The second 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. Those words are forever engraved into the minds of the American people. Guns have been a staple in American culture since the Declaration of Independence. Nearly every movie or TV show has a gun in it. The newspapers are filled with stories about guns and gun laws, and thousands of Americans take part in the great debate over guns. The gun issue has been and may always be an important part of American life.
The rise in gun violence over the years has caused many people to rethink what the second amendment says. Some may argue that it is the right of every citizen to own and carry a gun without penalty. Other suggest that strict gun laws should be in place to prevent guns from entering the wrong hands. Both sides have valid points and present very enticing arguments, but the fact is, the second amendment will not change. Guns will not be abolished, restricted or prohibited. America is one of the only countries that states in it’s constitution that every citizen can own a gun.
Having a gun is the most American thing a person can do. The country was founded on the principles of freedom and letting a citizen carry a firearm is the ultimate freedom. How many people in other countries can openly say they own a gun, or several, and they exercise their second amendment rights on a regular basis? Many people who own guns use them for recreational purposes. They hunt, they go to the shooting range, they go to gun shows and even collect antique rifles and pistols. According to a 1994 survey, 35% of American households own 192 million firearms. http://www. newsbatch. com/gun control. htm). That is a staggering number compared to other countries. But even with such a large number of guns, most of them are owned by law-abiding citizens. The issue begins with the people who obtain guns illegally, or use legally purchased firearms to commit crimes. It is the concerned American mothers who propose that congress enact more strict gun laws. After incidents like the Columbine High School Massacre and The Virginia Tech Shooting, guns have become the center of attention.
Innocent people were killed by the recklessness of others. Since both incidents involved young people killing other people with guns they obtained legally, people feel that guns need to be controlled. This brings me to the old saying, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people. ” Guns by themselves are not dangerous, but when you put a gun into a person’s hands, then they are dangerous. Several states realize this and have enforced laws that regulate the sale and use of firearms. California is one of the states that took action and enacted a ban on assault rifles (http://www. ewsbatch. com/gun control. htm). Remarkably, after the ban was put in place, there were fewer deaths from rifles in California. That example proves that the right legislation can actually work and laws which greatly restrict access to guns lead to more violence. If there were a tighter grip placed on guns, more people would find more ways to get them. Its inevitable because like I said before, Americans have a predisposition to guns. Guns are a vital part of American life. They’ve been the most talked about issue in the country.
Yet, with all the talk about gun laws and gun violence, millions of people still own firearms. It is written in the constitution and a guaranteed right to every citizen in America to own and carry a gun. The constitution implies that guns should be used for defensive purposes and used only when needed. The public needs to understand that guns aren’t going to just disappear. America needs to develop a system to accommodate the law abiding gun owners and the gun control fanatics or the violence will only escalate.
The bottom line is: guns are as American as cheeseburgers and Coca-Cola. Works Cited 1. NEA Health Information Network. June 17th, 2005. NEA. April 1st, 2008. http://www. neahin. org/programs/schoolsafety/gunsafety/statistics. htm 2. National Rifle Association. 2008. NRA. April 1st, 2008. http://www. nraila. org/GunLaws/Federal/Read. aspx? id=60 3. Newsbatch. July 2005. Newsbatch. April 1st, 2008. http://www. newsbatch. com/guncontrol. htm 4. About. com. 2003. About. com. April1st,2008. http://history1900s. about. com/od/famouscrimesscandals/a/columbine. htm