BLOG: We’re All Fearful of Something

KATIE PICKRELL

When the words “gun control” come about in conversation, NRA members and gun owners cling on to their weapons, scared to death that they may have to live in a nation without them. On the other hand, students, teachers, parents and people alike see a glimmer of hope to escape from the fear of the worst outcome of a nation without restrictions.

As the daughter of two conservative parents, I hear the first side more than I hear the latter. Yet I still feel myself correlating my beliefs with a more liberal view on the matter.

In the United States, there are four main reasons people own guns: Self defense, hunting and sport, because it’s considered a constitutional right and just for the joy of owning guns.

Countries that have increased gun control and security don’t allow such as Australia don’t even allow self defense as a reasonable excuse for gun ownership.

I can think of more than four reasons that I agree with an approach along the lines of Australian law. In other words, unless it is owned for a genuinely reasonable purpose, I don’t oppose restricting the ownership or use of firearms.

One reason above all others is pretty obvious: Limiting gun access would prevent thousands of deaths every year– whether I’m referring to accidental shootings, violence, suicide or other illness induced attacks.

While a gun owner may be fearful of losing their weapon, I (and many others) am afraid that their right to keep it may lead to something terrible in my own personal future. With that in mind, deciding on how to go about gun violence should be a weighing of pros and cons.

Is someone’s constitutional right truly weighed above someone else’s right to life?

Many avid gun carriers would argue yes, just as many have in light of mass shootings.

But the majority of that group of people doesn’t recognize what the Second Amendment actually says.

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.

The 27-word, awkwardly composed clause is truly referring to a militia, not to individuals. As much as some people like to argue that our founding fathers intended for the citizens of the United States to have their right to bear arms, it probably isn’t true if even at all possible.

The only valid argument many constitutionalists actually have when it comes to gun control is the libertarian approach. “If it doesn’t say I can’t, then I can,” is how I’m used to hearing it.

But there’s a lot of things the Constitution doesn’t technically say you can’t do. This is because, for the most part, the Constitution lays out a list of rights rather than a list of limitations.

Instead of believing that the law ratified over 200 years ago is correct, maybe we should look at it as an opportunity to improve upon the basis of what’s already there.

I understand that many don’t see the way I do when it comes to gun control. I also understand that what happened in Australia, due to our own lack of ability, is probably impossible in the United States. But it’s still worthy of noting that in our country– which faces death in the form of a bullet far more often than it should– something needs to be done on the matter.  

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