I always get aggravated when people become concerned with losing their second amendment “rights.” As if being born on planet earth gave you some inalienable right to slay and be slain by man’s love of bigger and better firearms. Should you own nuclear bombs? Would you be comfortable giving people that right?
It’s unfathomable to me that we treat the Bill of Rights as if it were written by gods, whose knowledge was unending, whose beliefs were absolute, and whose motives are even today held sacred even though we have no real knowledge of what they were. We have so little trust (perhaps rightly so) of the government in the present, and yet we place so much in the paranoid (perhaps rightly so) government of the past. Both sides of the gun control debate make about as much sense as you’d think. None.
Being born doesn’t give you the right to own a weapon. Being born doesn’t give you any rights at all. You live in America, and living in America has bestowed upon you a certain set of privileges. Rights cannot be given or taken away, and are therefore a fantasy of the masses.
Privileges, on the other hand, are earned, and are based primarily on need. Our founding fathers wrote the constitution a long time ago, and the bill of rights after that, and our need to adapt parts of it to keep our most basic privileges is obvious. But it’s sad the number of people that think time hasn’t changed what we need. Our privileges should change as the world changes, because it makes the most sense.
I’m not for or against private gun ownership, but I wish people knew why they fought so hard to obtain and keep those weapons, and what the consequences of having them or not having them really are.
Nowadays, it is often cited that, even in Iraq, citizens have the right to bear modern firearms. They compare this to the restrictions many states and our federal government places on firearm ownership here. But they lose sight of the reasons why Iraq put those laws into place: to curb gun ownership. They wanted to be able to force people to register their firearms, which is something we fight against here. It’s not a case of “even Iraq” but instead a case of “Iraq too” if you’re on the side of unregistered firearm ownership.
In an average two year period, more Americans are killed by guns than in the entire twenty years of the Vietnam War. How many people oppose the many conflicts in which we as a nation involve ourselves even though they believe in the cause, and then turn around and support the second amendment? It’s worth mentioning that these are numbers of people who die. The number of injuries is staggering. You’re supporting a law that leads to pointless death on a much larger scale, while opposing (potentially) meaningful conflicts with death on a much smaller scale.
People die accidentally. I live in an apartment complex. If someone else’s apartment is burgled or they need to defend themselves, I don’t have any say whether or not they use a firearm to do so. What if a bullet comes flying through my wall? Should I be able to protect myself by supporting strict gun laws? Many people think not. I’m not one of them.
I do however believe that people should have the privilege of owning firearms. I think that people have the right to hunt. I think that people should have the right to protect themselves any way they see fit. But I believe that certain responsibilities should accompany those weapons, and stronger consequences should be incurred in the case that ownership leads to accident.
If you own a weapon, I believe that you should be forced to learn how to use it and should be tested on your knowledge of the weapon. And then undergo the same classes and tests every few years. The costs of these classes and tests should be yours. I think that upon purchasing a firearm, you should have to sign a document acknowledging that in the case of accidental injury or death, or any other misuse, you will be held personally and legally accountable. If your child picks up that weapon, plays with it, and accidentally kills someone–I think you should be charged with murder and held civilly liable. It was your choice that led to that accident, and the dead should have some form of justice.
If these laws were to dissuade anybody from owning weapons, or seem unfairly harsh, then it suggests to me that people don’t really care about their rights as much as they (very loudly) say they do. Every right is a privilege in disguise, and you need to both fight for them and be held accountable for them in order to keep them.
People should realize that our ancestors had definitive need of protection. It was a much different world, and there were real threats lurking all over the countryside. They feared an oppressive government. But their government only had access to the same weapons citizens did. They could hardly have imagined a world in which our government could rain hell upon them by pressing a button from 3,000 miles off either coast.
It’s a different world, and there are consequences to that as well. Not everything, for better or for worse, is in our control. It’s the price of technological and societal progress, and it’s something about which people should spend more time thinking. Life is getting more complicated, and because of that our responsibilities are getting just a little bit harder to bear.
But I’m sure you can handle it.