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No More Restrictions to 2nd Amendment

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No More Restrictions to 2nd Amendment

Rylea Comstock

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For years the US has had an ongoing debate: whether there should more restrictions on the ownership of guns.  Granted, there has been an increase in school shootings, but the kind of people taking on those mass shootings needs to be taken into consideration. Gun control isn’t the answer to decreasing the number of shootings. Putting more restrictions to the second amendment will not only be unfair, but also bring more anger to this country.

Increasing gun control goes against two amendments of the Constitution.  In what way would it be right for anyone of the government to go against documented rights and take them away just because some people decide to abuse that right?  The second amendment is the right to keep and bear arms; in other words, these gun control laws could potentially make the second amendment a small matter.  The ninth amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” (Staff).  This amendment regards the second amendment with the right for people to bear arms, and is just another way to say the people should not be denied their rights listed in the Constitution.  In no way does the Constitution limit the people’s right on the ownership of guns.  

There are federal laws that have been in action for years like the National Firearms Act of 1934 which “levies a restrictive $200 tax on the manufacture or sale of machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. All sales were to be recorded in a national registry”; the National Firearms Act of 1938 which “requires the licensing of interstate gun dealers, who must record their sales. It prohibits sales to individuals under indictment or convicted of crimes of violence”; the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the Gun Control Act of 1968, “which becomes the primary federal law regulating firearms. It prohibits all convicted felons, drug users and the mentally ill from buying guns; raises the age to purchase handguns from a federally licensed dealer to 21; and expands the licensing requirements to more gun dealers and requires more detailed record-keeping”; Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which  “limit[s] the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from inspecting gun dealers more than once a year, with follow-up inspections allowed only if multiple violations are found. An amendment is also passed banning civilian ownership of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986. Weapons made and registered before that date are not affected”; The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, which “mandates background checks of gun buyers in order to prevent sales to people prohibited under the 1968 legislation.”  There is also the Tiahrt Amendment to a federal spending bill: ‘The amendment, proposed by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), prohibits law enforcement from publicly releasing data showing where criminals bought their firearms,” and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, “which grants gun manufacturers immunity from civil lawsuits filed over crimes committed with firearms” (Washington Post).  These federal laws support the idea of putting more restrictions to the second amendment, but also anger the country , unlike the state laws.  The next New York State law that’s in discussion “Requires owners of firearms to obtain liability insurance in an amount not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars”(NY State Senate).  For the government to consider adding more vigorous and restricting gun control laws to the current ones is bewildering, since it takes away people’s rights and goes against two of our amendments.  

Guns aren’t just used in the situations like school shootings.  There are other uses like hunting, recreational use, and self defense (Pérez-Peña).  Hunting season is a big deal to a lot of men and women; a way for people to get meat, trophy deer, and help maintain the animal population.  Restricting the use of guns would decrease hunting abilities, making the population of animals sky rocket.  Even a recreational activity like target practice, something that could be a family activity, could be restricted.  Additionally, self defense is key when getting attacked or feeling threatened (ProCon).  In fact, 100,000-2 million self defense cases occur each year (LA Times).  Everyone should feel safe, even if that means carrying something with them from time to time.  Gun controls would surely deny one’s safety (ProCon).  Guns limited to households that undergo extensive background check should be able to store away gun in case their neighborhood has an emergency.  Armed citizens could even prevent a mass shooter from going through with that act.  It would also make sense for some school administrators, if they underwent heavy background checks, to conceal them in case of a school shooter (NY Times).  If a few administrators from each school were armed, the Virginia Tech shooting could’ve potentially been prevented, like at Mississippi high school when an administrator was armed and a merchant at the Pennsylvania high school were able to prevent the shootings (LA Times).  Along with school shootings, guns in people’s homes could possibly make the community safer, in case of a robbery next door or a shooter in the area (NY Times).

