If you’ve been a Facebook friend of mine for more than two or three years, there is a pretty good chance that you’ve seen me go balls deep into the gun control debate. In the not so distant past, not only was I in favor of stricter regulations for private gun ownership, I wanted Socialist-style confiscations and bans across the board. The Second Amendment was as good as used toilet paper in my eyes.
At the time, I was less happy, less confident, and less sure about what I wanted out of life than I am today. I didn’t understand the concept of thinking things through. I subscribed to the YOLO life instead of the good life.
Now, I know who I am, I know what I want, and I understand that life is a challenge, not a fantasy. As a result, my views on many topics have drastically changed, and that includes gun control.
The following are a few reasons why I do not favor impediments to the Second Amendment of any kind:
The Second Amendment
The wording is “shall not be infringed”. There are no conditional clauses. The Supreme Law of the Land hammers this policy home immediately after guaranteeing the American people protection from federal limitations on speech, religion, and the press, and the rights to peacefully assemble and to petition the government. The Bill of Rights essentially says we can think and express whatever we want, and we can shoot the government if it tries to stop us.
The Second Amendment cannot be taken lightly because the Constitution cannot be taken lightly. If we lose the Constitution, we lose everything. Our inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness do not exist in the government’s eyes without the revolutionary document ratified by our Forefathers in 1788. The Constitution as a whole turns creative ideals into objective principles, and we must never lose sight of that.
And here’s the kicker when it comes to the Second Amendment: it is not in place to allow us to hunt or to provide us with the right to defend ourselves and our families. The Second Amendment’s sole intended function is to make sure the American people are prepared to fight back against a tyrannical government. This is a permanent policy. The Constitution is little more than a list of laws that tell the government what it may and may not do. It would be quite foolish to allow the very body the Second Amendment was written in fear of to do exactly what it forbids it from doing.
I don’t think there is much of a legal issue when it comes to states passing gun control legislation, but the Federal Government is barred from doing so unless it amends the Constitution.
The Recent History of Government
As Alex Jones once wildly exclaimed in a heated debate with Piers Morgan, “The tyrants did it! Hitler took the guns! Stalin took the guns! Mao took the guns! Fidel Castro took the guns! Hugo Chavez took the guns!”, and he’s right. The 20th Century will forever be stained by the atrocities committed by Communist, Fascist, and Socialist dictators all across the globe. And while it may seem like a stretch to assume that our federal government would follow a path similar to that of the aforementioned villains, there is no doubting that it could.
There has been no greater force of evil in human history than corrupt and immoral governments. And with a population that has elected George W. Bush and Barack Obama successively, what says Hitler isn’t next?
The Second Amendment was not written for self-defense purposes in particular, but it’s a nice side effect. From a common sense standpoint, having the right to protect your body, your family, and your property with a firearm is invaluable. The Founders may have neglected to leave this rationale for gun ownership out of the Constitution for the same reason they failed to mention that the government is forbidden from establishing a prostitution ring: common sense. Of course we are allowed to defend ourselves.
The Proposed Legislation is Worthless
Universal background checks would not have prevented a single mass shooting (except maybe the Virginia Tech Massacre), and an assault weapons ban would do nothing to curb overall gun violence in America. Nearly all of the high-profile mass shootings that have taken place over the course of the past several decades were not done by career criminals, and there is little evidence to suggest that the people who purchased the guns would have failed a mental health examination had they been forced to. Many of them passed background checks and purchased their guns legally.
Besides, as horrific as the mass shootings that continue to occur are, they are statistically inconsequential when looking at the overall murder rate in America. Does that make it hurt any less when the irreplaceable life of an individual human being is lost? No. But the fact of the matter is that shark attacks (19 per year) happen more often than these rampages (never more than 10 [referring to shooting incidents that claim three or more lives]). We would be the gun violence capital of the world with or without these mass shootings, and our middle-of-the-pack rank in overall murder would not be significantly altered. On a side not, certain US cities would be in competition for murder capitals of the world if they were their own nations.
By the way, does everyone know what military-style, semi-automatic assault rifle even means? The “military-style” part means nothing. It is simply the terminology used for a gun that resembles one a soldier might use. It is a rhetorical appeal to our sense of fear used by anti-gun activists. “Semi-automatic” means that the barrel does not have to be cocked before each individual shot. It does not mean it can spray bullets the way an Uzi does in Grand Theft Auto. And “assault rifle” is another empty term. In fact, many hunting rifles (which Obama loves so much) are more powerful than so-called “assault rifles”.
Anyway, in the same way that mass shootings account for a minimal portion of the overall murder rate in the US, rifles as a whole are not the weapon of choice when it comes to homicide. Handguns, the guns no one ever talks about banning, are used in the overwhelming majority of murders with firearms in the US.
Gun Free Zones
Nearly all of the high-profile mass murders we have sadly had to witness in recent years occurred in gun free zones. I don’t think it’s the strongest point that can be made in favor of preserving the Second Amendment, but it’s certainly something to think about.
Our Brave Men and Women in Uniform
Instead of fighting alongside child molesters in Afghanistan or anti-Semites throughout the Middle East, bring our troops home to defend us. And before you freak out thinking that I want our streets to be militarized, remember that we have a volunteer army. The bravest among us are not drafted or required to serve; they do so for the sake of our freedoms and for the love of their country and its people.
What I would propose is to station retired and mildly-injured veterans, and maybe even some reserves at schools across the country. This could solve loads of problems:
- Obviously, the disgusting, weak individuals who desire to slaughter innocent people for fame would have to think twice if badass US Marines and soldiers were present. Veteran Chris Mintz nearly gave his life in an attempt to stop the recent massacre in Oregon. Can you imagine how great of an opportunity he would have had to neutralize the shooter had he or someone of his level of awesomeness been armed?
- With the likes of Miley Cyrus and Caitlyn Jenner acting as role models for our children, I don’t think anyone would argue that former service members would be an infinitely vast improvement as people for our kids to look up to. Strong, positive male role models for kids have become rare. This could be an opportunity to change that.
- Child obesity is reaching epidemic levels in the US, and what better way to improve their health is there than time spent with our troops? When not on guard duty, veteran security forces could bring discipline and superior exercise regimens to the future leaders of our country during recess or after school. This would be great for physical fitness purposes, and as a way to build community. What’s the downside?
- Our military budget is astronomical and we have troops stationed in about 75% of the nations across the globe. How about we bring them home, and reallocate our funding of war towards a real homeland security program?
- I planned on citing unemployment and suicide among veterans as other problems this solution might solve. But after further research, those issues don’t seem to be as serious as we are led to believe.
There are roughly 140,000 educational institutions in the US. There are also over 21 million military veterans. Does it seem like a crazy idea to ask a handful of those heroes if they’d mind standing guard for our kids at our schools? My instincts tell me they’d be happy to oblige.
Traditional Family Values
Many news sources have been citing statistics which prove that overall crime, murder, and gun violence have been on the decline. It seems like really good news, but there is an elephant in the room being ignored: mass incarceration. There is a small country’s worth of people residing in prisons across the country, and it’s a strong indicator that our behavior as a nation is not exactly on the up-and-up.
Surprisingly, the mass murderers who flood our media outlets every couple of months do not come from broken homes any more often than the general public.
While I don’t feel right shaming people who do not meet the standards of the “nuclear family” (who am I to judge?), our common sense and experiences allow us to generalize and say that broken homes tend to lead to rough paths to adulthood.
In the same way that my old gun-grabbing self would have ignorantly put forward unrealistic gun control measures, I’d like to make one more from the other side. How about we return to the traditional family values that made our country so great in the first place?
It’s just a thought.