America shares a faithful yet rocky relationship with its own Second Amendment. Although ratified since its 1791 debut, the amendment is causing our country too much heartache.
Like many extensive and exhausted relationships, it becomes difficult to keep in mind what triggered the initial desire. The budding nation and the piece of legislation began its romance in a dark time, no but actually a dark time; electricity was not so much a thing then. Anyway, the two managed to avoid tricky turmoil because the purpose of the amendment was evident. The Second Amendment was established to protect the rights of the people to keep and bear arms. It enabled citizens to organize a militia, contribute to law enforcement, dismantle tyrannical government systems, stop invasion, combat slave revolts and secure self-defense. Did I fail to mention that the year was 1791?
If you intend on assembling a militia to overthrow a totalitarian government in 2016, good luck with the 18th century musket-type weaponry.
The logic that the intentions of the Second Amendment applies to contemporary life reduces Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, etc. Meanwhile, it is understandable to value self-defense; however, we collectively have to express more concern regarding the preventable deaths.
Furthermore, my favorite argument, a hearty piece of wisdom that rolls right off of the tongue: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” If this is the pillar beneath your pro-gun stance, why haven’t there been more mass shooting interrupted by good guys? Statistics prove that within the past 30 years, zero mass shootings have been stopped by armed civilians. With a third of our nation strapped, a lack of guns doesn’t seem to be the issue.
We’ve had a strong run but it’s time for America to say “it’s not me, it’s you.”
In an intimate interview on Time, James Jacobs, director of Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University School of Law, a professor of constitutional law, and the author of Can Gun Control Work?, explains some of his deep sentiments regarding gun control. He claims that “things are really better than they’ve been for decades” in our society in terms of gun crime. He proceeds to discuss the decrease in violent crime and gun crime the United States has witnessed since the early 1990’s despite the increasing number of firearms. At first glance his facts seem valid and difficult to argue but when you take a further glance into the facts he has presented, there are some serious holes in his argument. It is important to address gun violence for the United States as a whole, however, each state facilitates varying gun laws and policies so this feat is impossible when talking statistics. Jacobs’ claim that things are better than they’ve ever been is a skewed perception of reality when examining gun crime. The reason his statistics relating to the decrease in violent crime and gun crime since the 90’s are invalid is because the policies have also tightened up. Gun laws are nowhere near where they were in the 90’s so making such a comparison is practically useless. A more effective and efficient approach to evaluating gun policies is to examine state specific gun laws and compare data from before and after policies changes; similar to the statistics examined in the New York Time’s article on Missouri gun policy.
Jacobs furthers his argument by insisting that our constitution, a document that is over 200 years old, limits our capability of changing gun policies. Such limitations seem idiotic in light of the consequences gun crime and violence hold. Should we all turn a blind eye to hundreds and thousands of deaths from guns because of this outdated constitutional right?
Jacobs truly outdoes himself in another topic regarding mental illness and gun policies. In general, politicians on both side of the gun debate have agreed that more should be done to keep guns away from the mentally ill. Jacobs attempts to seem politically correct in saying that it is extremely difficult to label who is mentally ill and what constitutes mental illness and proceeds to say that creating such a label will hinder anyone with such illness in their decision to seek help. Jacobs is attempting to appeal to the audience’s pathos and he does make a valid point that it is difficult to define what constitutes mental illness, however, the topic of mental illness should not be taken lightly especially in the light of gun crime and violence. Jacobs dances around the topic and sticks to his sentiments that gun policies should not be increased even in an attempt to forbid the mentally ill from obtaining them. As I had mentioned, it is generally agreed upon that state policies should prevent the mentally ill from acquiring firearms but Jacobs reasoning against it is essentially that it would be too much work to accomplish this. Does this constitute not doing anything?
Not only do Jacobs claims lack validity, he seems to purposely tip toe around the questions that he does not have a strong answer to. All in all his arguments against increased gun policies are extremely weak and express a lazy attitude towards possible constructive change.
A major issue that the American people constantly battle is the issue of gun control. On one end of the spectrum there are some Americans who believe that the second amendment is something that every American is entitled to, and that banning or putting restrictions on guns would be unconstitutional. On the other end of the spectrum, some American people believe that there needs to be stricter laws and regulations on who and why someone should own a gun. Many people that are for gun control laws believe that getting a gun is too easy.
In a recent article on CNN.com, titled “The case for gun control is stronger than you think”, the argument that schools and other public places would be safer if people were allowed to carry weapons more freely. This article highlights cases such as the Sandy hook and New Life Church massacre and says that they could have been avoided if people were freely armed so they can protect themselves. The author argues that the best self defense against a gunman is another gunman.
I strongly disagree with this article for many reasons. For starters, I think that making guns more easily accessible would surely create twice the problem. I feel as though because guns are easily accessible it causes them to get in the wrong hands. The author of this article also mentions having one armed faculty members in schools, this isn’t a bad idea. However, having a gun in a school can lead to problems as well, the gun can get into the hand of a student. The gun could potentially go off in a school and injure a student. Guns truly should only be in the hands of people who are licensed and trained to use them. If stricter gun policy could ensure that guns are only in the hands of responsible people we would not have to about any mass shootings.
The most practical solution to this problem is strictly enforcing and regulating who can get a gun. A series of mental test need to be implement in order to make sure only sane people can own the weapon. Often times the people responsible for mass shooting are individuals who suffer from mental and emotional issues. This is the only way the issue of gun control will be solved.