The Second Amendment and its Effects on Society
In 2017, there was a total of 346 mass shootings. Around 11,000 people die from gun violence in the United States each year. Even after shootings took place at school nothing was done to restrict people’s access to guns. One amendment, the second amendment, makes it very difficult to stop unsafe people from buying guns.
The second amendment was written by our founders. The purpose was to make sure that we never had a standing army. Instead, they wanted us to have a militia made up of everyday citizens. They believed that if we had a standing army we would never be free because the army would do anything the president asked. The army might turn on the citizens, so our founders wrote the second amendment. Over time it has changed because we didn’t have to worry about having a standing army. Now citizens claim it protects their right to keep a gun in their home and take it with them. Some use those guns to hunt and others use them to protect themselves against others. But what about the people who use guns to hurt others? Congress has ruled that banning handguns or requiring guns to be trigger locked or disassembled violates the 2nd amendment. But Congress also decided the amendment was only keeping the national government from restricting gun ownership.
One way to stop mass shootings from happening so often is repealing the second amendment. But there are many ways we can fix the laws without repealing the second amendment. We can ban handguns or prohibit concealed carry. Another idea is to require background checks or forbid anyone under 21 from buying a gun. The government can red flag buyers who might be dangerous, and it can limit the number of firearms a person can own. They can also prohibit mentally unstable citizens and felons from buying guns.
The United States can use the ideas of many other countries to find the right balance of gun regulations. Japan typically has less than ten gun-related deaths per year. To maintain their low gun deaths their citizens have to prove they are responsible enough to own a gun. If you want to own a gun in Japan you must pass a written test after attending an all-day class. You also need to attain at least a 95% accuracy during a shooting range test. The hospital will give you a mental health evaluation, and the government will perform a background check and interview friends and family. Once you pass these tests you will be able to own a shotgun or air rifle, but you will have to retake the class and exam every three years.
In Norway, the number of fatal shootings in the past nine years was less than the number of fatal police shootings in a day in the United States. The government goes to great lengths to build trust between the citizens and the police officers through community police officers. Also, the police officers in Norway rarely carry guns.
In the United Kingdom, citizens are required to register their weapons and handguns and semi-automatic firearms are banned.
In Israel, most citizens serve in the military but after serving they have to follow the civilian gun laws. Assault weapons are banned and citizens must register their guns. To become licensed, the applicant must be an Israeli citizen, at least 21 years old, and speak at least a little Hebrew. Applicants also need a good reason to own a firearm, such as hunting or self-defense.
While writing this paper I have gained an opinion on the topic of gun control. I realize many think that any and all forms of gun control violate their second amendment right, but I think, because of the number of shootings the United States has seen recently, we need to make some changes. We need to make sure people who are mentally unstable or felons cannot get guns. People should have to give a good reason to own a gun and they shouldn’t be able to stockpile guns. All semi-automatic guns and handguns should be banned. Before obtaining a gun, the applicant should take a course on how to use the gun and go through a background test. The applicant should also be twenty-one or older. Too many people have died from gun use, we need to put precautions in place so that we don’t have to see another shooting in our country. on gun violence and gun control have been stronger than ever. Sparking this great debate involves the gun grabbers and the gun nuts who work endlessly to enforce stricter gun laws or to abolish the second amendment and citizen's rights to bear arms. Both sides agree that there is a gun problem: the United States has the highest rate of firearm suicide and homicide among industrialized countries. An estimated 34,000 Americans die from gunshot wounds per year (Kaplan & Geling). The two sides have philosophically contradictory solutions to the problem, a divide that is only widened by emotionally charged stories of gun violence like in Aurora, Colorado and Newton, Connecticut. Gun grabbers think the gun problem should be solved by taking away all guns, thus making gun regulation an important step in ensuring Americans' safety. Gun nuts believe the opposite, arguing that gun ownership is a preventative factor for gun violence. If everyone had a firearm, people would be able to defend themselves, and criminals would be less likely to commit gun crime out of fear of being shot in the process (Winkler 76). The U.S. Constitution promises that the government will protect U.S. citizens and their natural born rights. The Bill of Rights explicitly states U.S. citizens' unalienable rights, one of which is the right to bear arms. The second amendment states 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. (Winkler, A. (2011). The government shouldn't induce more gun control, if they do so, then the government would be infringing upon the second amendment, failing to properly address violence, and infracting upon the freedom to own guns for hunting and sport. An increase in gun control will not solve the violence issues although people insist it will. However, criminals already obtain guns illegally. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. It's time we explore new solutions to this problem such as better mental health awareness, instead of imposing stricter gun laws.
