Monday, May 17, 2010

The Second Amendment

I believe the Second Amendment should be repealed.

For the following reasons, I believe this.

The 2nd is outdated. Upon the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the second amendment was included because, at the time, militias were an accepted and used strategy for the common defense of an area, state, or even the country. No militias are used today, and thus, we do not need to arm the people for the common defense of the country. We consider the ownership of guns as a RIGHT. At best, the ownership of a firearm is a privilege, maybe, but not a right. The implementation of the 2nd amendment to arm the militias against foreign armies or even tyrannical armies at home is no longer needed.

All one needs to do to look at the outdated use of the amendment is look at the words used. Instead of "bear," we use the word own; instead of "arms" we today use the word guns. Now I am not dumb; I hear the arguments already. The entirety of the language of the Constitution is dated, so I cannot make this argument without discarding the entire Consitution. This is not the crux of my argument, it is, however, just away to further indicate the uselessness of the 2nd amendment; the dated idea behind its implementation.

Congress should repeal it. In the Constitution, it says that the government should seek to "insure the domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare..." I believe that the outlawing and destruction of all weapons, including manufacturers, would provide for all three of these efforts. One could make the argument that the elimination of "arms" would promote tranquility, help defend/prevent those who are/will be victims if violent crimes, and overall promote welfare of the people. IF I am to understand these functions of government set forth in the constitution both sides of the political divide hold to be supreme and legally adopted, the government should ACTIVELY seek to destroy the manufacturing and destruction of all guns, or any other weapon that can cause a single mortal blow to another human being.

In one looks at the argument from both sides of the spectrum, one will see that my argument would please both sides. Democrats tend to use legislation as a means to a utopian end. No guns lines up with this argument. Also, Republicans tend to legislate to keep the lawful and orderly, to improve the status quo. "No guns," I believe, would do just that. I believe this is an issue all in Congress and across the nation can agree upon.

Furthermore, people do not NEED to be armed. The constitution sets forth a system that allows for the first civilian, aka the President, to be in charge of the military. This dates back to the times of The American Revolution; the lawmakers and Framers feared a tyrannical political entity that controlled the army, such as King George III did. So, they called for a political system that put the control of the army into the hands of a civilian. Into the hands of the highest civilian in the country: The President of the United States of America. Symbolically and in reality, the army is armed so that we do not have to be. If one looks at it, militias were a large part of the army, and the government sought to arm it. So, if one follows the intent and not the letter of the constitution, the Framers sought to arm the army, and reached for nothing further. In today's time, if the intent is understood and translated into the present, those not in the army would not be armed or effected by the second amendment.

Now, I understand the argument for guns. People have the right to defend themselves. People have the right to go out and hunt for fun; if not, the animal populations overbreed and will die anyway due to a lack of resources that occur naturally. Also, just because we do not arm ourselves, does not mean that criminals, terrorits, or foreign armies will go along with the movement to de-arm our citizenry. I understand the reality versus the idea.

However, someone should start somewhere. In England, it is very hard to get a gun; and there are very few deaths-by-gun in England compared to the US. Only 42 deaths in the entire country in the 2008 year. 42. In the ENTIRE country. The United States suffers thousands of death due to guns, easily more than any country. As of the early 2000s, the United States also suffers the least amount of gun related deaths on accident that any other country. So, we, more than any other country, kill on purpose more. Also, according to a non-profit study organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gun ownership has a direct correlation to gun-related deaths. States such as Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alaska and Montana had the highest gun-related deaths in the country, and not suprisingly, had the highest gun ownership per capita. Also not suprising to this author, (yes, author) the states with the lowest per capita gun ownership had the lowers gun-related deaths per capita.

You can access the sources here:

Yes, I am aware of the argument for guns. I am aware of the potential impracticality for doing away with them. However, someone has to start somewhere. Its about time we stop turning a blind eye to a problem in this country; violence is a problem, one that should be dealth with. When an amendment gets in the way of the promotion of tranquility and general welfare, I believe it should be done away with. Congress has nixed one before for practical, easily identifiable results, why not now?

Perhaps John Lennon said it best. I may or may not be considered a dreamer, but I am not the only one. If all people became the change that needed to be made in the world, then this world would be a better place. I am simply calling for the beginning of this change.