Should Americans have the right to bear arms?

March 23, 2011
“We should not blame a gun itself for any crime or any acts of violence, any more than we can blame a pen for misspelling a word.” Proven by this statement belonging to Robert Bennett but even more notably by the malevolence of the world’s past, time after time it has been proven that guns do not kill people; in fact it is the people themselves that do. Remaining stationary and innocuous until a force and a finger consciously pulls the trigger, a gun is and will always remain an inanimate object that only becomes dangerous when a deranged or wicked mind has willed it do so. As the controversy surrounding the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights - a proclamation of the ability for Americans to bear arms - escalates, gun ownership and the interpretation of US founding documents is put into question as arguments support the counterpoint that infringing said right could finally reduce gun violence to save the lives of countless individuals. Due to the evidence provided by the true intentions of the Founders to open the citizens’ eyes to the dangers of oppressive government, climbing crime rates, and the importance of the Second Amendment as a means of preserving moral duty, history itself reveals that stripping Americans of the right to bear arms inevitably rids them of their life and liberty.

What exactly are the requirements of being a ‘good citizen’? Although the definition varies according to an individual’s beliefs and the country they reside in, the most universal component of good citizenship is abiding strictly to all laws and conditions of the government while enjoying the rights endowed to them. Being mindful and obedient to society is crucial to achieving a world of “liberty and justice for all”; however the institution of democratic law in the United States has extended the typical guidelines of citizenship to produce a social order far more utopian than any other throughout history thus far. Subsequent to officially establishing America’s independence, the Founders’ created the framework of their revolutionary government based off of themes of natural rights, higher law, and popular sovereignty as constants to guarantee that citizens would forever live in a society governed for and by the people. Cruel subjugation from British rule fresh in their minds and hearts alike, their statements as recovered by historians clearly explain the importance of the Constitution’s amendments to protect American civil rights and the methodical purpose behind their design: “The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms,” said Samuel Adams on their intent. Though it may be assumed that the right Adams speaks of is only the right to own and keep firearms - a right with significance proved by its position as second in the Bill of Rights - deeper interpretation reveals that bearing arms is merely a small part of the equation to achieving freedom that is maintained not only by bearing what George Washington termed as “liberty teeth” but the freedoms of press and speech outlined by the First Amendment, a wall of defense against tyranny and unjust government. Although using guns to provide family dinner or fend off lowly criminals are not to be pronounced irrelevant to the reason behind bearing arms, the Founder’s original intent is expressed by the desire to prevent repeating the misfortunes of the past by allowing citizens not only to have the appropriate protection against foreign invaders but ultimately the immediate threat of oppression lurking within their own country. When national safety is jeopardized by such internal dangers, preserving liberty through a surefire ’backup plan’ that is essentially what is stated by the Second Amendment literally puts the power in the hands of citizens to refresh the government’s position as a body of law in effect only to fulfill the common good of those whom it serves. Co-existing with the basis that the Americans themselves are in the possession of power, it is therefore fundamentally the duty of citizens to possess the essence of maintaining liberty itself through the tools that made it possible - expression through words and ammunition - to balance the federal system. Despite the fact that countless studies have exemplified the risks of owning guns through death tolls and injuries that have resulted from their nationwide authorization prove that the US leads the world in gun violence in the past decade, it shall be emphasized that the comparisons being made are between countries whose citizens have been denied a Second Amendment, a reminder of how America’s neighbors have a drastically higher likelihood to become oppressive. Once this fact is acknowledged, it is those who support gun control who must ask themselves, “Shall we attempt to restrict guns , knowing that the slight decline in violence will only begin to skyrocket when further the principles in which this country were founded upon are betrayed?” In countries of low gun violence where citizens possess rates of freedom and satisfaction that are heading in the same direction, a ‘good citizen’ is most likely defined to be a slave willing to endure abuse from a government that shackles rather than liberating them. Armed with rights both on a liberal and materialistic scale, Americans serve as ’good citizens’ by putting the government in its place to preserve tranquility and the general welfare of their people rather than controlling them - a system that allows the US to continually function as a successful civilization. Because only a government afraid of its citizens attempts to oppress them, tyrannical motives can be extinguished when Americans can embody the intentions of the Founders to claim their rights to liberty through a tool that deems it possible.

