Jim_Gibbons By Jim Gibbons, Republican Candidate for Iowa’s Third Congressional District

It Comes After the 1st Amendment For a Reason

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.

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  1. Intriguing post! But correlation does not equal causation, Mr. Gibbons, and I notice that you do not provide any evidence to support your supposition that the repeal of a handgun ban would somehow lead to fewer murders in Chicago. Really, your post is sparse on facts in general.

    What sort of training would you require of a handgun owner? Do you support police inspections of the homes of gun owners to ensure that guns are locked and stored safely away from children? Or do you propose that all handguns be allowed to be kept unlocked, loaded and easily accessible?

    It is all well and good to talk about a “right to bear arms” but what are you going to do to see to it that the dangerous handguns you feel ought to be freely possessed do not fall into the hands of children or other unauthorized users? Do the people have a right to be negligent with their handguns as well?
    .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..10,000 Maniacs =-.

  2. Jim Gibbons writes: “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.”

    I agree with Mr. Gibbons on the importance of responsible gun ownership.

    Still, his comment seems contradictory. Mr. Gibbons reports that Chicago has had restrictions for thirty years. *Now* the ban is being examined by the Supreme Court. If the right to bear arms is being eroded, why is the handgun ban being examined today? It sounds like the ban is possibly headed for a repeal. The Court also struck down bans in Washington DC. That sounds like the reversal of an erosion.

    As for Washington DC and violence spiraling out of control, hmm… It’s clearly high in many areas but if we make the effort to look at the trends, violent crime peaked in the 1990s and has dropped over the past ten years. Still too high but it’s got nothing to do with gun regulations. In Chicago there was an uptick in murders for 2008 but still much lower than the peak in the mid-1990s. Interestingly, crime rates in Chicago and in many cities have been dropping significantly in 2009/2010.

    FWIW – I don’t think there is a correlation between violent crime and the presence or absence of local handgun laws. In any case, it’s far too easy to secure weapons from less restrictive regions. Socio-economic factors seem stronger indicators of violence rates.

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