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    Posted July 26, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun ownership in America

    What is to blame?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Having left the United States at the age of four and currently living in Malaysia, 18-year-old ADKramer93 offers an international perspective on gun control. "If guns are outlawed, then outlaws will own guns," he says, emphasizing his opinion that stripping one of the right to bear arms in America would not only violate his or her Second Amendment right but also fail to preempt criminals and the mentally ill from carrying out acts of violence. Although ADKramer93 says gun owners deserve the right to protect themselves, he adds that there should be a more stringent procedure of background checks and psychological tests in order to better ensure they are capable of using firearms responsibly.
    - stein0726, CNN iReport producer

    Firearms, along with automobiles – though nothing to do with this – are what make the United States what it is today. Unfortunately, when one is to talk about the United States, my guess would be that it connotes that ‘anyone can carry a gun’. With the recent shooting at the Batman movie premier in Aurora, Colorado, many of us possibly ponder as to whether guns are to blame. Being a conservative, I say guns aren’t to blame – however, I don’t believe in the expression: “guns don’t kill people, people do”. I do believe that guns can be an ‘accomplice’ if one were to kill someone. But, what is it that really needs to be controlled?

    The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to bear arms. When the constitution was first written, it protected the ‘right to bear arms in a well formed militia’. We constantly argue that, technically in the United States, you can only buy a firearm if you’re in some form of military preparing for battle. However, in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, the amendment had been changed to: protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home (as cited by Wikipedia). So, if I wanted to protect myself in my home from a burglary, I’m allowed to buy a gun (although, you still have to be an American citizen to purchase one). Now we know the limitations.

    As for the shooting – James Holmes: the shooter, came in wearing a bulletproof vest, and had a handgun and rifle in his possession. He threw either a smoke or gas bomb in the theater, as he was also wearing a gas mask. I’ve been with my dad when he has bought a firearm. It actually seems pretty simple. Choose your firearm, go through background check and hope you pass; wait 2 weeks (in Maryland at least), go back to the shop and the shop attendant walks out with you to take the gun to your car. The way I see it, the background check isn’t enough. James Holmes never had a criminal record; therefore, it’s very easy to just sell the gun to him. But, from what we have learned about Holmes – he is a disturbed and delusional individual. So, it doesn’t matter if your record is clean. I think what really matters is whether the person who’s buying the firearm has any mental concerns. Regardless, a gun shouldn’t be sold to ANYONE with a criminal record. Therefore, if one is to a buy a gun, they should go through a background check with an additional psychological check on the customer before he may be allowed to purchase a firearm.

    I may be 18, I may be young. And to be honest, I haven't lived in the US since I was 4. I may go back there every year, but I may not have lived there long enough to really decide that what I’m saying is correct. But I do know that many are concerned about living safely in the United States. The motto is ‘land of the free, home of the brave’. We can’t take away the second amendment. The only way to make sure everyone is happy is to make sure that gun control is much more implemented on those willing to purchase a firearm.

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