2nd Amendment Essay, Research Paper
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.