Essay, Research Paper: Second Amendment

Legal Issues

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The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
asserts, “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.”
At the time when this amendment was passed, the country was still primarily an
agrarian and hunting society, guns were a household item, and necessary for
daily life. The armed farmer was the principal soldier in the revolution to
establish an independent country. The framers of the Constitution understood
that these gun-wielding countrymen were essential to the revolution, and wanted
to insure the people would never be defenseless. In recent decades, with the
waning practical application of guns in an industrialized nation, the Second
Amendment has come under much fire. Living in a technologically advanced
country, United States citizens no longer have a need for guns in their everyday
lives and, therefore, many Americans have grown up in gun-less homes. The recent
rash of violence across the country has shown that the ideals of modern American
society have gone awry. Many are quick to blame guns as the reason for this
violence. Actually, the problem is not the possession of guns; Americans have
had them for over 200 years. Instead, the demise of the morals of society and
the lack of restraint of the American public have caused the recent violent
trend. Guns are merely a tool. In the hands of immoral and undisciplined people,
they are put to evil purposes. The problem lies in the fact that the amendment
was created to deal with the muzzle-loaders of the time, and now guns have
evolved into killing machines, not just hunting rifles. These new guns however,
are no more capable of killing without a man controlling them; guns have been
prevalent for literally hundreds of years without being used as weapons for
humans against humans, except in times of war. Guns have been in American homes
since 1776, and they were not associated with violence until recently. The
current trend of school and workplace violence is due to the desensitization of
the American people through television, movies and even music. Movie and
television producers are businessmen, and they produce what sells, that usually
being violence. With the American public watching such films, and loving them,
the influence on everyday life cannot be ignored. Statistical facts from other
countries show the USA to be much more violent than most other industrialized
countries. Last year, Paris suffered less than 25% of the violence that occurred
in Washington DC, and Paris is four times as large. The classic society that is
present in Europe does not have the same fetish with violence as is present in
America. “Progressive” generations in the American society are in essence
regressing; the terms Generation X and the Me Generation have been coined and
convey the selfishness that is evident in modern society. The Columbine High
School violence spree is simply one of the recent acts of violence, but it
illustrates how the country’s “troubled” youth are reacting to their
surroundings. People are taking a more violent approach to try to solve problems
than ever before, and that is certainly not solving anything. The recent
increase in job related violence can be blamed on the increased stress and
desensitization of the average worker. This new approach to workplace problems
is very evident, recently in Hawaii and is so common that the term “going
postal” has been created to describe workplace shootings. In the early years
of our country, and in most places around the world at a boss or a layoff might
have been expressed through yelling or at worst, throwing a chair. The
desensitization of the American worker has caused him to take a different
approach in very recent times, the approach of violence expressed with the abuse
of guns. The issue of gun control is historically split between the two major
political parties in the US The Democrats have always pushed for stricter gun
laws, and the Republicans have always been for lenient laws. Heavy campaign
contributions are made to both parties in hope to push certain group’s views
with The National Rifle Association leading the way with large contributions to
the Republican Party. Regardless of party, most politicians agree that something
must be altered in the present equilibrium, because violence is almost becoming
routine. The Second Amendment was intended for the purpose of reminding these
politicians that they are there to serve the people, and no other reason.
Although elections are usually enough incentive for politicians to please the
people, they need to know that the people can revolt, and the Constitution is
not the last ruling document that this country will ever see. The brilliance in
the Constitution is that the Framers allowed for changes in society and changes
in government. They knew that they could not map the fate of the country in a
few months. Today, the Second Amendment is outdated, and not currently
effective. It is, however, part of the Constitution and that will not change in
any time near. Since the Framers of the Constitution could never envision what
would become of guns or the violence that would occur in the US, they cannot be
blamed. The amendment was never a problem for the first 200 years of our
existence, and that points to a problem in modern society, not the Constitution.
Before something that has been around for centuries is changed, maybe what has
changed in recent decades should be examined. Modern American society is based
on instant gratification and what people absorb from their surroundings.
Unfortunately, these surroundings are not always the best influences. Movies,
television and music are filled with violence, drugs and sex. If society
surrounds itself with such activities, the influences will be widespread. In
conclusion, the focus of violence and violent behavior is often directed at guns
and the availability of handguns. Instead, the focus should be turned on society
and the changing morals and actions that have caused something that has always
been present in our society, guns, to become a problem in recent times. Although
more efficient, guns today serve the same purpose as always, and in no other
time period or any other modern country has the problem with gun violence that
the United States has. Maybe society should change instead of changing a
document that has been steadfast for over 200 years.
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