“Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” With a government based off of various laws and an actual Constitution, the United States of America has a recurring problem in its society on the topic of gun control. This then evokes the question – should the government have the right to regulate said guns? The government should not have the right to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, as it is against Americans’ Constitutional rights. These said rights put into the hands of American people are supported through the second amendment of the United States Constitution, providing the right to keep and bear arms without infringement.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This text is located in the second amendment of the United States Constitution. Granted, this amendment was written and signed over 200 years ago by America’s founding fathers. In regards to American society, it would be considered unconstitutional to take guns out of the hands of the people and would completely violate our second amendment rights. During the time period our Constitution was written, the founding fathers truly believed guns were very important to the American way of living. They were used for protection against other people (particularly defense against British government at the time), activities such as hunting, and the security of the state. Although guns do not seem as necessary today as compared to back then, they are still a crucial part of both the lives of Americans and the freedom of Americans.
The advancement of guns is a huge aspect of the gun control debate to consider whether or not certain guns are necessary for a way of living in modern society. In regards to American government, around the time the second amendment was signed was literally hundreds of years ago. A pro gun control columnist from The Washington Post states it like this; “When the framers of the constitution wrote of ‘arms,’ they were thinking about muskets and single-shot pistols. They could not have foreseen modern rifles or high-capacity magazines” (Robinson). Even though these underdeveloped guns were the primary firearms used at the time the United States Constitution was signed, it was not unforeseen that the advancement of guns would come into place in American society many years after. For example the Giradoni air rifle first used in 1779 on the Lewis and Clarke expedition was the first firearm designed that opened up the idea of faster rapid firing guns to the people. The magazine of the Girandoni air rifle held 19 .46 lead balls in the magazine while also holding one .46 lead ball in the chamber. With inventions like these, it is hard to believe the founding fathers of America did not look into the possibilities for the future in regards to the advancement of firearms.
One of the biggest aspects of the gun control debate that concerns anti-gunners is the idea of mass shootings. The term “mass shooting” is defined broadly as an incident involving multiple victims of gun violence. (Follman). Under this loose definition, statistics tend to get skewed and people are often misled when it comes to the details. For example, if a firearm goes off within a certain distance from an elementary school full of children, that constitutes as a mass shooting. At the same time, there are tragedies in the world where mass shootings get publicized. A perfect example would be the New Zealand mass shooting that happened in March 2019.
Young 28 year-old Brenton Terrant born in Australia, showed up to the New Zealand Christchurch mosque with two multiple firearms including multiple assault rifles, two shotguns, one lever action rifle, and explosives strapped to his car in addition to his stockpile of firearms. The magazines Terrant used were modified to 30 round clips meant for the assault rifles illegally obtained through the internet. Terrant arrived at the church, opening fire and leaving no survivors. The targets after the civilians in the mosque were next the civilians outside of the mosque, innocently walking up the street unaware of the previous events.
This particular shooting resulted in the murder of 51 people while leaving 49 severly injured.The reason Brenton was so unstoppable was because nobody inside or outside the church was armed. Anti-gunners would state; “if citizens didn’t have guns, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place..” Maybe if at least one of the citizens was armed with a firearm (like in America with concealed carry). In this issue the police were the only protection the citizens had and they did not show up until it was too late and the damage was already done. It is almost near impossible for law enforcement to come to people in need instantaneously, so relying on the police force is not a smart move.
One of the most popular rifles in American society would be the AR-15, due to the sheer accuracy and firepower of the firearm. The rifle is exceptional when it comes to home defense or hunting instances. It is possible for the rifle to be chambered in both .223 or .556. Both rounds are very similar, however .556 rounds tend to be a bit more powerful compared to .223 rounds. Overall, both rounds are powerful and tend to be lethal to both humans and animals.
“Why Americans Need the AR-15 Assault Rifle,” is an article written by Robert Farago and goes in depth on why assault rifles in society are not as bad as people believe it to be. Farago is a pro-gunner that explains why assault rifles shouldn’t be looked down upon in society and goes in depth about the opposing viewpoints on the subject (Farago). Assault rifles are best suited for events where there are multiple threats involved in a situation. For example, in the event of societal breakdown or something as extreme as an apocalypse.
There are many different possible forms of violence. No matter what weapon, whether it be something as simple as a human fist, violence is just a part of human nature. Simply banning guns across the nation is not the answer to the problem at hand. Killings will always be a part of life, no matter what time frame it is. People cannot keep simply putting blame on firearms as the source of all of its problems in society. Truthfully, it is the actual people using the firearms who are the problem, and a simple gun ban will not cause change in society. It will simply mask the underlying problem throughout the world.
In conclusion, one of the most important rights American citizens have is the right to defend ourselves, and it’s important that we as citizens are protected by the government through our second amendment rights. Self-defense is an important aspect of the popular gun control debate, while being important to Americans we as citizens hold that right to be able to defend ourselves. Second amendment rights to bear arms can’t be infringed. Without second amendment rights being protected by the government, society and everyday American life could be totally different compared to modern day American society.
- Farago, Robert. “Why Americans Need the AR-15 ‘Assault Rifle.’” The Truth About Guns,
- 21 Dec. 2012, www.thetruthaboutguns.com/why-americans-need-the-ar-15-assault-rifle/.
- Follman, Mark. “What Exactly Is a Mass Shooting?” Mother Jones, 25 Aug. 2017, www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2012/08/what-is-a-mass-shooting/.
- Robinson, Eugene. “Assault Weapons Must Be Banned in America.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 June 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/assault-weapons-must-be-banned