“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.”
I briefly spoke of the Second Amendment in my last article while simultaneously criticizing the writer of another article for an oversight error in numbering the Amendments. I do, however, want to touch on the subject of the Second Amendment because it is a hot-button issue around both campaign and election season. The language (above in bold) is kept simple by our forefathers so as to not construe the message of an individual’s rights.
Brief History of the Second Amendment
I don’t want to spend too much time on this area (considering it is plastered on the internet for you to find elsewhere), but I do want to look at the Second Amendment to the extent that our forefathers cover it in the Constitution and other documents. It is important to remember that the Constitution was not the only document in history that spoke of the Second Amendment’s contents. Each forefather had a specific reason for placing this in the Constitution, and that reason was exemplified in other documents during that time. For example, The Federalist Papers by James Madison spoke of “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.” Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, The Federalist Papers 299 (Arlington House ed. n.d.). As an additional example (just to show merit), Patrick Henry argued during the Virginia ratifying convention that “the great object is, that every man be armed…. Everyone who is able may have a gun.” 3 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 386 (1836). This (along with other framers’ thoughts not mentioned herein) shows that the framers of the Constitution meant to protect an individual’s rights to bear arms.
Gun Rights: No Government Should Take Away MY Guns
After reading the framers’ intentions, it is easier to transition into the argument to protect American citizens’ right to bear arms. The Second Amendment obviously covers the issue on gun rights, but what other arguments are being used as a catalyst to propel gun rights to the forefront of a political debate? Here is a list of those rights, and why it might be a reason to entertain the discussion.
(1) Criminals will find a way to obtain guns through illegal measures (like they already do today). In my humble opinion, this is a valid point. What will stop the criminals from bypassing legislation put into place and finding (through No. 5 below) these guns on their own? Criminals already break the law by committing crimes, so what is one extra notch on their gun-toting belt?
(2) Victim gun possession will deter criminals from committing their crime. If you don’t believe this argument, you haven’t read the story of Jan Cooper of Anaheim, California – the gun-wielding grandma that shot at an intruder to protect herself and her wheelchair-bound, WWII veteran husband from potentially inflicted harm. Here is the article if you don’t believe me (also covered on NBC and CBS if you have something against Fox News): http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/12/grandma-72-shoots-at-intruder-misses-in-calif/. This is one of my favorite arguments for gun rights. There are numerous stories out there like Jan Cooper’s, and I am not sure the ending would quite be the same if Jan did not have her firearm in hand.
(3) Police are often too busy to protect citizens from (all) crimes committed. I’m going to add another mitigating factor – police officers are too damn lazy to answer all calls for crimes committed. Please see the above link re: Mrs. Cooper if you don’t believe it. If the police do not get there in time, the police are not held responsible for the crime committed. Protect yourself.
(4) Ban my guns? You are a socialist or totalitarian. This seems to be the most used line by the Republicans (or those supporting gun rights) against the Obama administration’s legislation on gun control. By restricting a right professed in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution, anyone that would dare take away one of those rights either must be a socialist, a tyrannical leader, or an idiot. Taking away an Amendment requires another Amendment to rectify that situation (e.g., Prohibition and the 18th/21st Amendments). As that is a whole other argument, I will leave our congressional leaders with four words: Good luck with that.
(5) Banning guns will create a “black market” excursion for these items (i.e., more organized crime; “War on Guns”). As I stated in No. 1 above, criminals will find other means to being criminals. Just because a criminal cannot find or purchase a gun on the free market does not mean that the same criminal cannot turn around and purchase that gun from an underground, or “black,” market. This black market would lead to additional problems for the government (which is dealing with figuring out what ObamaCare is) and police officers (who already don’t have time to answer your calls about an intruder). Again, four words: Good luck with that.
Gun Control: Eh… Some Regulation MIGHT Work Today
Now that I have completely blown your mind about gun rights, let’s look at the five opposite arguments for gun control. Here is the list as to why you (and our government) should entertain the discussion for gun control.
(1) Most violent crimes are committed with guns. Take away the gun, take away the criminal. This is a valid argument for those entertaining the thought of gun control. If there are no more guns in this world, then there will be no more criminals. A new utopia.
(2) Victims holding guns may be in more danger than before as the criminal could kill the victim in self-defense. I’m honestly not sure how I can defend this ill-worded argument, but I will try because I have to remain neutral for now. Scratch that… I can’t. That’s just stupidity. But if you have an opinion on why this is a valid point, leave me a comment below.
(3) Crimes that were once less dangerous can now be more dangerous with the addition of a gun. This argument is geared toward drug crimes. A person selling drugs is more than likely using a gun to protect himself or herself from harm in the event that the drug deal “goes bad.” The drug crime itself is a less dangerous crime. If the drug crime goes bad and the gun is used it is a more dangerous crime. Reducing or eliminating the gun by gun control laws will in turn keep the drug crime just that – a lesser crime. This could also correlate with No. 1 above of the gun control arguments.
(4) Suicide and crimes of passion are easier to commit with a gun on hand. This is true. Both suicide and crimes of passion are committed in the “heat of the moment.” It seems that eliminating the gun would reduce the amount of crimes of this nature. It is important to keep in mind though that most women attempt suicide by overdose or cutting of wrists, which would not eliminate the amount of suicides for women at all. This is more geared toward the number of men that commit suicide by lethal weapon (which is extremely higher than women). If you want the statistics on this, visit The Community Counseling Service’s page at http://www.hsccs.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=13737.
(5) Insane people, children who have been bullied, or other disgruntled people could use guns for the wrong reason. This argument stems from the number of mall shootings, school shootings, work shootings, and every other possible shooting of a nature in which the person was angry or upset. Let’s take school shootings since it appears to be the most recent. From Colorado to Connecticut, these shootings are stemming from the fact that somehow children and teenagers are getting their hands on firearms. A link to most of these situations is not the fact that the children had guns, but that these children and teenagers were suffering from psychological problems before reaching for the gun. I’m not saying that bullying or being treated unfairly is right. What I am saying, however, is that these children should stop and reach out for help before reaching for the gun. Most children and teenagers do not know there is an outlet for help at all. If you or someone you know has been bullied and you are thinking there is no other way out, please go to http://www.stopbullying.gov for more information or to get help. Either way, I could see how this argument would be a major focal point of the Obama administration during a time such as this.
My Thoughts on Gun Rights vs. Gun Control: My Guns ARE My Right
After going through the arguments for and against gun control, I am happily content in stating that guns are my right and my right is found under the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Gun control is a nasty subject – as it is an “all or nothing” analysis. I do not like a government that takes away the rights of the citizens without so much as a blink of an eye. Our forefathers would be ashamed.
If the guns are not necessary, take away Obama’s guns that are protecting him. Oh… that isn’t going to happen? Some criminals might still get to him with their illegal guns? Then there is no need for me to remain unarmed if the President refuses to disarm his Secret Service. Is my life not as important as the President’s? Also, look at what happened in Chicago. Chicago has one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation and still winds up with not one but four of the “Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods.”
Our government, however, continues to believe that Chicago-like gun control laws are the answer to the gun problems we have in our country today.
Four words: Good luck with that.