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Op-ed

An Analysis of the Second Amendment: Limiting Access to Guns

The Second Amendment permits individuals to possess weapons for protection. The Founding Fathers utilized the Amendment as a protection against an impending British raid. If war ever occurred, the Americans would have been prepared to form their own militia. Circumstances centuries ago, however, did not correlate with the status quo.

In prior years, hunting was a vital skill that enabled civilizations to have meals for survival. The sport gradually became a recreational activity for poachers. It is rational to believe that protection must be prioritized. However, it vital to point out that “hunting” is not within the scope of the Second Amendment. Thus, establishing whether the activity must be constitutional or not should be determined by the political sphere and not the courts. In 2019, there were 417 mass shootings in the United States—outnumbering the annual cases after 2014. Gun control must be implemented in order to reduce the damage done to society.

Photo courtesy of JamesDeMers from Pixabay

With easy access to guns, teenagers can purchase them or receive them from adults. Schools, concerts and malls should be places of learning, fun and safety. Today, a sense of danger and discomfort can be felt as individuals continue their daily routines.

Guns became an impediment rather than protection to humanity. Therefore, gun regulations must include harsh scrutiny on every single gun purchase. The Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2018 increased federal excise taxes on guns and ammunition. Pistols are taxed at 10 percent, while other types of guns were taxes at 11 percent. If taxes are high on a specific product, individuals would be less motivated to spend their money. Anyways, guns are rarely used in self-defense. 

In addition to the law, an individual possessing a gun must have proper training, licensure and insurance. Just like a driver’s license, guns must be a privilege and not a right. In the military, soldiers are given various types of guns to use. However, they are not allowed to access a gun until they passed their training. A gun license can ensure that fewer accidents would occur. In case of a homicide, the police can easily track down the criminal. Once caught, that individual would not be able to purchase any firearm in the future after he is released from prison.

Photo courtesy of Tumisu from Pixabay

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, criminals embezzled 1.4 million guns from U.S. homes—amounting to an annual average of 232,400 from 2005 until 2010.

Possessing armed weapons does not usually lead to a peaceful society. Mark Follman, a National Affairs Editor at Mother Jones, reported that the 62 mass shootings that occurred between 1982 and 2012 were prevented by a civilian carrying a weapon. 

Although I am a proponent for gun control, I do not wholly encourage the complete ban of guns. I believe that the military and key people should exclusively utilize it. Individuals’ weapons should not have any severe repercussions. The citizens must not be infuriated with the Founding Father’s decision to establish the Second Amendment because they did not expect the rapid advancement of technology.

In the dissenting opinion of Former Justice John Paul Stevens for District of Columbia v. Heller, the Framers’ focus during the crafting of the Second Amendment was on the military’s usage of the firearms. In fact, Michael Waldman, the President of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, said that no individual rights were guaranteed during the drafting, discussion, or ratification of the Amendment.

On April 11, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam successfully signed five new gun restrictions into law. If armed individuals depict signs of intentionally hurting others or themselves, their weapons can be temporarily taken away from them.

Gun control is not a violation of the Bill of Rights. We cannot compare the current affairs to America’s society 300 years ago. It is vital to distinguish that civilians are not part of the militia. The first clause of the Second Amendment states that a “militia is necessary to the security of a free state.” Thus, it should be OK for soldiers who are preserving citizens’ liberty, freedom, and security to possess weapons.

Featured Image via Pixabay

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Ron Rocky Coloma
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Ron Rocky Coloma is a student at Stanford University. He has a knack for interviewing celebrities and writing about entertainment. At Affinity Magazine, Coloma is a journalist and a part of the social media team. He was the former editor of The Scoop at The Guam Daily Post.

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