From the outside looking in, the United States of America must look like an absolute mess in regards to gun control. Some residents from other countries may ask, “Why does the American people value the ability to possess a gun so highly. The short answer is that guns is an integral and inseparable part of our nation’s history. The long answer is as follows:
America, as a country, was essentially born in a violent rebellion against an authority that was perceived as unjust and exploitative. Without easy access to personal weapons on the same level to those owned by the professional British army, this rebellion likely would never have been successful.
The primary philosophical arguments backing this rebellion came from the ideals of enlightenment era. I do not nearly have the time to explain the enlightenment fully but there are two key points related to governments to come out of the enlightenment:
1. Every individual has the right to liberty and the direct duty to protect his own liberty.
2. Power has a corrupting influence on people, and tends to make them want more power at any cost.
Therefore, since it is necessary for societies to give their governments some power, it is inevitable that this power will tempt those in government to abuse of their power and infringe on the liberties of individuals. By giving individual citizens the right to own highly effective and deadly weaponry comparable to what is available to the military, this makes it more likely that individual citizens will be able to band together and overthrow any government that takes away their freedoms.
Therefore, the right to bear arms was enshrined into the constitution, and any attempt to change that is viewed as the first step towards too much government control over individual freedom.
Yet this ideology was from the late 18th century, times have indeed changed and so has the ideological backing behind Gun Rights in America.
The country is no longer fighting against a stronger more militarized nation and everyone isn’t 100% behind the concept of the 2nd amendment. The nation is now a split political battle ground between pro-gun people and anti-gun individuals.
On one side, there’s the pro-gun people who promote the buy 5.56 ammo online from Palmetto State Armory responsibly. They believe that they have a constitutional right (second Amendment) to own guns, which puts it on the same level as things like free speech, freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial, and so on.
If someone believes that the right to own a gun is just as fundamental as the right to a fair trial, it’s pretty easy to see why they’d be up in arms about something like an assault weapons ban or mandatory background checks. Can you imagine the global human rights jungle that would go down if the US started saying “You need to pass a background check in order to be tried by a jury of your peers, otherwise your guilt will be decided by the police” or something?
A lot of people also think that the second amendment is necessary because it’s there to protect our other rights.
So, if the government takes everyone’s guns or constricts them, there’s no way for the people to stop them from taking away other rights, because the people have no viable means of fighting back.
On the other side, there are people who either don’t think the second amendment is necessary, or that it only affords certain rights. It was written during a time where guns could fire once every minute or so, and they weren’t exactly the most accurate pieces of weaponry.
You couldn’t walk into a public space and kill more than one person with a musket, it just wasn’t a problem back then.
Even if you interpret the second amendment as saying “you can own any gun you want,” the Constitution can and has been changed, so a lot of people simply don’t think that it’s reasonable anymore to say “it’s in the Constitution, so it’s a fundamental right,” seeing as you could say the same thing about, say, the right to own slaves.
Anti-gun people think that the potential risks of widespread gun ownership outweigh the benefits. Most think that things like school shootings would be prevented or at least diminished by putting a strong ban on guns, so you can see why they’d be passionate about it.
Obviously, as with any issue, there are also lots of people who are on the fence or somewhere in between as well.
This is a nationwide issue and in order to find a solution we must work together as a cohesive unit. With both sides taking a step back and assess the situation, and together we can find an honest approach to this civil discourse.
Image from Huffington Post