In an article published by The Morning Call, Marlin Reinhart argues that the Second Amendment no longer serves a national purpose. He claims gun violence has reached epidemic proportions; this is why we need to reconsider the necessity of the Second Amendment. However, this is only looking at one side of the coin.
A study published by the CDC found that firearms are used in at least as many defensive uses as criminal uses. In 2008, about 300,000 people committed crimes with firearms and anywhere from 500,000- 3,000,000 people used firearms defensively. This means firearms do at least as much good as harm in the United States, but likely much more good. A common argument that pro-Second Amendment advocates make is that without firearms, the law-abiding citizen leave themselves to the mercy of gun-wielding criminals. In my opinion, these statistics prove this. If law-abiding citizens did not have access to firearms in 2008, about 500,000 more crimes would’ve been committed. Without the guarantee to keep and bear arms, the US could very easily see a spike in the crime rate.
Mr. Reinhart goes on to say, “Nine of those amendments do stand alone as inalienable rights, but the Second Amendment is different”. But he does say why it is different. He points out the “weird” wording of the amendment but does not elaborate further. He then says, “If the right to bear arms was intended to be timeless, why wasn’t it stated very simply in the First Amendment?” This is an apparent contradiction to his previous statement that the other nine are inalienable besides the Second Amendment. If the others are inalienable and timeless why aren’t they all in the First Amendment? It is because the numerical order of each amendment does not bear weight on the utility or the viability of amendment or the right protected in that amendment.
Assuming Militias in the Second Amendment?
Mr. Reinhart says that people assume the Second Amendment gives people the right to form militias but does not dispute this fact outright. Instead, he goes on to say that the reason the Second Amendment capitalizes “Malitias” is that the militias are actually just state-run groups that kept law and order, squashed rebellions, and repel invasions. Furthermore, he argues that the militias turned themselves into the National Guard and the National Guard no longer needs privately owned firearms to supply the group. While it is true that the National Guards adopted many state militias, it is not true that citizens cannot form private militias.
Many private militias exist today and operate within the full scope of the law. It is important to have privately run militias because if the government controlled all the militias it would defeat a key purpose, protecting against tyranny. Opposing tyranny is a stated purpose for many private militias in the US. Bearing arms is an integral requirement for fulfilling the purpose.
It is suggested that the NRA controls votes in Congress, and therefore they do not implement gun regulation. What the writer fails to mention is that the NRA is a collective organization of “nearly 5 million” US citizens. These citizens who all support firearm ownership. It is a group of gun owners banding together to tell our leaders that they support the Second Amendment. They are not the only group of their kind. The NRA is simply a collective bargaining group that allows gun owners to protect their rights. They’re similar to a labor union in that way.
Guns and Biological Masculinity
Finally, Mr. Reinhart argues that firearms fill a biological need for men to feel powerful and when a man holds a firearm this makes him more aggressive. While I cannot speak for every man, I can tell you what holding a firearm does for me. When holding a firearm, I feel the need to be extremely careful. The gravity of the situation isn’t a mystery to me. I feel the need to conduct myself properly and to ensure myself and others are safe.
I can also say that a sure-fire way to get scolded by a “gun nut” is to have your finger on the trigger while not actually firing. In fact, I would suggest that personally, a firearm fills the biological need for a man to protect. Owning a firearm gives me peace of mind. It is the comfort that no matter the size of a threat, I have a chance to protect myself and my family.
Firearms allow people to protect themselves from tyranny and everyday danger alike. We should do everything we can to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally deficient. But we should also continue to encourage responsible, legal firearm ownership. The Second Amendment is timeless and, God willing, will continue to protect us for many generations to come.
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