“The right to bear arms.” Five words that people like Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, live their entire life by. LaPierre and his colleagues believe that this statement has so much to do with the liberty and protection that America stands for, they chose to be a part of an Association that fights for those very rights. This right has been the cause for 16 mass shootings and over 80 deaths in the United States in 2012 alone. The victims in these mass killings include high school students, college students, wives, husbands, and even 20 children under the age of seven.
So how is it that well-educated Americans still allow, and even fight for, guns to stay legal? As stated before, because of five words written by the fourth U.S. president, James Madison in 1787. Would Madison have written those words if he knew it would eventually apply to guns that were capable of shooting 900 rounds per minute and required only a few seconds to reload? The truth is, even back in the 18th century, Madison didn’t just write those five words. “ The right to bear arms,” is just a fragment of the Second Amendment. This is what it truly reads, “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 can be inferred that Madison only believed firearms should be used by state militias if absolutely necessary. It is impossible to know exactly what Madison meant, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore the opening words, “Well regulated Militia.”
Now the real question is, how can we stand by words written over 200 years ago that potentially harm our society today? The answer is simple, we can not and we should not. Personally, I do not own a gun and do not see a reason to. There are many advocates of the NRA who believe that guns are necessary to protect the innocent from harm. Small business owners, protective fathers, hunters, are some of type of people who believe they need weapons to defend themselves.
But isn’t that what we have police officers and security guards for? Why do we need small business owners to carry weapons on them when they can hire a screened and trained security guard? America would be a lot safer if civilians did not own weapons. If the Founding Fathers did not trust everyday civilians to vote without an electoral college, how are we suppose to trust those same people to carry weapons?
If security isn’t a solid enough plan for protection, why not use non-lethal weapons. If you were a fan of NBC series Chuck, staring Zachary Levi as a computer nerd with CIA and NSA intelligence implanted in his head, than you know very well about the success of using non-lethal weapons to defend yourself. Although Chuck is a fictional character who uses dart guns to put his enemies to sleep, American’s today can also take down attackers by using non lethal weapons like tasers and pepper spray. The point is, if our society has created effective ways to provide for self-defense without having to kill, then there is no reason not to use them.
Within the past 200 years, the United States has developed and transformed so drastically that, in my opinion, it is irrational to stand by words written so long ago.