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Gun Bans and Regulations: From a Second Amendment Advocate

This school year has been met with a very challenging issue: gun control in the United States.

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Gun Bans and Regulations: From a Second Amendment Advocate

Noah Brown, Politics and Opinion Editor, Staff Writer

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Gun Bans and Regulations: From a Second Amendment Advocate

This school year has been met with a very challenging issue: gun control in the United States. This has been debated for decades since it is a very vast topic, but these issues have caught up to the young audience of our population in the most unfortunate way through school shootings and gun violence. There have been multiple instances that have occurred in the past several months, some of these being the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the most recent YouTube shooting, the Las Vegas shooting (https://wildezine.com/1814/opinion/the-jump-in-shootings-and-violence-and-its-relation-to-mental-illness/) and, sadly, many more.

Many brave teenagers from Parkland, Florida and many many other students have made an enormous effort to address what many see as an adult issue affecting children. Teenagers are taking the stand to give a solution through the thesis of gun control. This includes the banning of “Assault Rifles” and “Military Style Guns.” The problems with guns in our country has always been a slippery slope to address. The terminology of guns, the logic of how to address different guns versus guns as a whole, the vague generalizations of the proposed solutions and how gun owners react to the potential issue of the 2nd Amendment – the right to possess firearms – being infringed are all issues that need to be considered but are easily being overlooked by politicians, activists, and the general public.

The Nation’s Proposal:

So here is the general idea of the general populace’s approach to gun control in a nutshell: “Take away the assault style rifles. There is no need for a gun such as this. A hand gun will suffice.” This is a good start to addressing gun violence and crimes, however, it won’t solve the issue for a few reasons. The first reason is because the term “assault rifle” is not the terminology used to define or classify a particular firearm under law. Assault rifle is merely a social term used to define a certain look of a rifle. This is partly thanks to pop culture such as video games and action movies defining these types of rifles as assault rifles.

There is, however, and actual way to define and classify guns. It is based on its firing rate. There are automatic guns, which fire multiple rounds continuously with a single pull of the trigger, semi-automatic guns which shoot a single round per pull of the trigger, and other forms of rifles which require a reload or action to load the next round into a gun’s chamber. Many automatic guns are actually outlawed in The United States, including guns such as machine guns and military grade rifles like the M16 rifle and AK-47.

The AR-15 rifle, the rifle subjected to controversy in today’s gun issues, is a semi-automatic. This means that one pull of the trigger will shoot a single bullet, which is legal. The AR-15 is a platform rifle. Multiple rifles are based off of the styling and the semiautomatic functionality of this rifle. And no, the “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for “Assault-Rifle.” It is an abbreviation for “Armalite Rifle.” Armalite is the company that produced the rifle.

Activists want the AR-15 gun banned for a two reasons. The first is because it is merely meant for killing multiple people quickly and the second reason is because more mass shootings have happened with these rifles than most others. In response to Reason 1, realistically, all guns can be and are meant to be used to kill. iI it can do that, it functions as it is supposed to. In response to Reason 2, this is not the case. According to the New York Times, 80% of gun murders are committed with handguns, every year. Simply put, you are more likely to be killed with a handgun than a rifle. Most handguns are semi-automatic, just like the AR-15. So should we be banning semi-automatic guns? That would take away many hunting rifles, handguns and rifles like the AR-15. Many gun owners would not like the sound of that.

Buyback complications:

Another argument that many anti-gun supporters like to utilize is the gun buyback in Australia. Australia has a lower crime rate regarding guns and had a mandatory buyback of firearms. While this may seem ideal for the U.S. to try to use, we as Americans need to remember that we are not Australia! We do not have the same gun laws, registration, procedures, structure, legislation, or requirements as Australia. Australia does not have the equivalent of a 2nd Amendment.

Most people are unaware that the DC area had already experienced the infamous buyback in 1976. DC citizens were not allowed to acquire handguns. The restrictions of this buyback were enacted, but the outcome was not expected or desired. The homicide rate in DC grew from its original rate of 188 in the year it was enacted (1976) to 454 by 1993. Instead of bringing down the homicide rate as desired and expected, the rate had more than doubled.

When this buyback law was struck down by the Supreme Court for being unconstitutional because of the 2nd Amendment, the district put into place different laws for firearms that didn’t outlaw them. September 2012, the homicides had actually dropped to 88. There was also a ban on “assault style rifles” in Bill Clinton’s presidency in 1994. Crime actually did fall, but when ban expired, experts found that it did not have to do with the ban or was not because of the ban. While Australia may have found success in a buyback program for guns, this does not mean that it will succeed for America, and with past evidence that homicide could actually increase, this country simply cannot afford that kind of risk.

The Almighty 2nd Amendment:

Another argument from protesters and politicians is the argument of the 2nd Amendment’s protection of people’s right to bear arms. The 2nd Amendment states, “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.” Many misinterpret the second amendment and try to twist it due to its vague nature. The right of the people to bear arms and keep said arms will not be infringed.

