The Belfast Beacon

The Right to Bear Arms

Will Owens

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In 1776, the American revolution ended with the patriots creating the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights with the original ten amendments, the second amendment stating that “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” (Amendments to the Constitution).

Since then, weapon technology has advanced farther than our founding fathers could have ever thought, leading to controversy among many people. There are the intransigent people who want a multiple selection of every gun, from pistols to assault rifles, and there are the hardcore people that support gun control believing they are unneeded tools of violence. Because this country is free, everyone has the right to bear arms and own as many weapons, but the people also have to right of protest against guns. This causes problems for the government because politicians have to try and compromise to keep both sides happy.

In most states, it has come down to the plan that whenever someone wants to buy a gun, they have to have a background check done, or, depending on what kind of gun, they may have to apply and buy a special permit, which can take years to finalize. Being a moderate-conservative, I believe in the second amendment because this is a free country and the people have the right to weapons, but with that said, I also believe there are ethics and morals involved. Rifles or shotguns would probably be the most common types of weapons to see in people’s homes,which can be used for a few purposes: hunting or home protection. However assault rifles are overkill: they are fun to have but there is no necessity for them, and that’s one of the multiple arguments mostly used against them, no one needs them.

The other major argument is that guns are the most used weapon in suicides and mass killings. The highest rate of gun related deaths peaked in 1993 with over seventeen thousand deaths, though the number of people being killed each year has steadily gone down it still remains high. In 2005 gun violence killed approximately 11,346 people, and left 477,040 people victims to gun crimes (“Right to Bear Arms”). According to a New York Times article, over 60% of gun related deaths were suicide: this tells me that most of the deaths weren’t random acts of violence, but rather someone’s personal choice to end their own life (Sanger – Katz). Even as morbid as that sounds, it was those people’s lives and they chose to end their lives because they have the right to.

Quoting the second amendment again: “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.” During the revolutionary war there were militias in every state formed by the farmers and other citizens who didn’t join the army. These militias helped the war in a major way by acting as police stopping robberies or protecting farms from native americans. The farmers only had guns for hunting and self defense but realized the true importance of owning a weapon in case of emergency, this is one of the reasons why people should be allowed the freedom to own or not to own a weapon, whether it’s an assault rifle, pistol, shotgun or rifle it’s still their right. Most of the people that argue that the second amendment is to form a militia and not just to own a weapon contradict themselves and make the point of the conversation moot because if something were to happen that militias were formed, citizens would have to rely on weapons that they already owned.

Controversy over the second amendment and gun ownership will never end, as too many people have too many different opinions over the subject, which isn’t a bad thing because every citizen should exercise their rights. As a country though, we should all hope that gun violence comes to an end and that militias of any kind won’t be necessary.

 

 

Works Cited

“Right to Bear Arms.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context, May 22 2017

Sanger-Katz, Margot. “Gun Deaths Are Mostly Suicides.” The New York Times. The New

York Times, 08 Oct. 2015. Web. 22 May 2017.

“United States of America – Constitution & Politics.” Foreign Law Guide. Print.

 

 

 

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