In society today, there are certain controversies that can lead people to think that one action can be an entire solution to a massive problem. One very controversial topic throughout the United States is the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment protects people’s right to keep and bear arms. The controversy surrounds the recent issue in the United States with gun violence and multiple public shootings. There are two sides to the debate. Some believe that in order to solve these issues, it is more effective to leave the amendment as it is or to scrap it and make a new one. Many people also do not know how non-constricting the definition of the Second Amendment is. In the wake of so many mass shootings being the headlines throughout the country, groups of people feel that changes should be made to the Second amendment. On the contrary, many believe that guns are not the issue. However, with all aspects considered, restricting people’s Second Amendment right will have a negative effect on society.
One of the most prominent issues people face is thinking that changing and making the Second Amendment more strict will help with gun violence. In reality this will end up making the world wide issue worse. The Second Amendment states, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” By getting rid of or refiguring the wording of the amendment will not stop people from possessing a gun and using it how they choose. The Second Amendment was put in place for a couple reasons, one being for safeguarding from the tyrannical government. The government restricting the people’s right to bear arms would also be a violation of the existing Second Amendment, which in return would cause way bigger issues for individuals concerned about the rights they were previously given. Evidence also supports that since the public eye has been more conscious about guns, there has been a rise in firearms being sold on the Black Market and other secretive sources. Additionally, people who feel strongly about it will start riots, protest, or find another way to obtain a firearm.
Furthermore, to simply put it, guns do not kill people- people kill people. The removal or banning of guns will not magically fix the long lasting issue. The people who legally own guns frequently get them stolen and used by criminals but gun control laws will not prevent criminals from obtaining guns or breaking laws. Demonstratively, safety in cars have not yet been perfected and cars cause hundreds of thousands of accidents and deaths. Would the banning of cars rid the world of death by transportation? The answer to that is no. It is absurd to assume that this would solve all of the problems surrounding death and vehicles. They are the main form of transportation in this generation. There is no driving force that causes another person to crash their car, drive under the influence, or text and drive. It is that person’s personal actions and decisions, and the same goes for owning a gun. It is a responsibility that one has when they decide to take possession of a gun. On top of that, half the United States households keep guns for personal protection(4). There have been millions of cases that say that guns have been the reason innocent people live. As a form of defense, these mechanisms almost fully ensure that an intruder will not be able to harm people in their own spaces or homes. Guns are super important for people’s safety and protecting themselves and their families.
To add on to that, more regulation is not needed. The more important aspect of this is the promotion of education regarding guns and gun safety to forestall accidental or intentional gun deaths. The promotion of gun education mixed with more mental illness screening will help to prevent massacres. Heidi Cifelli, Former Program Manager of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, stated, “Gun education is the best way to save young lives.” Meaning that if people are more aware about the dangers of guns and the proper use of the mechanism, this will help to reduce the risk at which people are willing to pay the consequences for the mishandling of the object. Moreover, The NRA states that the Eddie Eagle program is not meant to “teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children… Like swimming pools, electrical outlets, matchbooks, and household poison, they’re [guns] treated simply as a fact of everyday life.” Multiple studies from reputable sources show that if people are educated gun violence is much less likely (5).
One argument made for strict gun control laws in countries with restrictive gun control laws have lower gun homicide and suicide rates than the United States. Both Switzerland and Finland require gun owners to acquire licenses and pass background checks that include mental and criminal records, among other restrictions and requirements. “In 2009 Switzerland had 24 gun homicides (0.31 deaths per 100,000 people) and 253 gun suicides (3.29 deaths per 100,000 people). Finland ranked fourth in international gun ownership rates with 45.3 guns per 100 people (about 2,400,000 guns total). In 2007 Finland had 23 (0.43 deaths per 100,000 people) gun homicides and 172 gun suicides (4.19 deaths per 100,000 people).” Yes, these are good numbers, however, gun control laws do not always work. For example, Mexico has some of the world’s most stringent gun control laws, and yet, “in 2012, Mexico had 11,309 gun murders (9.97 gun homicides per 100,000 people).” This proves that gun control does not always work and it is up to the citizens not to break the law.
John R. Lott, Jr., PhD, gun rights activist, stated, “The problem with such [gun control] laws is that they take away guns from law-abiding citizens, while would-be criminals ignore them.” A lot of people think that if we take away guns criminals will just stop being criminals and follow the law. Obviously this is not the case. Criminals who possess illegal guns will not even have their guns taken because there is no record of them even buying them in the first place. “Despite Chicago’s ban on gun shops, shooting ranges, assault weapons, and high capacity magazines, in 2014 Chicago had 2,089 shooting victims including at least 390 murders.” (8). This example proves that taking guns will not work. Then, since the law-abiding citizens have had their guns taken from them they can not defend themselves from the criminals. Also, if somehow the government managed to take all guns away there are still other lethal weapons, such as knives that can be used to kill. Criminals will be criminals at the end of the day.
Continuously, in past generations, it has been socially unacceptable to bear arms, but publically it was concluded that it was ultimately was ultimately necessary for the protection of the livelihood of the individual and for the preservation and prosperity of the nation (2). A nation of citizens with the right to bear arms demands the respect of their government and has the capacity to influence their own leadership; an unarmed population lives at the mercy of their administration. It is hardly conceivable that the drafters of the Constitution would incorporate a statement limiting the right to keep and bear arms to members of a state militia. To include this condition would ultimately have removed from practice the very entity that freed this country from oppression and gained us our independence: the right of the individual to keep and bear arms. The second amendment was not intended only to grant a privilege to a group, but to preserve the right of the individual.
Conclusively, the issue around gun control has been a largely debated topic ever since there was a rise in crimes involving guns and mass shootings. The most effective way to reduce gun violence does not start with the altering of the Second Amendment. Changing this prominent law will only motivate more illegal crimes related to obtaining a gun through illegal sites or markets. The more effective solution to the problem of gun violence is to look more closely at the people buying guns. Making sure that the right people want or need guns for the right reasons is key to ensuring that guns will be used safely and properly. Therefore, the removal of the Second Amendment should not be considered in the process of decreasing gun motivated crimes.
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