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Protecting an Amendment That Protects Americans

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    Since the ratification of The Second Amendment in 1971, Americans have been proudly housing firearms. It is no question that this a basic constitutional right that grants Americans the means to protect themselves under the law, however, due to recent controversy around violence as a result of the use of firearms, lawmakers have been prompted to rethink the Constitution’s Second Amendment. This, in turn, has led to talk about stricter gun control laws and a potential overall ban on these weapons. Although a ban on firearms could help eliminate the chance of deadly encounters with a person who has wrong intentions, owning a gun is a second amendment right that allows Americans to protect themselves. For many Americans, having ownership of a firearm is a right that not only serves for self protection but also symbolizes a piece of American history, that to this day, can still be expressed in the modern era. In the era of prohibition and strict gun control laws, laws that were imposed to lower the crime rate did the opposite. The Eighteenth Amendment passed in 1919, making alcohol an illegal substance under the constitution, contributed to the 70% rise in crime rate during the 1920’s; gun violence between gangs sparked even tighter gun control laws commonly targeting gang associated firearms such as the Tommy gun (Clark). These laws neglected any justice to the public as alcohol usage and related crime only rose. Nearly 100 years after the roaring twenties, the United States government had still failed to find a solution that both recognized America’s Second Amendment right and acknowledged the growing problem of violent crime.

    It is important to understand why the Second Amendment came to be in the United States Constitution. This amendment was imposed after the Revolutionary war, during this time, the army consisted mostly of regular citizens and this amendment allowed for possession of firearms in order to keep the free state of the United States (Poser). Therefore Americans are granted the right possess firearms due to self protection and other underlying circumstances. Americans are granted this right to protect themselves and this can only be done when citizens are legally equipped with a firearm. It would absurd to say that all firearms are purchased legally despite the mass circulation of illegal firearms in the United States. One of the simplest ways to combat this problem is to allow citizens with sane intentions of possessing a firearm to do so.

    The Eighteenth amendment is known as a failure as it did not bring down domestic violence in households, rather rose the crime and death rate (Hargrove). The death rate was primarily due to the government not regulating Alcohol allowing for various amounts to be consumed without any idea as to how much one was actually consuming. It is evident that human nature tends to want to break the law rather than follow it. The proposal on ratifying an amendment to contradict The Second Amendment would be absurd considering America’s previous history with banning things. According to Business Insider “However, in 33 states, private sellers are allowed to sell guns without performing any kind of background check state or federal.” (Taylor and Hanbury). Over half of the states in the united states legally allow a private seller to sell a gun to anyone with a legal identification card; it becomes a problem when felons have access to these sellers. Not only does banning firearms strip citizens of protection, but it also leaves a loophole for private sellers to do illegally. A ban on firearms would only change the public’s view on general safety.

    Another issue faced by the abhorrent talk of banning the second amendment is many mass shootings could be avoided with stricter regulation of firearms. Not only has mental illness been a big art of violence with firearms, but it has also played one of the biggest roles in mass shootings. The Los Angeles Times reported, “at least 59% of the 185 public mass shootings that took place in the United States from 1900 through 2017 were carried out by people who had either been diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness” (Duwe and Roque). Over 100 mass shootings could be prevented with proper evaluation of individuals. This is alike to the Parkland shooting, in Florida, where shooter Nikolas Cruz obtained an AR-15 after various complaints of Cruz and his erratic behavior. Not only had Cruz been expelled from school the previous year, but he was also expelled due to his threats of potential school shootings (Ostroff et al.). With a strong history of violence various warning signs, there is no doubt Cruz should have been under question when attempting to buy a gun in a Walmart parking lot later that year. Additionally, banning the Second Amendment is not a sensible solution to a problem with more than one side.

    Although one can purchase a firearm and have the right intentions there will be individuals who feel the need to terrorize others with such power. It is coherent that firearms are an issue that will only get worse if not combatted through both constitutional and lawful actions. One can argue that guns are much too dangerous for the public and therefore should be banned to make places much safer. This theory is severely flawed as criminals who have been convicted of a crime with a firearm did not purchase the weapon legally with “only 15% of firearms possessed by Federal inmates were obtained through a retail store” (Illegal Gun Statistics Overview). This exposes the underlying flaw in an argument one could pose; inhibiting firearms only leaves those who lawfully possess one to be left defenseless.

    To conclude, gun violence in America is a substantial problem that will only continue to grow if not contested with both constitutional and lawful actions. Stripping American citizens of firearms is a violation of a constitutional right. Not only is leaving Americans absurd, but it is missing the point as many felons who use firearm inflicted violence have acquired guns illegally. Additionally, mental illness plays a substantial part in the mass shooting, another immense complication, as many signs are displayed by shooters well before their actions have occurred. It is coherent that these issues are in need of immediate remediation while recognizing the legitimate problems surrounding the violence brought forth with gun violence.

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