Robberies, assaults, homicides, assassinations… The tragic stories broadcasted nationwide each day recounting the aftermath of armed sociopaths may reflect the evils of guns, but digging deeper will expose the truth that such a story has been instigated only by the sociopath making the effort to kill. Their abuse of an American right is represented by a vast minority - the sociopaths with malicious intent - that exemplifies how in any situation “that a few can ruin it for everyone.” The wickedness of crimes involving guns may make it at first difficult to grasp that those who commit such vile deeds occupy only 2% of the US population. Vastly outnumbered by law-abiding citizens, these criminals obviously go to the most extreme of measures to commit acts of violence and terrorism to endanger the remaining 98% of Americans. Whether committed with a gun, a knife, or rat poison, criminal acts are committed daily no matter what dealt the deadly blow - their perpetrators willing to go through with them at any means possible. Because guns were incorporated in the Constitution to provide for the owner’s defense and protection from human nature itself - meaning the greed of the government that may otherwise go unnoticed - this cruel nature of humans can be dealt with by allowing citizens to bear arms as an immediate response to the threat at hand. Because this immoral choice exists even if guns do not, the same can be said about the legality of guns. Seeing as a ban on guns would cause lawful citizens to turn in their firearms while a lawless criminal would not, they would only gain more of an upper hand over those adhering to new laws. Gun control would be similar to placing guns straight into deranged hands as exemplified by a political cartoon symbolizing that a those who are armed morally are almost guaranteed to be overpowered by ‘psychos’ armed with the brute force of a weapon. Allowing free gun ownership has been argued by supporters of gun control to turn innocent citizens into victims, especially as reports of the horrific mass-shooting of thirty-two individuals on the Virginia Tech’s ‘gun-free’ campus resulting from a psycho’s deadly rampage is incorporated in their contention. However, analyzing this tragedy in its entirety by realizing the murderer’s control stems not from his own gun but from the student’s inability to provide for their own safety in fact proves that declaring a location ‘gun-free’ declares those within it to be sitting ducks. Critical situations that require immediate action to achieve desired results prove that a gun in the hand offers more promise than a cop on the phone, a gun in the hands of responsible citizens is the difference between life and death in the many unexpected situations of life. When 911 and the few other actions that can be taken without bearing arms are reduced to nothing but prayers, such immediate action can be taken through using a gun as powerful initiative just as Lilly Hockett was able to after her 911 call failed by simply holding her intruder at gunpoint before police intervention was available. If the backup defenses of guns had been allowed rather than restricted by law at the time of the Virginia Tech Massacre and in several other circumstances, the lives of American citizens can be made safer rather than the dirty work of villains.

Intentions. In the argument of allowing American citizens to bear arms, this word in regards to the rights recognized by the Founders throughout the Constitution is fired in debate on both positions as often as bullets are from guns. Preserving the Second Amendment is defended by the Founders’ intentions to save Americans from their government and also from each other - as explained above - embodying an assertion of liberation from the oppressive parent role once held by the rule of Great Britain. Through the struggles and triumphs of the American Revolution, citizens yearning to father themselves but also the world around them have matured from moral children needing to be saved from themselves and their ‘dangerous toys’ into moral parents that possess the capacity to be responsible for protecting and preserving their privileges. The heated controversy surrounding trusting the future leaders of the United States with the privilege of bearing arms escalates as Texas fights to ensure this right specifically to allow college students to possess concealed firearms for the benefits of self-protection and security, however opponents of this proposition refuse to reconsider their position due to fear and concern that weapons will only bring abuse even in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Refusing to trust responsibility in the highest form to their fellow Americans, citizens opposing the natural right to bear arms must understand that if the keystones to freedom - guns along with speech and press - cannot be confided in those who require them in order to keep freedom alive, the very fabric of American morals are torn. When the control of guns is analyzed as a control of responsibility as the Founders has always meant it to be, we can direct harnessing our Second Amendment towards the ultimate goal to being able to own freedom to change what can be changed and use it sensibly to deal with what cannot. As an instrument for making this dream a reality, the ability to control guns is a duty as significant as the ability to control oneself, a duty that cannot be shirked or abolished as long as the moral order existing alongside American ideals continue to. Constituting the liberty and self-control within the hearts of US citizens by placing justice over violence is imperative to living under such a moral order indefinitely: the underlying intentions of the Founders.

Should American citizens be allowed the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment? Although the battle surrounding gun possession is ongoing and blinded by the idea that guns themselves are to blame for the cruelty committed only by those who abuse them, the path to enlightenment begins when this question can be interpreted for what it truly entails: Should Americans allow the government to enslave them? Should Americans allow laws to be passed that guarantee not their own safety but the safety of corrupt criminals? Should Americans abandon their birthrights to adhere to the notion that their prized moral duty is impossible? Created by the fathers of the US to aid self-control through controlling a mindless device, guns will never kill people if people cease to. With a renewed aim to spread justice rather than ruin, citizens can arm themselves not only with guns but with the will to defend their liberty: denying it denies their identity as Americans.





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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

lover said...
May 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm
Wow this article was amazing!! It really helped me with my reseachpaper! Thank you so much. Very well written and put together! GREAT ;)
 
Andy Mason replied...
Apr. 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm
I agree very much
 
lizardboii95 said...
Jan. 30, 2014 at 11:07 am
well this article helped me alot on my research paper, Thanks.
 
trouble23 said...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm
I needed to look up an article on the right to bear arms. This article was well written and i enjoyed it very much.
 
xNicolettee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm
Thank you very much!
 
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