Following the deaths of twenty-seven young children and teachers that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012, the discussion of where gun control and the second amendment belong in our society reached new and disturbing relevancy. Despite the horrifying number of fatalities at Sandy Hook, it’s not even the deadliest attack that we have seen plaguing the news. In 2018 alone, there have been fourteen school shootings (as of the date of this post). However, since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School occurred last month, killing seventeen students and staff, the survivors of the attack have started a new wave of gun control activism, something we so desperately need right now.
The counter argument to the call for gun control is that it violates the second amendment. However, I disagree. Gun control is not a gun ban. For those unfamiliar with the second amendment it reads as follows:
“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.”
While I agree that a complete ban on all guns would be unconstitutional, gun regulation and control is not. The second amendment itself references “a well regulated militia”. Keep in mind the context in which this amendment was written. America had just overthrown the oppressive British Empire, who’s grip stretched around the globe. It was absolutely critical that American’s have the legal right to arms because of the nature of the uprising against the British. American’s took up their own arms, not those provided by a government when they were up against the British. However, Americans were organized together into a militia. And they had muskets, not AR-15s and other assault riffles. Do you honestly think that the writers of the constitution would justify the countless murders of the innocent victims of gun violence? If you think so, then you’re just acknowledging that America was not built to protect its citizens and that it was corrupt to begin with (which I may get into in a later post).
So is there something that can be done to reduce gun related crimes while still honoring the second amendment? Yes.
The answer is reasonable regulations. Suggestions such as elevating the legal age of gun ownership to 21 years old, requiring extensive background checks, heavily restricting civilian possession of assault riffles, etc., offer a strong and promising compromise without compromising the constitution.
Even if you are a strong advocate of gun ownership and the second amendment, I encourage you not to reconsider, but to broaden your views. If America can come together to support victims of gun violence regardless of the circumstances, maybe we can find a conclusion that satisfies the agendas of both parties.
Until next post,
image source: Newsday