Gun Grabbers tend to want all handguns banned although in reality that's unlikely vs the gun nuts who wish to solve America's gun issues with guns. During a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012, a mass shooting occurred inside the Century 16 Movie Theater located in Aurora, Colorado that resulted in 12 fatalities.( A short five months another mass shooting occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14th that killed 28 people. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012) In my personal opinion, I'm all for supporting the Second Amendment that protects the U.S. citizen's rights to possess firearms for lawful purposes such as self-defense within a citizen's home and anywhere in public that legally allows you to open carry. The real question is, can these arguments over gun control reach a reasonable solution to what seems like an endless problem?
When I go back and think of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, if there had been guns for trained security on staff or police men for the school's defense, the amount of those innocent lives killed could have been significantly reduced. As Adam Lanza entered the building with his evil intentions known, someone trained and armed could have had the ability to stop him from opening fire at the school. Gun control laws should be loosened up a bit because not only do they violate the Constitution/ citizen's rights, decrease protection, and it is proven that gun control laws only result in more mass shootings and defenseless people have to suffer because of it resulting in losing their life due to a senseless act. Imagine the many student who went to school that morning thinking it would be just another normal school day to learn, imagine parent's not knowing the morning of December 14,2012 would be the last time they got to see their sweet and innocent children's faces before sending them off to school that morning. The staff on hand had practiced drills not too long before the incident but was that enough? Although the staff was able to shelter in place saving some lives, unfortunately it wasn't good enough. This mass shooting resulted as one of the deadliest shootings in history. Gun grabbers may have thought, ok, we should ban all guns if so, what more could've been done in a situation like this? If you take guns away would the school have enough funding to install metal detectors in all entrances of the school? Would the school have enough funding for a better security system such as all doors automatically lock at a certain time and will not be unlocked unless someone authorized inside of the school gave them access to enter the facility? Could the school afford to hire security and police officers to be on campus grounds to be able to call for immediate help and maybe have had a better chance of not allowing the intruder further into the school? Or, would gun nuts push the issue and say, Yes, let's train and educate school staff on how to open carry to be able to defend themselves and the individuals at the school. If someone would have been armed and near the school entrance when Adam arrived, there would have been a much better chance of taking him down as soon as he stepped foot on the property instead of him making his way through the halls and taking the lives of innocent children and staff members.
In The District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court case found the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 unconstitutional, this influenced individual's right to keep and bear arms for self-defense of the Second Amendment. This particular court played a huge role in giving the U.S. citizen's their natural born right to bear arms for the use of self-defense in the privacy of their own home or in approved areas outside their residence. The Heller case is in fact the first court case that defined who can own guns for self-defense. This case revolved around the Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and what it means. I favor the legislation in the Heller court case. For instance in making these situation better drastic measures need to take place in which in most cases, making it harder for individual's to have access to guns. By these drastic measures I'm talking about enforce the following: We should make gun owners safer, with comprehensive gun safety education, universal background checks and age limits for purchases. Fingerprint scanners or other technology can restrict a gun's usage to its proper owner. Guns can be made safer with elements that limit the number of rounds fired per second. (Webber, 2018) Five states have "red flag" laws that allow a judge to issue an extreme risk protection order that temporarily restricts a person from owning a gun if family, household members and police can convince them they're a danger. Gun safety groups say they hold the potential to reduce suicide rates and contain potential violence early on.(Sarlin, 2018) These are just a few ideas on ideas that states have already started enforcing in helping reduce mass shooting and preventing mentally unstable individual's access to guns.
In conclusion, not only does the US have more guns than any other country in the world, it also has far more gun deaths than any other developed nation (Lopez 2017). The United States has nearly six times higher of a rate of gun homicide than most countries today. They all point to one fact: Gun control does work to save lives. Last year, researchers from around the country reviewed more than 130 studies from 10 countries on gun control for Epidemiologic Reviews. This is, for now, the most current, extensive review of the research on the effects of gun control. The findings were clear: The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths (Lopez 2017). The study did not look at one specific intervention, but rather a variety of kinds of gun control, from licensing measures to buyback programs. Time and time again, they found the same line of evidence: Reducing access to guns was followed by a drop in deaths related to guns. And while non-gun homicides also decreased, the drop wasn't as quick as the one seen in gun-related homicides ” indicating that access to guns was a potential causal factor (Lopez 2017). The problem with the guns and gun violence in America is it is way too easy now-a-days to get access to guns rather it be buying it off the street illegally or purchasing it from a family or friend. Stricter access to guns could help reduce the rates of homicide in our country today. With that being said, guns tend to be a factor in most cases of violence but they clearly aren't the only factor. Other factors include being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, robbery, poverty and mental illness.