“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.”– United States Constitution: 2nd Amendment
The Constitution’s 2nd Amendment is under serious fire in various locations all across the United States due to persisting gun violence. A great example of this is in Virginia where governor Northam and state legislators are moving toward a ban on all assault weapons. How should we interpret the 2nd Amendment? How do we solve gun violence, and mass shootings?
The first and foremost reason the second amendment is in the constitution is to have a fail safe in case the government turns on its people, similar to the what the British monarchy did in their time. Without the second amendment and the right to bear arms and form a militia, an over-centralized government would have the capability to oppress its people without any threat of retaliation (similar to modern-day Venezuela). As the amendment states, “…being necessary to secure a free state…”, this right is crucial for the protection of freedom in the United States.
The second, and vitally important purpose of the second amendment is to allow citizens to defend themselves from those around them who intend to cause them harm. It is practically guaranteed that where there are people, there are lives threatened and murders attempted. The federal government recognizes the human right to life, thus the federal government, through the second amendment, recognizes the right to defend your life by whatever means necessary. The amendment states, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…”, this would be perfectly logical to come to the conclusion that the keeping and bearing of arms (owning and carrying firearms) would keep up with the technological advancements of firearms. Meaning, we aren’t only allowed to carry a musket or barrel loading, flint-lock pistol; we have the right to modern weaponry. This means that any ban against modern weaponry (within reason) is unconstitutional. Most particularly, the increasingly popular assault weapons ban is illegal and immoral, because it infringes on the right of the people to bear modern arms. (Which are publicly available for the purpose of defending ourselves from a tyrannical government and an ill-intending person.)
BANNING ASSAULT WEAPONS
The concept of banning guns that are commonly misdescribed as “assault weapons” (any weapon that has tactical aesthetic features) is a philosophically inconsistent one. The typical reason for the call to ban these “machines of mass destruction” as some call it, is usually because they have, on occasion, been used in mass shootings. The truth is that guns like the AR-15 that are commonly called assault weapons (though they have no more power or technical functionality than a standard non-tactically aesthetic semi-automatic rifle), are used much less in shootings than common hand-guns. Thus to be consistent with the gun-restrictive line of thought, there should be more of a push to ban handguns with them, because they are used far more in shootings than AR-15’s. (In no way do I support any kind of ban…I’m just asking for philosophical consistency).
To ban weapons because they are used to do the wicked deeds of evil men may seem good and altruistic on the surface, but it would do more harm than good. Firstly, it would make the American people vastly more vulnerable to a tyrannical form of government. When the people are disarmed, it makes it much easier to quash resistance against a totalitarian. Simply put, oppression becomes easy. Again, this is the first and foremost reason the founding fathers put the second amendment in the Constitution. They feared the idea of the possibility of even their own new government becoming an oppressive one.
Secondly, when have bad guys ever been known to follow the law? It’s completely ignorant to assume that outlawing weapons would keep bad people from getting their hands on weapons. Prime examples of high rates of gun-violence are in cities with the strictest gun-laws in the country, such as: Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Washington D.C. If a full gun-ban were to take a effect, it would disarm law-abiding citizens only. This would then mean that the only armed people, are the ones who intend to use their weapons for the sake of bloodshed and robbery.
Right now in the United States, there is a generally mutual respect that Americans have for one another, out of fear that the other might also be armed and prepared to defend themselves. It’s rare to hear of shootings happen at NRA conventions, because everyone in the building is armed. It’s rare to hear of shootings in Police Stations, because everyone in the building is armed. It’s very common to have shootings in schools, churches and universities because those are places where you least expect people to be armed.
SOLVING SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
This may be an unpopular opinion, so take it as just that…my opinion. I think it would be wise of school boards to temporarily cut funding from sports, and focus on security upgrades. The question, in my opinion, is which is more important; protecting the lives of children or giving them training in sports? Both are good, but one is clearly much more important. I don’t particularly have an opinion on how security should be upgraded, its as long as it is a substantial upgrade.
Ending violence is not a possibility, but limiting it can be done. The best way to limit gun-violence by criminals with intent to harm, is to have more armed law-abiding people. Yes, you read that right…fight gun violence with more guns. If you want to keep your freedom and remain safe from domestic threats, purchase a firearm and get trained how to properly use it; that’s called being a responsible citizen.