There are few constitutional rights as often quoted as the second amendment: the right to bear arms. Few people who quote it recognize the difference between their world and that of the people who wrote it. At one point in time, many Americans were involved in agriculture and had large tracts of land that they needed to protect. On the other hand, the guns they had available were definitely not automatic or capable of harming many people with a single pulling of the trigger. This essay looks at some of the most robust reasons for a new system of gun control.
Many people have been harmed by legal firearms. The majority of school based attacks have involved young people taking up guns owned by their parents and going on a rampage through schools and other vulnerable places. Had greater restrictions been placed on people before allowing them to make their purchases, the guns might not have so easily been appropriated by children. Similarly, the ease of gun acquisition has allowed paranoid home owners to vent their frustration on ethnic minorities by murdering children. A psychological evaluation might have prevented that.
While guns can be acquired with relative ease, many less dangerous substances are heavily regulated or illegal. Many drugs are only accessible with a prescription because they have side effects that are less permanent than death. Studies have shown that marijuana has not killed anyone nor will it start yet this plant and its derivatives were illegal worldwide up until recently. Even now many people would readily demonize marijuana for its THC but will not admit that guns should not be as easy to access as they are at present.
Despite the issues with gun control in the United States, other countries have successfully managed regulation of the industry. Australia has very much in common with America in terms of population size, distribution and wealth. After its own incidences of gun based violence, legislature was quickly drafted to ensure that guns stay out of the hands of people who should not have access to them. Statistical evidence has shown how effective this method turned out.
While it is difficult to give up what feels like an important right to many people, it is important to remember why this is so important to begin with. Lives have been lost and many more will be lost until we as a nation can learn to control our gun culture.