Of all the 27 constitutional amendments, #2 is the one that we hear about the most often. Not surprising, because it is the core argument of the American gun control debate. Because we all know, American’s love there guns as much as we Canadians love our hockey.
Lets take a look at the actual amendment itself.
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
This indeed, gives American’s the right to “bear arms”. But what about the part about the “well regulated militia? Seems completely dated, to the times were in today. It seems that way, because it is.
Back when America was a young and emerging nation, one can see why such an amendment would be needed. In the event of a hostile or tyrannical government takeover, the nations militias would serve as a fail safe. Another barrier for a possible dictator to overcome. And seeing as America is still around today, some 200 or so years later, it seems the amendment worked.
Fast forward to today, 2013. The entire landscape and culture has changed radically from day 1. And like everything else, the weapons have changed with the times. Arms then could have meant a musket, now it could mean an AR 15 assault riffle.
When it comes to the argument of gun control, one of the BIGGEST thoughtless arguments is that, the law says I can own them. If I want 1 gun or a million, im allowed. If I want a handgun, or an assault riffle, the law of the land seemingly allows this. Those people are right (no matter what one may think about the OTHER factors at play, that they don’t consider).
Another argument that is quite popular on the right these days (and one ive heard from someone closer to home, in real life), is the need for weapons to protect us from a “tyrannical” government (otherwise known as, the correct interpretation of the amendment). Though in this day and age, there is almost certainly an ulterior motive for such a “patriotic” stance (which has NOTHING to do with the color of the president, we ALL know that), they are indeed correct in there argument.
But lets consider this argument a little bit.
The main premise of the argument here, is that one day, they may be needed as keepers of America the great. Force may eventually be necessary to take out the government, and so the guns are there not only for THERE protection, but also for the protection of all American citizens.
Again, this may have flown in the early days of America. But military technology has advanced A LOT since then. And all the guns on the continent won’t protect you from a tank or a drone.
And say, by some narrow sliver of chance, the gun toutin patriots DO manage to kick the ass of the military industrial complex and take over the nation. The common man is still not safe, because he who has the most guns, has the most power. And seeing who has the most guns these days, the thought of them in control is FUCKING scary, even from the prospective of the North side of the Canadian boarder.
Having looked at the amendment, and at its true purpose, it seems that its not just outdated, its also causing more harm then good. Though you as a civilian may think you have a “duty” to play the part of protector of the nation, your fooling yourself if you think your “arsenal” will even make the government bat an eyelash. Im not saying that this is necessarily a GOOD thing, im just stating the facts.
Because of the seemingly open-ended nature of the amendment in today’s society, the country is practically bathing in guns, and in turn, gun violence. And not just the well known mass shootings that most base there opinions on (I was previously guilty of this, I admit), but also the thousands of deaths and injuries that are under reported. Take the plight of Chicago, a place where the epidemic of gun crime is so prevalent, that some locals have taken to calling there home “Chiraq”.
Looking at the evidence, it would seem that its high time to change this amendment, and bring it into the modern age with the rest of the country. Its not the first time that the constitution has had to be “updated” in the past, and it won’t be the last.
There is a happy medium that can be found between “No guns” and “Chiraq”. Like a real disease, the longer that the majority dithers in finding a solution to the problem, the worse that the epidemic will become.