Is the Second Amendment necessary today?
- The Second Amendment of the US Constitution ensures “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
- America has 120.5 guns per 100 people, which amounts to about 393,347,000 guns—the highest per capita worldwide.
- World Population Review reports 175 countries allow their citizens to own firearms, but only three list it as a constitutional right: Mexico, Guatemala, and the US. Countries with the most restrictive firearm laws include China, India, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam. North Korea and Eritrea completely ban firearms.
- As of 2019 data, the US state with the strictest gun laws is California while Mississippi has the least amount of restrictions. Rhode Island has the least amount of gun deaths while Mississippi has the highest.
- Gallup polling records gun ownership in America decreased from 49% in 1960 to 42% in 2020. It rose to a high of 51% between 1992-1996. In 2020, 57% of those polled were in favor of stricter gun laws, 34% opted to keep laws as they are while 9% prefer looser laws.
Any notion that the second amendment is not necessary today is a direct threat towards liberty, as disregarding it opens the doors to throwing out other Constitutional rights. Abolishing this vital right would be a slippery slope in scrutinizing other important protections, endangering the freedoms traditionally enjoyed by United States citizens, both born and migrant.
Historically, the second amendment protects citizens against a tyrannical government, should the need ever arise. Unfortunately, there is more common evil in our world, from which everyday people may wish to defend themselves, their family, and their property. While firearms present themselves as a symbol of violence to some, the fact remains they are the 'great equalizer' in situations where an attacker may possess greater natural strength than, say, an elderly or disabled person (or, again, a government against its civilians).
Defending the right to bear arms and defend oneself is more vital than ever, given the attack this right has been under in the past several years. Very often, gun control laws only prevent law-abiding citizens from owning or carrying certain firearms, as criminals naturally act as if they're above the law. It is especially frightening when anti-gun politicians threaten these rights in arbitrary ways, such as banning 'high-capacity magazines' (sometimes referring to as few as ten rounds), which could ban almost any self-defense weapon, depending on the state. This, along with other examples, further proves that individuals fighting for gun control are not always properly informed about the firearm industry or its culture.
Stripping Americans of their second amendment rights is also symbolic of taking away a valued tradition for many that provide sport, livelihood, and most importantly, safety.
In this day and age, claiming that every citizen should have the right to own a firearm is completely unreasonable. The language of the second amendment, which reads, '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,' is entirely outdated today. When it was first adopted into America's Constitution over 230 years ago, the technology that existed then doesn't even come close to the easily purchasable firepower available now.
At the time, the second amendment was created to prevent and oppose a tyrannical government. However, in reality, if there were to be a civilian uprising today, with the third-largest military of the world at its disposal, the US government would have almost no problems quashing it, thus rendering the need to hand out a firearm to every citizen unnecessary. Furthermore, restricting one's freedom to own a weapon ensures that non-gun owners or any other civilian has the liberty to enjoy a night out in the club or go to school without fear of getting gunned down by an armed killer. Due to Florida's lax gun control laws, Parkland High School shooter Nikolas Cruz easily purchased a firearm, despite his concerningly troubled past.
Nonetheless, the argument of 'guns don't kill people; people kill people' is flawed at its core. While anyone with a knife could murder a handful of people before getting wrestled down or caught, it takes an actual gun to cause as much carnage as seen in Parkland and many other tragedies.
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