Instead of targeting the guns, target the people acting upon the shootings need to be targeted.  As Tanushree Ghosh states, “Guns don’t kill, people do” (Huffington).  This is very accurate considering people make their decisions, whether they decide to act upon their thoughts or not is on them.  It’s important to consider mental illness when doing the background checks.  Not all cases of mental illness have been documented, but even their actions in the past could raise some red flags as to what they could do.  As of 2013, 46% of people said people with mental illness are more dangerous (Yorker).  A source also adds, “Reports suggest that up to 60% of perpetrators of mass shootings in the United States since 1970 displayed symptoms including acute paranoia, delusions, and depression before committing their crimes” (Metzl).  It’s safe to watch for the people that live in abusive homes, drink and do drugs, have a violent past, or have mental illness with violent tendencies.  People with those concerning factors could potentially be next to do those harmful acts against many.  Doctors should make is easier for people to see from other companies that a certain person has some type of illness, as a way to always be aware when they’re around.  Not only that, but those with concerning factors should definitely not be  allowed to purchase firearms.   That could then prevent many horrifying events from happening.

Restricting the use of guns doesn’t exactly mean suicide will not be a recurring problem (Pro Con).  There are other ways people can commit suicide.  Not only suicide, but even killing others like knives, chemical weapons, and pressure cooker bombs (Huffington).  It has been seen on the news, you never know what people will come up with next. Similarly, criminals will break laws no matter what, even if it’s just to steal a gun (Huffington).  Past criminal and violent behavior should prevent future gun ownership.

In contrast to this point, supporters of the restriction of guns believe that there will be a reduced amount of gun deaths (Schoolaid).  This would pertain mainly to mass gun deaths, since there are far more ways to harm an individual person.  There are still ways for people to gain access to a gun, whether is stealing them or buying them in an illegal market (Schoolaid).  Others stated that guns are rarely for self defense, but if if they aren’t, it’s still a good idea if anything did ever happen.  The restrictions of guns could reduce the number of suicides.  Lastly, there should be strong background checks and bans on assault weapons and large magazines (Schoolaid).  I fully agree with this statement, there should be harder background checks so it’s safe for that person to own a gun.  The bans on assault weapons are a good idea in the sense that people don’t need those type of guns or accessories unless you’re in the military.

Overall, restricting the right of people that are fit to own guns is unnecessary in many ways.  Guns should not be owned by people that are not responsible enough or in a dangerous mental state, as a way to prevent tragic events from happening.  However, in general, not only will the gun laws go against two amendments, but also anger the public.

 

Works Cited

Konnikova, Maria. “Is There A Link Between Mental Health and Gun Violence?” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 16 May 2017.

Ghosh, Tanushree. “A List of the Reasons Cited Against Gun Control and an Effort to Think Them Through.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

“Gun Control Isn’t the Answer.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

“Gun Control – ProCon.org.” Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted in the United States? Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

“History of Gun-control Legislation.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 22 Dec. 2012. Web. 10 May 2017.

Metzl, Jonathan M., and Kenneth T. MacLeish. “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms.” American Journal of Public Health. American Public Health Association, Feb. 2015. Web. 17 May 2017.

“NY State Assembly Bill A2260.” NY State Senate. 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.

Sobran, Joseph. “Gun Control Is Unconstitutional.” Gun Control, edited by Helen Cothran, Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.gale.ca.orc.scoolaid.net/apps/doc/EJ3010140242/OVIC?u=nysl_we_belfcsl&xid=f0bd50e4. Accessed 19 Apr. 2017. Originally published as “Constitutional Objections to Gun Control,” Conservative Chronicle, 16 June 1999.

Pérez-Peña, Richard. “Gun Control Explained.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

Staff, LII. “Ninth Amendment.” LII / Legal Information Institute. 05 Feb. 2010. Web. 09 May 2017.

“Whether You Are For or Against Gun Control, the Statistics Are on Your Side.” Pro Gun Control. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

 

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