This was written in 1791; the issues back then are not the same as the issues in today’s day and age. The founding fathers wrote this amendment this way because they had come from the British tyrannical government at the time. The intent and purpose of this amendment is to protect the citizens in case of a compromise including the actual amendment’s tampering. If the government were to try to edit or take away the 2nd Amendment, its enforcement would be run by the people as a well regulated militia. It is hard to understand due to the vague nature of the writing, being that there is not that much written for the Amendment to address loopholes or possible compromises.

In this time period, they did not have the “assault rifles” that we have now such as the AR-15. They had muskets and guns where you had to ram the shot and gunpowder into the barrel with a flintlock mechanism. However, in that time period, these guns were considered the best of the best guns and military grade. If it applies back then, who is to say that it doesn’t apply now? Could this answer the question as to why the AR-15 exists? It really is just a semiautomatic rifle meant for killing multiple people. Isn’t that the idea? A civilian version of a military gun to defend a household, family, or town against a government that could send troops to take away something protected by one of the longest living constitutional rights in The United States.

Many find it incredibly hard to believe that the U.S. could become tyrannical as past governments have. The reality is that any government could become tyrannical. Multiple governments have become tyrannical in the past 100 years. People also take for granted our own civil war, the fight between state and federal control. While some think of it as incredibly ridiculous that another civil war could occur because of people’s guns being taken away in a buyback or by the government, it is the reason that the 2nd Amendment is there. There are many gun-owning citizens that would be literally “up in arms” to fight for their constitutional rights with the things that this amendment permits people to own.

I do agree with the fact that gun violence in our nation is a problem, but any kind of violence is a problem. Crime and murder are unfortunately bound to happen. Trying to take away guns or even a certain type of gun that is legal because it already meets a regulated criteria will not solve the issue. Finding a solution to an incredibly intricate issue such as gun violence will not be easily fixed with teens yelling at the White House saying, “Ban assault rifles!” We need the people who are trying to make a change to have a full picture and understanding of the issue that others have been trying to find a solution to.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/gun-control-in-the-district/2015/11/20/8f459020-8efa-11e5-934c-a369c80822c2_story.html?noredirect=on

https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992

photo: https://thelifeguard.net/5872/news/politics/understanding-gun-control/

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About the Writer
Noah Brown, SSFS Life Editor

Hello! My name is Noah Brown. I am a senior at Sandy Spring Friends School and serve as the editor for SSFS Life. I have been on Wildezine since the second...

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Gun Bans and Regulations: From a Second Amendment Advocate”

  1. emily Gordon on May 25th, 2018 11:20 am

    I still think if guns were banned we would be safer. Assult rifles make it easier to kill more people at once. No one needs guns. A need is something you can not live without. You can live without guns, but you can’t live at all if your are the result of a school shooting. Nice work Noah.

  2. Zoe Baylinson on June 1st, 2018 6:40 pm

    While you make some good points, I think that guns, especially automatic ones, are unnecessary and need to at least have more restrictions put on them. For example, people should have to be evaluated by a mental health professional before buying a gun. Once they have bought the gun, every few years, they should be required to be retaught gun safety and re-examined by the same professional. While I can agree with some of your points, guns are something that can be lived without.

  3. Zoe Baylinson on June 1st, 2018 8:08 pm

    While I agree with some of your points, I still think that guns, especially automatic ones, should be at the minimum restricted more. For example, before buying a gun everyone should have to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. Every few years, they should have to retake the gun safety course and be reevaluated by the same psychiatrist. Also, automatic guns should be almost impossible for the average citizen to buy because of the the ease of killing someone with one. Although I agree with some points, I think that guns are unnecessary and need to be further restricted.

  4. Thomas Perich on June 11th, 2018 9:39 pm

    One of the issues against gun control is the connection between guns and liberty. Many people associate owning a gun as a right and asking people to give up their guns is similar to asking them to give up their rights and freedoms. In order to help limit the availability of guns and to limit the number of guns owned by the public there needs to be a social change in how American citizens view guns. As you mentioned in the article, the 2nd amendment was put in place to protect the personal liberties of individuals from a tyrannical government, but our government has become established with dozens of checks and balances that will guarantee that the government will not turn on the people, therefore the need of a gun to defend against the government is almost obsolete. The role of the government is to protect the people it rules, therefore the people should, in theory, be able to trust the government to do that. In order to limit the number of guns in public hands a reemphasis on protecting the people needs to be taken by the government, while at the same time a social change needs to occurs that the connection between guns and freedom. When this change occurs I believe that there will finally be a drop in guns ownership rates, and a drop in murder rates.

  5. Mackenzie Schless on September 19th, 2018 9:42 am

    I am anti-gun, but I see your point of view and I think this article is very well written. The fact that gun violence has increased in DC, yet gun regulations have gone up suggests that perhaps this is a social or societal issue? Seems like a more complicated problem that banning guns won’t solve. Great article, Noah. This opened my mind a little bit.

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Gun Bans and Regulations: From a Second Amendment Advocate