is. The United States is the only country in the world that considers death by suicide with a gun as a “gun death.” So, out of those 33,000 gun deaths about 66 percent of them are death by suicide with a gun. Of the remaining 11,000 deaths, about 9,600 of them are gang-related acts of violence in urban cities across the nation, and 500 of them are deaths caused by rightful means of self-defense and accidental discharges. Again, the United States is the only country in the world that considers deaths caused by rightful means of self-defense and accidental discharges as “gun deaths.” Now after breaking down the numbers, the amount of actual “gun deaths” is between 1,200 and 1,300 every year. While this is still more deaths than would like to have, in a country where we have 350 million people, about 500 million guns, and almost 50 percent of the world’s guns, this number is ridiculously small. 

   As many studies claim, Wyoming is the worst state for gun-related deaths and violence; these statistics are also heavily flawed. Wyoming has the smallest population of any state in the union, racking up a whopping 577,737 people. Because of its underwhelming numbers, the amount of gun-related deaths per 100,000 people in Wyoming is much larger than states like California or New York that have well over 5 million people each. Many people, especially politicians, tend to skew the numbers so as to benefit their personal agendas without really taking a closer look at the reality and providing unbiased evidence to inform citizens accurately.