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Response to “America’s Personal Arsenal”

By: Kevin Lynch

Art by Arthur Yu


Jacob Fisher’s “America’s Personal Arsenal” is an opinion based article about federal gun regulation in America that seems to have very vague points and jumps to conclusions. This article makes the point that “we don’t need weapons of war”, but fails to convince due to a lack of substantial and effective evidence.

He starts with misleading statements such as: “About five percent of those firearms are antiques or family heirlooms according to Gallup, and therefore don’t function. However, 95 percent can kill you“ and calls guns “weapons of war”. This language is used to instil a sense that all guns are meant to kill people, which does not consider the fact that many are used for recreational purposes or for personal protection and are not intended for commiting crimes.

Another problem found in Fisher’s article was in his analysis of the 2013 Gallup Poll. The data shows why Americans said they owned guns, and found that five percent of people say they have guns in honor of the Second Amendment. Fisher states that this five percent of Americans just “own guns because they can”. The author is overlooking and oversimplifying the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free , the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment means so much more than just that people can buy guns because they can. It’s clear in the fact that guns are to be used to secure a free state, meaning people can use guns to defend themselves, their homes, and their families in the case of a natural disaster or government collapse.

The article continues by saying that rifles and shotguns are the most common guns used for hunting, which I agree is true. However, the author then goes to categorize other guns as “assault rifles” but doesn’t provide a clear definition of an assault rifle. Later, he says that semi-automatic weapons are not necessary. Based off the way the author presents these points, I assume that he defines assault weapons as semi-automatic, which seems awfully ignorant of the fact that many rifles are already semi-automatic, and the vast majority of pistols are semi-automatic, including revolvers.

The next part of the article goes to say that the US has a patchwork of gun laws. The author details how people can simply buy guns in different states, which is actually illegal. A person needs to own a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to buy, sell, and transport guns across state lines, which means the vast majority of people can’t buy guns in other states. The author then concludes the article by saying that lowering the number of guns in the country would lead to fewer mass shootings, but fails to provide evidence. Although I understand where the author is coming from, I feel this article is inaccurate representation of guns.

6 thoughts on “Response to “America’s Personal Arsenal”

  1. The burden of evidence lies with the person making the claim (fisher) rather than the person saying that there is a lack of evidence to say such claims are true( lynch)

  2. The problem lies in the fact that you are conflating mass shootings and america having a gun homicide problem. The fact is that gun homicides are declining in the US. Mass shootings make up less than 1% of gun deaths in america. The “Data” that shows 200 school shootings since 2013 includes any gun discharges, anywhere in the somewhat vicinity of a school, no matter if anyone is injured, the fire is accidental, or if it was even on a school property. If you are looking for a solution to mass shootings in schools, than an obvious step to protecting students is to allow teachers to be properly armed and trained with firearms. Gun laws and restrictions have shown to not be effective in stopping people committing mass shootings. No laws would have prevented any of the past mass shootings in schools. An example is Sante Fe, a horrible tragedy, but no reasonable gun restriction would have prevented the use of a shotgun and revolver in the shooting.

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