Still my best title to date. From 11th grade English class. Another in a long line of "don't let your ignorance of the subject prevent you from writing about it"-type papers, which no doubt inadvertently paved the way for the blogging age.
“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.” These powerful yet controversial words of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America denotate the forefathers’ stand on gun control. Of course, these great men, visionary though they were, could nowhere near imagine the magnitude to which civilian warfare could grow. Today, the need for gun control is greater than ever. Laws need to be passed that regulate assault weapons.
The Constitution states that it is legal to own firearms, but it justifies this statement by saying that a “well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State.” Now, the question remains, what constitutes a state militia? Did the forefathers mean “state” as in “nation” or “state” as in the step below nation? Were the forefathers referring to a “militia” being akin to the military, or merely just a police force? Does any person with a gun count as a member of the “state militia”? These questions have been debated by authorities as high as the Supreme Court, but still, no clear decision has been reached. This issue, which affects all Americans, is one of the most controversial, and most urgent, issues of this century.
In the two hundred-plus years since the founding of this country, the advancement, and, especially, the availability of weapons have soared exponentially. The cardinal problem with effective gun control is the popularity of game hunting as a sport. Most guns are made for this recreation and therefore are as untouchable, legally, as a baseball bat. These guns can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. This writer feels that there is nothing wrong with game hunting. The problem arises with the advent of assault weapons; uzis, AK-47’s, m-16’s, etc. These weapons are not used for hunting. Their sole purpose for being invented is to take human lives. These are the weapons that must be stopped, or else their users could stop everyone.
Even after the acknowledgment of the necessity for legislation against assault weapons, the line between so-called “sensible firearms” and assault weapons continues to blur. For example, many sensible people, pacifistic people like to have a handgun around to house for self-defense. Of course, many erratic, violent people like to have a handgun for the lone intent of holding up a liquor store. When a person purchases a firearm, the seller has no idea of the intended use of the weapon, so for that reason the merchant cannot be blamed. What is needed is the establishment of a set of universally agreed upon criteria, with which we can isolate and prosecute owners (and especially users) of assault weapons. All must unite on this issue, for this issue affects all.
There must be a crack-down on assault weapons. Politicians vow to reduce gun violence, and they have, to a point, but thousands continue to die every year by illegal firearms, or at least firearms used illegally. This problem threatens to destroy the quality of life and personal contentment that has made this country great. The statement “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” is true, but guns play a bigger part than the firearm industry likes to realize, and the realization of the gravity of this situation is the first step to solving it.