Should I buy a gun? -- a difficult question indeed. Depending on where you live, that question could be moot because some cities and states have strict gun laws that make it extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, to own a gun. Check your local laws.
If you live in a city or state where gun ownership is relatively simple, then the question is one that you and many others deal with every day. Depending on your interpretation of it, the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own a gun, but is it a right that should be exercised?
The National Rifle Association says yes, and lobbies Congress to reject most gun control legislation. The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, the group's lobbying arms, writes on its web site of its activities:
These efforts include enacting laws that recognize the right of honest citizens to carry firearms for self-protection; preemption bills to prevent attacks on gun owner rights by local anti-gun politicians, and fighting for legislation to prevent the bankrupting of America’s firearms industry through reckless lawsuits.
The NRA believes that more guns equal less crime. It claims that gun control laws only stop law-abiding citizens from obtaining guns -- criminals will still get their hands on them. So if everyone has a gun, we will be on equal footing with the criminals.
The Brady Center works to reform the gun industry by enacting and enforcing sensible regulations to reduce gun violence, including regulations governing the gun industry. In addition, we represent victims of gun violence in the courts. We educate the public about gun violence through litigation, grassroots mobilization, and outreach to affected communities.
While these and other groups certainly have their own viewpoints, often times the decision to buy a gun is more personal than political. Perhaps you are feeling threatened and feel like you need a gun for protection. Or maybe you want to take up hunting or target practice. Whatever the reason, the decision to buy a gun is an important one -- the safety of yourself and others could be at risk.