A Guideline Towards A Safer America: The Second Amendment
Gun Control: Safe, Popular and Constitutional
With Parkland, The Capital Gazette, Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks and many hundreds more mass shootings across the country last year — and already 5 in the first five days of 2019 –, the instinctive solution to the problem seems to be gun control. However, adversaries of this measure claim that the sale and use of guns should not be regulated because of the Second Amendment.
One could argue that “a well regulated Militia” is a significant amount of people with a set of rules and an agenda, or that a single person able to use and service a weapon is enough to be considered it.
However, your interpretation is irrelevant. It does not matter whether you are a supporter of the 2nd Amendment or if you agree with the Constitution. In either case, as long as you belong to one of those categories you have to support at least gun regulations, and here is why:
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.” The key point that should be debated on is not the term “well regulated” but rather the raison d’être of a militia: arming people is — or at least was — considered to be “necessary to the security of a free State.”
Current weapon policies do not contribute to the security of states across the country. In fact, it made states less safe: according to data from gunviolencearchive.org, in 2018 alone at least 56,894 gun-related incidents lead to 14,624 deaths and 28,158 injuries. During that same period, there were 340 mass shootings — almost one per day –, and 1,600 unintentional shootings.
Additionally, everytownresearch.org reports 89 school shootings in the same year — an average of two and a half per school week which represents an increase of 35% compared to the previous year and of over 100% compared to 2013.
The narrative of the good guy with a gun who should be able to stop the bad guy with a gun is quite misleading since, according to the previously quoted statistics, the bad guy with access to firearms is clearly very efficient at taking down the good guys.
Furthermore, the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear all kinds of arms. Therefore, a line can be drawn and has to be drawn — if not, anyone could drive around in tanks or solve one’s conflicts with nuclear missiles. So why not draw the line at no guns — after all, knives and swords are also weapons. Hence, it would not be an infringement of the Amendment to regulate the sales of guns or even to ban them at all as long as the population would still, for instance, have access to less lethal weapons — which would drastically reduce the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries, and in turn increase “the security of a free State”.
As data have proven across the globe, gun control does reduce the number of casualties and increases people’s safety. In Japan for instance, as a result of thorough firearm regulations, gun related death stayed under the bar of 20 a year since 2010 with a peak at 19 deceased people in 2011 and a low at 5 in 2015, according to data from the Japan National Police Agency and gunpolicy.org.
Not only is gun regulation compatible with a literal reading and a modern interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, but it is also extremely popular: a Quinnipiac University poll from February 20th, 2018, has shown a 97% support for gun control among Americans leading to protests across the country which have gathered millions of people in favor of it.
Therefore, with an international record of effective safety, overwhelming support amongst the population and constitutional backing, gun regulation seems to be the answer to solve the worrying issue of mass shootings and firearm-related deaths in America.