THE 2nd AMENDMENT - SHOULD IT BE BANNED?
By Vhalan Anandarajah
After the recent tragedy where over 50 people
lost their lives, the debate over gun control has
really heated up. There has been an increase
in the number of people who now support
stricter gun control.
In the United States the 2nd amendment reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." So what does this actually mean?
In the simplest terms everyone should have the right to own a firearm. While most people believe the main reason why the 2nd amendment exists is because of self-defence, the actual reason is more interesting. The US is a democratic country, and when the democracy is challenged the amendment calls upon people to take up arms to defend the free state.
However, the freedom that the people of the United States have is already quite limited, especially due to bush and Obama, the surveillance powers of the state have greatly increased and in a sense the ‘free state’ no longer exists, so the 2nd amendment is useless and as some would claim pretty much irrelevant. Even with this, taking away the 2nd amendment however would be more damaging symbolic rather thank having the most effects on one’s freedom, as Americans value their right to bear arms as something which sets America out as the leader of the free world, a country where the people apparently have the freedom to do whatever they want. If the 2nd amendment ceased to exist then this would make America in a sense no longer the ‘free state’ people had believed in.
But the most common defence for the 2nd amendment is that the arms aren’t the problem, the people are so would banning guns even have an effect? Brazil is a country where guns are banned but still has a higher gun crime rate than the US. Furthermore, it is also claimed that guns have saved lives, the use of them as self-defence tools for example in a burglary, may have prevented the deaths of thousands of people. However, the simple argument is that if the guns were banned then the robbery wouldn’t have happened in the first place, then the pro-2nd amendment campaigners would then claim criminals will always be criminals, drugs are illegal but criminals still get a hold of them so why are guns any different.
As you can see the whole debate is incredibly complicated and a correct solution is perhaps impossible to reach. Personally I think there are too many guns out there and banning them would have no effect, and even if you did ban them people would simply claim they’ve lost their guns in an accident. Americans also take a lot of pride in their guns, some of them are family history and taking away the guns would be taking away history for them. However I think if the debate shifted more towards banning more certain types of guns / modifications then more people would be willing to find a compromise and something may actually be achieved.