The 2nd Amendment: freedom or ignorance?

In a country where 142 new school shootings have happened since 2013, it seems that there should be a massive outcry for gun control to be more regulated and promoted on a larger scale. And yet, in the wake of the plethora of school shootings, movie theatre shootings, and outright massacres going on in this country, there are still a great majority of people pushing the second amendment. While the second amendment states that, “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 think that there should be infringement on this law that is breaking down the trust of our nation’s schools in the selling of guns. Should anyone really be allowed to own a weapon, when we have been exposing our children to the kind of cruel and horrific manslaughter we once thought only existed in video games?

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In this graphic, we see the frightening spread of mass shootings in the United States just this year. This problem seems to keep escalating, and yet, nothing seems to be done. Only in the wake of each incident do we hear regrets, apologies, and sorrows, yet nothing has been done or is being done about prevention and even more importantly, gun control.

Schools hold the future of our country within their walls, and to expose children to the fear of someone coming into their school and shooting them is one thing, but to not necessarily change the root of the problem at any level is another thing. A poll shows that the American public voted that the sale of firearms should be more strict at 47% in 2014, curiously down from the 58% in 2012, and the 78% in 1990. It seems that the American public does not see a threat in the sale of firearms, especially when the stats also show that only 26% believe there should be a law to ban the possession of a handgun from regular citizens, while 73% said there should not be a ban.

Why are we so obsessed with the right to bear arms, rather than looking at the benefits of gun control for the youth of our nation? A lot of foreign first world countries, such as Australia, are absolutely appalled and upset at the ways in which America has not done anything to fix or deal with the gun control and school shooting problems. In a quote from ThinkProgress.org, they state that,” Australians have been calling out the U.S. for not responding to gun massacres the way their country did two decades ago. In 1996, after a man went on a rampage with a semi-automatic rifle and killed 35 people, Australia banned high-powered rifles and enacted strict licensing requirements.Since then, Australia has seen no mass shootings, which are defined as five or more people being shot. And millions of Australians still own guns.”

From the outside looking in, it seems as though we are a country so caught up in the notion of our rights as citizens to freedom, that we are ignorant to the idea that freedom comes at a cost, and in our case with mass shootings, it is at the cost of our fellow Americans’ lives. If we were to take a step back and look at the root of the problem, a lack of gun control, we could see that we wouldn’t be losing our right to freedom by increasing gun control, but we would be opening our eyes for the first time to new ways of practicing gun ownership safely in America. We need to stop being so ignorant of the harm being done by not enforcing gun control, and start learning from countries like Australia to change our country for the better.

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3 thoughts on “The 2nd Amendment: freedom or ignorance?”

  1. I agree that there needs to be a serious regulation reform in response to all these crimes that are associated with gun violence. I don’t necessarily think it’s ignorance of how much harm is being done due to gun violence, I think it is more about the idea that people don’t want to give up their guns. Some might feel it necessary to have guns in order to be protected or indulge in the sport of hunting. Although, I most definitely do not find it necessary the amount of access to guns that Americans have and the lack of gun regulation. You are 100% on point in saying that Congress needs to do something regarding gun control. Maybe, the U.S. should follow the example of Australia that you gave. If they are able to still have guns yet there is no mass shooting, then I think that would be a great compromise between those who want gun regulation and those who don’t.

    Great post!

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  2. I also agree that the United States needs stronger gun control laws. Too much decision-making is left to the states, with some having adopted stricter provisions regarding the sale of firearms, and other states having adopted more relaxed provisions. More federal oversight and strict national guidelines would help alleviate inconsistencies in gun laws state to state.

    In addition, I think US lawmakers should scrutinize the types of guns that are available for citizens to purchase. I struggle to understand why assault rifles are sold to ordinary people– what could possibly be the purpose of owning such a weapon? While I’m certainly not a gun expert, there are certain guns being sold that can fire multiple bullets very rapidly, and that can also hold large amounts of bullets. These types of weapons are not necessary for hunting or other legitimate purposes, and they should not be sold in stores. I think we can draw a distinction between a handgun for personal protection (which I am still not sure I support) and a heavy-powered death machine, the likes of which are currently available for purchase.

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  3. Great post. The visual that you provided to demonstrate the nationwide issue of gun massacres is appalling, and shows that only 1 state in the entire nation has not experienced a mass shooting JUST this year. I absolutely agree with the notion that America desperately needs gun control law reform; I actually still can’t believe that after the countless massacres our country has seen, there is still such a large portion of our country that is against gun law reform. How can anyone see the tragedies that have continued to occur time and time again, and not want to do anything to make a change? Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” and I think this quote pertains so relevantly to this issue. If we choose to refrain from enforcing gun control laws, we won’t see a reduction in mass shootings. If we are so concerned with our rights, such as the obsession with the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms, should we not also be concerned with our rights to liberty which the trigger of a gun can take away so quickly?

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