Should civilians be able to carry firearms? 3 points would help.

Expert Answers
kjcdb8er eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, absolutely. Of course, "to carry" is different from "possess" or own. In most instances when discussing the "carrying" of a firearm, one means to carry a handgun on one's person in public places. In 48 states, a permit is required to carry a concealed firearm. In two states, one needs only be a citizen of the state to carry concealed - no other license necessary.  However only 45 states issue permits to ordinary citizens. In 35 states, the state must issue a permit to carry concealed if they ask for one .In 41 states, any citizen may carry a firearm openly without the need for a permit to do so. (The above do not apply for individuals barred from carrying, e.g. convicted felons)
•    Most importantly, in the USA the Constitution guarantees that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The recent Supreme Court decision DC vs. Heller held that the right to "keep and bear arms" in the Second Amendment is an individual right, which means that neither keeping (owning) or bearing (carrying) arms can be barred to a lawful citizen of the United States. As long as the rule of law applies in the US, the only way to prevent citizens from owning or carrying arms is to amend the Constitution. Most state constitutions have the same guarantee in their own constitutions. Of course the act of carrying or owning may be regulated, but not prohibitively so.
•    The right to self defense is fundamental, and has always been recognized as such by bodies of law. Millions of individuals use a firearm (overwhelmingly without need to discharge the weapon) in self-defense each year. 1 of 6 individuals feel absolutely certain they saved their life in doing so. Firearms are used 60 times more often to protect life than to take life. Furthermore, such instances tend to be underreported to authorities.
•    The ordinary citizen will follow the law. If he is barred from carrying a weapon, he will not do so. If he does not, he becomes a criminal. On the other hand, the criminal does not follow the law, nor will he bother with not carrying just because the law says so. Felons are already prohibited from even owning a gun, but this does not stop them from possessing and carrying. The only thing a ban on firearms would accomplish is to ensure that only criminals carry guns.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are some elements that can help to justify civilian possession of firearms.  The most glaring reason would be for protection and self defense.  In many areas of the country, the possession of firearms is an immediate response to criminal activity, as well as defending oneself and one's family in times of crisis.  For example, in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, applications for women to possess personal firearms rose dramatically.  This was a response to a perceived increase in criminal activity. There is research to indicate that another reason to own a firearm would be due to the fact that criminals are more afraid of an armed civilian because of the unpredictability factor, in that a criminal cannot predict which potential target possess guns and which do not.   Another reason why civilians should be able to carry firearms would be to be in convergence with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The second amendment was designed to allow citizens to possess firearms.

freedomofchoice | Student

Regardless of the second amendment of the Constitution, you have a choice, the freedom of choice.

You have the right to protect yourself, your family and friends.

You have the right to let Government come into your homes and allow them to tell you what to do.

You have the right the freedom of choice, to allow the government to tell you what health insurance you will have.

You have the right the freedom of choice to ideally sit back and allow criminals to destroy your family your dreams and your personal property.

These are your choices, the freedom of choice, just as I have choices.

Neither of us should have the right to tell the other on how we as free peoples should live because of our personal feeling or believes. We have the freedom of choice.

I respect my God and my Country.

I respect each of your choices in this matter and how you make your choice is your rights and the freedom of choice.

Given to you by those who defend our rights as a free Nation.

I do not go out looking for criminals, that is why we have the local law enforcment.

However, you all know they can not be there in a blink of an eye.

I choose to select how I protect my family.

I choose and have the right to use my local law enforcement if time permits.

I choose  and have the right to use minimum amount of force necessary to protect my family and friends.

If they (the criminals) make me choose to use deadly force, God help me make the right choice, I will use deadly force.

I choose and have the right not to let a Government tell me what to do and how to do it.

I choose and have the right not to let a Government tell me what health care I should use.

I choose and have the right not to have a Socialist Government!, if you chose that you are living in the wrong country.

These are just a few of my freedoms and is my the freedom of choice, to believe God will guide me in my choices..

God bless you and your family.
Most of all
Gob Bless America.

krishna-agrawala | Student

It will not be right to give citizens unrestricted rights to carry fire arms - there need to be some limit on the kind of arms they are allowed to carry, and the places they can carry it. But in appropriate circumstances and with suitable restrictions, civilians must be allowed to carry firearms. The arguments in favour of these are as follows:

  1. Totally, prohibiting honest citizens to carry firearms gives undue advantage to criminals, who in any case may carry firearms illegally.
  2. It is not practical, or economical to provide police, military or other similar protection for all threats facing civilians. In some cases it is best to equip civilians to defend themselves.
  3. Firearms are used for many legal and peaceful activities, such as for sports or hunting. Totally banning possession of firearms by civilians would amount to putting an effective stop on all such activities.