The whole gun control fight has been plastering the media lately. Some feel these regulations may improve on the unfortunate violent incidents this nation has faced lately, while gun advocates are getting pissed fearing an infringement of their 2nd Amendment right.
Both sides have the right to express their opinions on this subject. I’m not saying that stricter regulations are the solution, nor am I saying everyone should be able to have easy access to any gun they desire.
This goes beyond just gun control though, as there are a multitude of areas that are contributing factors, from mental health, religious radicalism, international and domestic terrorism, gang violence, and poor education.
Mental health is an area that is not only overlooked, but it very challenging to address and mandate. You can’t just put anyone who is “accused” or “assumed” of being crazy in an asylum. It takes a lot of time, money, and resources to evaluate mental health and make informative decisions and diagnosis. But, if there was a pre-screening process in place, it could reveal warning signs like mental health concerns.
Rights with Regulations
As a nation, we do have strict regulations in other areas of society, such as who can drive an automobile, pharmaceutical purchases (Pseudoephedrine), who can practice services in certain fields like medicine, the food and drug industry (although corrupted), abortion, alcohol, and the list goes on and on.
Sure, some of those are not Constitutional rights, but the right to make and sell alcohol in the United States actually is the 18th amendment. And guess what, do you know what is required for an establishment to serve and sell alcohol? A liquor license. Do you know what is required for a brewery or distillery in order to make alcohol? Government approval and permits. But that is making and selling, what about buying?
On the other end of selling, the U.S. has a minimum age requirement of twenty one years for an individual to purchase alcohol. Yes, I now that you’re probably saying that buying alcohol is not really what the amendment is stating. It is not the same as the 2nd amendment. It was an that amendment that came about after prohibition addressing the laws that were in place prohibiting the making and selling of alcohol. But again, if you’re making and selling, there is likely the other end of that being the purchasing of, and that is what I am getting at here.
Gun manufacturers will likely make and sell pretty much whatever they want (they do have some limits they need to stay within). But, why has there not been regulation in place for purchasing of them? Sure, we have the seven day waiting period for a background check, but that is only applicable at a gun retailer. You can bypass this simple and minuscule obstacle by purchasing guns at a gun show; which there are plenty to choose from across the nation.
In addition to the regulations around Amendment 18, there are regulations with the 1st Amendment. Look at “the right to assemble and petition the government,” you can do so, but with proper planning, permits and approval. These considerations should be applied to the 2nd as well without denying the entire right.
So, why is it a problem to apply tighter regulations on who can purchase a gun?
Well, for one it won’t solve the issue immediately or entirely, but it still would likely have some impact on those individuals who probably do not “qualify” to own a gun. even making a small dent on inappropriate gun ownership is better than nothing.
Another thing is that the black-market will always live to provide accessibility to weapons to those who do not pass the government processes. However, attempting to purchase firearms on the black market does add an obstacle that could help reduce the amount of guns that end up in the wrong hands. It is a bit more inconvenient than simply going to the local Wal-Mart and stocking up.
Other Things Kill People Too
I often hear gun advocates arguing that there are many other things in the world that kill people and there is no action to ban them, such as automobiles, airplanes, knives, etc. This is idiotic and a weak argument. Comparing guns with cars, knives or even cigarettes and planes is simply a poor metaphor. Yes, they all have had a role in the deaths of people, but there is a big difference of a direct and indirect relationship to death.
Automobile accidents that have killed people are simply that, accidents. Automobiles were invented and intended for an efficient means of transportation, not as a weapon.
Knives were originally used as a tool to cut things and for hunting prior to being used as a weapon for self defense against another human.
Even bows & arrows, and spears were invented as hunting tools before being used as a weapon towards other humans.
Yes, there are instances where the items noted above have been used purposely as weapons to kill people, but that was not their original purpose.
The gun however, was originally invented for its primary purpose which was to kill other humans efficiently during warfare. Our history currently credits China for inventing the first firearm back in the 13th century. Guns are weapons rooted with a lethal intent upon other people, like a guillotine.
Unlike other common weapons, they were used for hunting only after being created for killing people. Today, they do have many uses outside of warfare from hunting, sports & recreation, self-defense. I’ll admit, several of those uses are enjoyable and non-violent towards humans, but unfortunately you cannot ensure the proper usage with anything.
We also have laws in place that prevent the government from conducting studies on gun violence. It is difficult to devise solutions to a problem that cannot be researched legally. Pretty interesting part of society to prevent studies on. If that doesn’t highlight the influence of the gun industry in government, then I’m not sure what would.
You can look at other countries around the world and see the failures and successes of their policies.
Australia is one of those who have been very successful. In 1996, the National Firearms Agreement stated, “People who possess or use a firearm must have a firearms licence. Owners must be at least 18 years of age and have secure storage for their firearms.” This was enacted after the Port Arthur shooting in 1996 where 35 people died in a mass shooting. Since then, gun violence has severely dropped in Australia.
There are still plenty of guns in Australia, there is just more monitoring and regulation for purchasing and owning them.
The Right to Bear Nuclear Arms?
These are our rights in the U.S. If you feel so strongly that there shouldn’t be any stricter regulations or control on guns, then shouldn’t this be a philosophy applied internationally?
Countries like Iran and North Korea should have the right to own not only guns and weapons, including nuclear weapons, right?
One of their reasons for having an arsenal of weapons is that they may need those weapons in case someone attacks them. This is like another argument that I often hear as well; “in the case that a government may take advantage of their powers and attack civilians (ex: Marshal Law scenario), the public needs the ability to defend themselves against such an injustice and guns would help.”
There have been a few historical events where this has proven successful for some other smaller countries and areas. If the U.S. were to turn on their own people, I don’t think many personal arsenals could successfully compete with the U.S. military. Bring out the trained soldiers, armored trucks, armed aircraft, canons, tanks, missiles, and bombs and there is likely not much you can do even if you have full automatic rifles.
I’m not condoning the idea that other countries should have nukes anytime they want, but just don’t be a hypocritical with gun rights here in America and feel that this philosophy should not apply internationally.
Back to the 2nd amendment, “The right to keep and bear arms.” Again, I’m all for this, but it shouldn’t be so easy to do this for every gun type and for everyone.