With the recent mass shooting in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, activists are advocating more than ever for the tightening of gun control as well as the repeal of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects the right for citizens to bear weapons. However, many claim that the Second Amendment is an essential human right, with historical relevance and a guarantee for a future without oppression by the government. Most of us are very aware of the arguments against the Second Amendment and the reasons why it is hazardous. Therefore, in this article, I will be focusing on the other side of the debate. I will be explaining the historical relevance of this amendment as well as why it could be relevant now.
Historically, the right to bear arms in the United States was inspired and encouraged by the early English settlers in America. Bearing weapons drove these settlers to participate in law enforcements and to organize militias; it was seen as a way to defend the population from a tyrannical government and invasions, and as an effective method of self defense. In addition, the right to bear arms proved useful in the times leading up to the American Revolution by aiding the Patriots in fighting for independence. In times as tough as the aforementioned ones, we can begin to understand why the right to bear arms can be essential for one’s safety and freedom.
What about now, though? How does the Second Amendment make sense now? Well those in support of natural law can understand the importance of life, liberty, and property, as famously stated by John Locke. Rationally, the government that fails to protect the citizens’ natural rights needs to be overthrown by the people, who need means (weapons) to do so. In addition, it can be said that a weapon is still needed for self defense in cases of assault.
Although many argue in favor of the Second Amendment for these reasons, we cannot ignore the facts. The facts that state that the United States of America are the leading country in mass shootings. The facts that state that the US have had as many mass shootings in the past 10 years as 36 other countries combined. How can this be resolved? Let’s take Australia as a leading example, which witnessed a mass shooting in 1996, and thanks to the implementation of strict gun control, it was able to never make that tragedy happen again. Is the Second Amendment really crucial even with all the damages it causes?