(ThyBlackMan.com) Gun control and the 2nd amendment have been heated topics of debate in the U.S. for years. With the horrible tragedies that occurred in Connecticut leaving 27 people dead, the debate quickly renewed with all of America taking sides. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the leading lobbying organization in support of gun ownership in the United States while regular citizens and politicians are split on all sides. While there are many opinions on the topic gun control and the actual right to bear arms are quite different.
What the 2nd Amendment Says
Many people involved in the debate do not actually know what the 2nd amendment says. As written in the United States Constitution the 2nd amendment says, “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.”
It is important to note the time that the 2nd amendment was actually ratified. The United States was just beginning the Revolutionary War against England, a country considered a tyrant infringing upon citizens rights. As new colonies compared to the all powerful England, small groups of people could form
The term militia is largely argued today. With the Army National Guard, regional police forces and for hire security, who needs a militia? If you truly do want to form militias why not take the first step and join one of these forces instead of just retaining the right for personal gun use? These are valid points. Some proponents of the 2nd amendment simply reply with the fact that even our own country can attempt a dictatorship or martial law and they need weapons to potentially thwart such efforts.
Why Gun Control is not Anti-Gun
Gun control is not anti-gun. Nowhere in the 2nd amendment states that every citizen retains the absolute right to all arms. Proponents of 2nd amendment rights mainly argue against stronger background checks, longer waiting periods and the banning of high power assault weapons. Even if you disagree with these things there is no argument that the majority of both sides agrees with gun control. They may not know it but the sheer fact that there is an age limit of 18 to 21 to purchase a gun was put into law due to gun control advocates.
Gun control, not banning guns can help in many ways. Gun control allows for qualified, law abiding citizens to own personal use guns. These do not exclude guns for hunting. There are still personal sized guns to protect your family.
The Bottom Line
The heart of the matter is that none of these pro-gun debates take into account the people. Many NRA leaders are not as personally affected by gun violence. Many NRA leaders are wealthy business owners while NRA members range from wealthy to the poor. If the leaders of such a special interest group can only profit from the selling of guns then what incentive do they have to restrict certain guns? Why would they limit guns if it could limit their funding? When you look at some of the statistics of gun violence in the U.S. it is startling why we have not strengthened gun limits long before today. There is no need to focus on mass shootings because there are enough sickening numbers without them.
The United States is far behind other western countries. In 2011, there were 89 guns for every 100 Americans with Canada, our neighbor, being 30.8 per 100 citizens. Out all the murders in 2011, 68% were caused by firearms. The 2nd most used weapons were knives/cutting instruments at a very distant 13%.
Even though it is no argument that gun violence is rampant in America there is a large majority blaming the issue on urban African-American males. There is some truth to this. Blacks are six times as likely as whites to be the victim of homicide with the majority of offenders being other minorities.
In WashingtonD.C., a city with one of the highest minority populations, there are 12 firearm murder per 100,000 people. It is also the top region for firearm robberies with 242.56 per 100,000 people. While it may seem like an easy answer to blame minorities, gun violence heavily effects Whites as well. Did you know that 80% of those who commit suicide with a gun are white males? The ease of obtaining a gun is not the only issue. With tougher gun control measures, background checks for mentally unstable may help to prevent such a staggering statistic. Another study found that a gun kept in the household is 43 times more likely to kill a household member.
Focusing on gun control can hit home for many. Whether you are white, black, a victim of gun violence or a proud gun owner, gun control is an important issue for everyone. There is no need to have military quality weapons for a single household. Making sure to focus on proper gun control and usage will help both sides. Proper gun usage will prevent more violence causing stricter controls and possible bans.
Staff Writer; Stanley G. Buford