A mention of the phrase "gun control" is enough to stir up a hot debate between its proponents and detractors. The debate is often naturally sparked by rampant mass shootings in schools. For example, on 14th February 2018, there was a massacre by use of the gun at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed (The New York Times, 2018). After that, hot contests as to whether guns should be controlled or not erupted. The proponents of gun control blame possession of the guns by the citizens as the cause of such killings. However, in their argument, the proponents fail to recall that possession of guns by the people is a constitutional right protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. They also fail to recognize the importance of the right to possess a gun such as for self-defense. Gun control is against the fundamental right of self-defense by the citizens as enshrined in the Second Amendment of the constitution any attempt to control guns will be an attempt to violate this section of the constitution, and it will lead to negative consequences for the Americans' liberty.
Gun Control vs Second Amendment Rights
The proponents of gun control argue that possession of the gun by every citizen has been the main cause of deathly shootings witnessed in schools and other social places. Undeniably, many people have died from gun shootings even more than road accidents. For example in 2015, 36, 252 people died from firearm shootings as compared to 36, 161 that died from motor vehicle traffic deaths (National Center for Health Statistics, 2017). However, these killings could be perpetrated by criminals who would still find means of acquiring guns illegally even if guns were controlled and carry out their merciless killings. It is people that kill, but not the guns. If one does not shoot, the gun will not kill. Therefore, the fact that many people have died as a result of mass shootings is not enough to simply rush to control guns.
Gun control is a direct violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The Second Amendment states that a well-regulated militia is crucial to the security of a free state and thus the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. Anything that is guaranteed in the constitution is intended for the well-being of the citizens and the state (Fraser, 2017). Undoubtedly, the inclusion of the Second Amendment into the constitution was an intention to allow the citizens to possess guns for their good. It is quite clear that gun control would be going against the will of the constitution and the well-being of the Americans and by extension the will of the founding fathers who prepared the constitution. Gun control should not be allowed as it would be a violation of the constitution.
Also, the Supreme Court of the land has observed that gun control is an attempt to violate the Second Amendment. In the District of Colombia v. Heller (2008) case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Second Amendment to guarantee citizens to possess guns as a way of self-protection at home. The majority judges argued that gun ownership should not be limited. It is important to note that the Supreme Court is also a constitutional court meaning that it is responsible for interpretation of the constitutional clauses. The ruling in the case, therefore, meant that the terms "a well-regulated militia" as used in the Second Amendment did not imply that gun ownership should be regulated or controlled as has been widely interpreted by those pressing for gun control.
The move to control gun ownership would not only be a violation of the Second Amendment of the constitution but also lead to negative consequences for the citizens such as being invaded by criminals and their liberties being infringed by the government. The American founding fathers may have had in mind the need to arm the people as a way of protecting their liberties from interference by the government or external enemies (McNamara, 2017). One could imagine how criminals would be pushing into people's homes and terrorizing them if the citizens did not own guns. Equally, one can imagine how police would be used by the government to silence citizens when they are holding demonstrations that voice up their liberties. Gun control would lead to a situation whereby the liberties of the citizens can easily be infringed as in other countries where the governments silence the citizens through the use of armed police. And the only difference between the United States and these other countries is the existence of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Therefore, the Second Amendment should not be tampered with as a result of the pressure to control guns.
Overall, the Second Amendment is crucial to the liberty of Americans and the move to control gun ownership would be a violation of an important part of the constitution. The founding fathers of America advanced the Second Amendment as a means for safeguarding the fundamental rights of the citizens against the aggression of criminals against personal security and even to protect civil liberties from dictatorial governments. The constitution is the only weapon that protects the well-being of the people, and the right to own guns by the citizens should be viewed as a guarantee of citizen's well-being by the Second Amendment. Therefore, gun control debate should not be used as an excuse to repeal an important section of the constitution as the Second Amendment.
District of Columbia v. Heller (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370
Fraser, R. (2017). A machine that would go of itself: The Constitution in American culture. Routledge.
McNamara, J. (2017). The Fight to Bear Arms: Challenging the Second Amendment and the US Constitution as a Sacred Text. European journal of American studies, 12(12-2).
National Center for Health Statistics. (2017). Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm
The New York Times. (2018). Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/us/parkland-school-shooting.html
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