Thinking back to our country’s history, I cannot recall a time when we did not depend on guns. If I were to ask several Americans whether or not they believe that citizens should have the right to own a gun, many will tell me that private ownership to a gun should always be allowed and the Second Amendment protects that right to citizens.
Looking at the Second Amendment, I read: “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.”
Now, let’s break down the Second Amendment. If I were to interpret the Second Amendment, nowhere does it say that citizens have the right to bear arms. I mean, the amendment does say “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” however, just interpreting the sentence, that statement is a modifier for “A well regulated Militia.”
When I analyze the Second Amendment, never does the amendment state that citizens not in the militia, or in other words the military, are allowed to have guns. Instead, the amendment says that the right of the people in the militia have the right to own guns.
With our country’s history being so dependent on guns, it’s incredibly hard to imagine individuals agreeing to the idea of a complete ban on guns. But that doesn’t mean gun bans are impossible. Take a look at the United Kingdom. The U.K. enforces strict gun legislation that bans private gun ownership since 1997. In 2010, the U.K.’s population was 61,791,956 and the amount of deaths caused by guns was 154 individuals. Compared to the U.K., the U.S. population was 312,780,968 in 2011, and the total amount of deaths caused by guns was 31,940 individuals.
Although the crime rate in the U.K. is higher than the U.S., the U.S.’s homicide rate is four times greater than that of the U.K. With the strict gun regulations in the U.K., it is difficult to obtain a gun. Guns are used in one in 13 homicides in the U.K., two in three in the U.S.
When I turn on the T.V. to watch the news broadcast or I read the news online, there is always an article about gun violence. Individuals, especially those who are living in inner cities, have to witness gun violence first-hand every day and nothing is being done about that issue. The amount of gun violence is increasing and we need stricter gun laws.
I don’t feel proud to live in a country where guns are handed out like lollipops. I don’t want to feel unsafe if I were to go to the movies, school, or the mall. I don’t want to have to worry about my family and future children going to the movies or school with a slight chance that there may be a mass shooting.
Statistics show that more than 900 people died in mass shootings in the last seven years. We should not wait until another mass shooting, such as the one in Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, to occur again in order to officially impose strict gun laws. At gun shows, most states do not require background checks for firearms purchased through private individuals. With more and more shootings taking place, Congress really needs to take action and agree to push for stricter gun legislation: there needs to be a ban on semi-automatic rifles and thorough background checks must be required to anyone who plans to purchase a gun. A gun’s main purpose is to kill and the privilege to own such a weapon should not be recklessly given to anybody.