Fewer issues grab American’s attention more than the issue of crime and violence. This is easily linked to the availability of guns. The debate on whether guns are a tradition and a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or whether they are a dangerous contribution to the problems at hand make for an explosive argument. With a major outbreak of violence in our country, some people think that if we repeal the Second Amendment it would solve the problem. These people have two reasons; One, is the rising of violence amongst teenagers, the second, is their interpretation of the Second Amendment.
The side opposing these views use arguments like how it would be impossible to repeal the Second Amendment, and we have a long history with a right to bear arms. Finally one can see the conflict of dealing with the Second Amendment, but you could also see that to repeal the amendment wouldn’t fix what’s facing our society. The controversy of this issue that has the potential to destroy this country’s foundation makes it interesting to debate amongst ourselves. People should be better informed and make a decision based on facts and not fiction. Many advocates for the limitations of firearms can quote numerous examples of increasing violence and homicide crimes.
But the area which seems to hit the closest to home, is the issue of violence among the teenagers of our society. Everything has changed on how students deal with their problems. Twenty-five to thirty years ago, when a teenage boy got into a fight, it usually meant something like a fist fight. In more and more neighborhoods around the U.S. it now means a shoot out. Violence like this is a major issue on our streets and even in our schools. Almost everywhere now teenagers are packing weapons, some are involved with drugs or gangs; others carry them for self-defense. One study states that at least one in every three male juveniles are armed. Now more than ever an increasing number of children under the age of 18 are arrested each year for murder. It has jumped 55% in the past decade alone, Juvenile arrests for aggravated assault are rising as well. The results of this trend in violence has led to the release of a Center for Disease Control report that states, since 1988, American teenage boys have been more likely to die from gunshot wounds than from all other natural diseases. This trend can be the result of the availability of firearms which makes it far too easy for kids to kill. Guns figure in more than 15% of adolescent homicides. There are more than 200 million privately owned guns in America. With the violence of American teens rising at a staggering rate, we obviously cannot sit idle. Something needs to be done about this, but what?
A reason to repeal the Second Amendment is the original purpose of that amendment. The amendment came out of the deep-seated fear of a National or standing army. Originally they also limited the National Army to 840 men. This idea led to the true reason for the amendment. The need for a state militia was the right guaranteed in the amendment. In short, it was declared “necessary” in order to have a state military force to protect the security of the state. The amendment issued the right of militia’s and for hunters to have guns which in that day depended on for survival. Now Americans have the right to defend their homes, we dare not change that, nor does anybody question that the Constitution protects the right of hunters. Hunting is a sport for recreation, but assault weapons are not recreational, and are surely in need of regulations just like motor vehicles. Now Americans don’t fear fear a national army. The huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the military of 200 years ago. Therefore the security of a free state is protected by the national establishment; but this does not eliminate the need for military type weapons for defense.
Those who oppose can quote as to why we shouldn’t repeal. The NRA for example uses a dangerous saying, “until every weapon is accounted for”. With this being true, one of the major arguments against the theory that gun control could save lives is that firearm control could have no real effect on homicide rates. Because it is human nature, homicide would continue. Murderers would just pick up the next best weapon. Also knowing that an estimated 100,000,000 guns are owned exceeds the annual incident count of 1,000,000 by a factor of 100. This means that existing weapons could supply criminals for the next century even if used just once. Now will a repeal limit this?
Furthermore even if we got rid of all guns it is not much more difficult to manufacture a serviceable firearm in ones home than to brew up a batch of homemade moonshine. This ability to manufacture weapons was seen before during the Soviet Unions war with Afghanistan. The Afghan tribesmen used wood and metal tooling equipment much like the equipment you can order out of a sears catalog, and produced hand crafted rifles that fire the Russian 7.62-51mm AK-47 assault rifle cartridges. Can we expect anything less from Americans?
Finally the overwhelmingly obvious reason that the Second Amendment shouldn’t be repealed is the long western civilizations history of bearing arms. Ideologist supporting the right to bear arms can be traced as far back as the Greek philosopher Aristotle who thought the bearing of arms was necessary for true citizenship and participation in a political system. Throughout the ages this theme was supported by keystones of our our society. In the English society the right to bear arms was insured. Whenever William and Mary were invited to occupy the throne of England in early 1687, they were presented with an English bill of rights. This included the specific right for Englishmen to have Arms for defense. In fact, if this right was not exercised during the Revolutionary War with England our constitution would never have been written. In conclusion A well regulated Militia as being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of all the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. These are sacred words. It is obvious that crime is a major problem in Today’s Society.
Many precautions have been taken as voters demand that the government do something about the rising crime and violence in America, but is repealing the Second Amendment the Answer? No it is not. We must think of the aftermath of such a repeal, many people would not stand by and let you take their guns. They would take arms to defend the very right being taken away. If the right to keep and bear arms had not been exercised when George Washington led the colonies to victory over the English Crown, our Constitution would not exist as it is today, that is why the Second Amendment is such a sacred one, it is the basis for which the ideas of this country stands upon. Would people really sit by as the Government takes action and becomes Tyrannical? In addition to the Second Amendment most people are unaware that the 14th or Civil Rights Amendment also guarantees the right of freedmen to bear arms. Do advocates against the Second Amendment suggest that we repeal that amendment too?
Many Americans would not agree with that. Furthermore it is obvious that it would be impossible to repeal the Second Amendment there are other ways to deal with rising crime and violence. Obviously military type weapons should be available to the public; but with strict regulations such as background checks, even a DNA test. But Military weapons are only designed with one thing in mind, to kill people. Even though steps must be taken to thwart gun violence, people must get more involved with the system to insure that limits do not go too far. It is, after all, the people who control the politics, not politicians themselves.
Our Constitution holds the basic rights for which we exercise each day. Our basic rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, and if they repeal the Second Amendment we would not enjoy the outcome. There would be less crime, but at what cost? We would forfeit everything our country stands for, just to have a Police State. This is not America, This is Obama’s America
Burger, Warren E. “Ex-Chief Justice Warren Burger in Parade Magazine.” Ex-Chief Justice Warren Burger in Parade Magazine. Parade Magazine, 14 Jan. 1990. Web. 27 Oct. 2013. .
Center For Disease Control. “Study of Teen Related Gun Violence.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June-July 1992. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. .
United States Constitution, Amendment II, and XIV
Wright, James D., Peter H. Rossi, and Kathleen Daly. Under the Gun: Weapons,
Crime, and Violence in America. New York: Aldine Pub., 1983. Print.