What will it take for us to do something to regulate the sale of and access to firearms?
The argument that the Second Ammendment protects our right to bear arms doesn’t hold up anymore. Our society has gotten to a point where people are so impulsive, so negligent of mental and emotional health, and so violent, that the right for one person to bear arms means inevitably others will lose their lives.
Though the Second Amendment was adopted with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791, in 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two big decisions regarding it. In 2008, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In 2010, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment.
Now we need to go even further. There must be more prohibitions, more restrictions. It doesn’t matter if YOU are responsible, some people are not or are unable to be. With firearms out and about in our society as it is right now, it is inevitable that innocent people will die because of them.
Since Friday’s tragedy, there have been numerous petitions going around about gun control. One says we should demand armed guards stand at the gates of schools. I understand the impulse. It’s terrifying what happened and if nothing changes, it will happen again. But, that’s the opposite of where we need to go. An armed presence does not a safe school make. It makes guns the norm. It makes people hide what they are doing and ‘police’ each other.
I was held up once and there was a police officer standing probably thirty feet away. He didn’t see and consequently, he did nothing. When you have a gun facing you, you don’t scream for help, even if help is right there. My point is that more police in schools or more guns there, won’t necessarily make us safer, they might provide an illusion of safety, but that is an illusion and one that gives us the sense that school is a dangerous place.
I want to live in a world with fewer guns. Schools need to work to form plans for how they can be safer as institutions. As a society, we must work to lower rates of violence, stop sensationalizing violence, be curious about each other, get to know each other, ask about guns, talk about guns and weapons, talk about safety, talk about emotions, talk about mental health, use our words, communicate with each other verbally, push for mental health, and we must look at how we regulate who gets a gun and what guns are available.
The Second Amendment is to protect our right to have guns to protect ourselves, but what if guns other people have kill us?