One of the fundamental freedoms in our country is the right of every citizen to defend themselves and their property. However, our Constitutional right to be armed is slowly being eroded. As an example of this, currently the Supreme Court is hearing arguments challenging the constitutionality of Chicago’s handgun ban. Conventional wisdom had it that if you ban hand guns from the city, crime would decrease. However, that has not been the experience of the average citizen of Chicago. The criminals, not surprisingly, still have a high demand for guns regardless of what laws have been passed. And the people of Chicago suffer for it.
Violent crime in Chicago is at an all-time high and the murder rate continues to escalate. In 2008 there were 511 murders committed, or more than 42 a month. Clearly, 30 years of banning guns in the city of Chicago has not had the desired effect that anti-gun advocates had hoped. In fact, the opposite is true. The lawful possession of firearms is the great equalizer between the law abiding citizen and the violent criminal.
Throughout history, including our own history, unarmed people have lost their freedoms to tyrannical governments and to criminals. It was the experience of a tyrannical government that led our founders to pen into our Constitution the phrase the “right to bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today, in cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C., where left-leaning local governments have banned law abiding citizens from possessing firearms, violent crime spirals out of control. It is time to return and restore this fundamental right back to the people.
Iowans have a long history of responsible gun ownership and should have their rights of gun ownership protected. As a hunter and life-time member of the National Rifle Association, gun ownership is important to me. Whether it is for sport or for protection, responsible gun ownership is the cornerstone of our freedom as Americans. Just as the rights to speak freely, worship, assemble, association, and free press are the foundation of our great country, so is gun ownership. It is one of the few enumerated rights under our Constitution. If I am elected to Congress to represent you, I will honor my oath to the Constitution and uphold our constitutional right to bear arms.
Jim Gibbons is Running for Congress in the Iowa 3rd Congressional District
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