In the not so distant past, not only was I in favor of stricter regulations for private gun ownership, I wanted confiscations and bans across the board.
Things have changed quite a bit since then.
The following are a few reasons why I no longer favor impediments to the Second Amendment of any kind:
The Amendment Itself
The wording is shall not be infringed. There are no conditional clauses (the absolute phrase at the start of the law is explanatory, not conditional). The Supreme Law of the Land hammers this policy home immediately after guaranteeing the American people protection from government limitations on expression and belief. The Bill of Rights says we can think and say whatever we want, and we can shoot the government if it tries to stop us.
The Second Amendment cannot be taken lightly because the Constitution cannot be taken lightly. Our inalienable Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness do not necessarily exist in the government’s eyes without the revolutionary document ratified by our Forefathers. The Constitution turns creative ideals into objective principles, and we must preserve it.
The Second Amendment’s sole intended function is to ensure that the American people are prepared to fight back against tyranny. It would be quite foolish to allow the very body the Second Amendment was written in fear of to do exactly what it forbids it from doing.
The Recent History of Government
As Alex Jones once wildly exclaimed in a heated debate with Piers Morgan, “The tyrants did it! Hitler took the guns! Stalin took the guns! Mao took the guns! Fidel Castro took the guns! Hugo Chavez took the guns!” He’s right. The 20th Century will forever be stained by the atrocities committed by Communist, Fascist, and Socialist dictators all across the globe, and there was no armed populace to stop them.
There has been no greater force of evil in human history than unrestrained government. The Right to keep and bear arms is essential both philosophically and practically.
The Second Amendment was not explicitly written for self-defense purposes, but it’s a plus. From a common sense standpoint, having the Right to protect your body, your family, and your property with a firearm is invaluable. The Founders may have neglected to mention this rationale for gun ownership for the same reason they failed to mention that the People have the Right to drink lemonade: common sense.
The Proposed Legislation is Worthless
Universal background checks would not have prevented a single mass shooting in America (except maybe the Virginia Tech Massacre), and an assault weapons ban would do nothing to curb overall gun violence. Nearly all of the high-profile mass shootings that have taken place over the course of the past several decades were committed by individuals with no criminal history, and there is little evidence that the people who purchased their guns would have failed a mental health examination. Most of them purchased their guns legally.
Besides, as horrific as these mass shootings are, they are statistically inconsequential when looking at the overall murder rate in America. That certainly doesn’t take away the pain of losing any individual to gun violence. But the fact of the matter is that shark attacks happen more often than these rampages (incidents that claim three or more lives). America would be the gun violence capital of the world with or without mass shootings, and our middle-of-the-pack rank in overall murder would go relatively unaltered.
By the way, does anyone know what military-style, semi-automatic assault rifle even means? Military-style means nothing. It is a rhetorical appeal to our fear used by anti-gun activists. Semi-automatic means that the barrel does not have to be cocked before each individual shot. Semi-automatic firearms cannot spray bullets the way an Uzi does in Grand Theft Auto. Assault rifle is another empty term, and many hunting rifles are even more powerful.
Regardless, rifles as a whole are not the weapon of choice when it comes to homicide. Handguns are used in the overwhelming majority of murders with firearms in the US, and those are semi-automatic too.
Gun Free Zones
Nearly all of the high-profile mass murders we have witnessed in recent years occurred in gun free zones. Criminals, by definition, do not follow laws. This is why gun bans are futile ideas to begin with.
As much as I support the Second Amendment, I am not foolish enough to suggest that America’s gun violence problem should go unaddressed. Here are two solutions I would propose:
Our Brave Men and Women in Uniform
Instead of fighting alongside child molesters in Afghanistan or anti-Semites throughout the Middle East, bring our troops home to defend us. This does not mean that I want our streets to be militarized. Remember, the bravest among us are not drafted or required to serve; they do so for the sake of our country. Let them defend.
What I would suggest is to station active duty servicemen and retired veterans at schools and other vulnerable locations across the country. This could solve loads of problems:
- The twisted individuals who seek to slaughter the innocent would be deterred.
- With growing fatherlessness as well as negative portrayals of men in the media, strong, positive male role models are needed now more than ever. Visible servicemen could bring about a return to optimism regarding masculinity.
- Child obesity is reaching epidemic levels in the US. Servicemen could serve here too. When not on duty, security forces could bring discipline and superior exercise regimens to the future leaders of our country during recess or after school. This would be great for physical fitness and as a way to build community.
- Our military budget is astronomical and we have troops stationed in about 75% of the nations across the globe. Repatriating the bulk of them would be an excellent cost-cutting measure.
There are roughly 140,000 educational institutions in the US. There are also over 21 million military veterans and close to two million currently serving. We have the human resources to make this happen.
Traditional Family Values
Overall crime, murder, and gun violence rates are on the decline in America and globally. This is excellent news, but there is an elephant in the room being ignored: mass incarceration in America. There is a small country’s worth of people residing in prisons across America, and it’s a strong indicator that our behavior as a nation is not necessarily on the up-and-up.
Surprisingly, the mass murderers who flood our newsfeeds every couple of months do not come from broken homes any more often than the general public. But, as mentioned earlier, mass shootings account for a small fraction of gun crime and overall murder in the US. Common sense and common knowledge should persuade us to seek to return to a society led by fathers.
In the same way that my old gun-grabbing self would have put forward unrealistic gun control measures, I’d like to propose one from the other side. Let’s return to the traditional family values that made our society so great in the first place.