The Compass

The Value of the Second Amendment

Keturah Richardson, Staff Reporter

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All across America people have began to demand gun control, due to the shootings that have been happening across the U.S. Even some Republicans are have considered putting some restrictions in place. However, there are those with arguments against gun control that cannot simply be ignored.

 

The reason we have the second amendment in the first place, is not to protect ourselves from each other, but as an insurance to make sure the government does not violate our rights as Americans. When the Founding Fathers were writing the Constitution one of their main concerns was making sure that the government didn’t gain too much power over the people. They wanted to give Americans a way to stand up for themselves, should they declare government no longer fit to be in charge. In other words, they wanted the people to be able to create a militia. “”I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788.”

 

The Pew Research Center has created a page on their website with several graphs showing how many Americans have trust in the government, dating from 1958 through 2017. The number of Americans who have trust in the U.S. government in the most recent data, taken December 4th 2017, was only 18%. With so little people trusting in U.S. leadership, there are many who don’t want their way of protecting their rights taken away.

 

There are also concerns about self defense. Though it is not the main reason the second amendment was created, it is still an important argument. Most people associate owning a gun as something big strong men do, and while this is partly true, it is often forgotten that without guns, the weak would not be able to defend themselves. Especially since there are a lot of situations when there isn’t a ‘man of the house.’ Many households that own guns keep them in a lockbox or safe that can be accessed in an emergency by anyone who knows the code, or where the key is. In Kennesaw, Georgia every head of the household is required to own a gun. Since the law was passed, there has only been one murder in the last six years and the crime rate has dropped to two percent. Banning guns will only increase crime. When you take away the weapon that houses use for defence, it creates an opportunity for more criminals to break into houses. However requiring people to own a gun does violate rights. So the solution is simply allowing those without a criminal record to choose to own a gun if they wish to. This creates a form of risk for criminals, because they won’t know which houses will be armed and which ones won’t, making them less likely to try and break in.

 

Something that those who are for gun control often bring to the table, is that there have been suicides committed by using guns kept at home. While this is true, when someone truly wishes to die, there are many ways they can do so. One of the most commonly known ways is by overdosing on everyday meditation. Nearly every house in America contains some type of pain relieving pill, melatonin, or prescription drug. Suicide prevention cannot be fixed by lack of accessibility. “At least 66,324 people died of drug overdoses during the 12-month period ending in May 2017, up 17 percent from the 56,488 who died between May 2015 and May 2016, according to data released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.” Only by focusing on mental health can this be prevented.

 

The Second Amendment is essential, because it gives power to the people. It has helped enforce the democracy Americans hold dear.

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Ratings don't last.  Great journalism does. - Dan Rather
The Value of the Second Amendment