Inside the Second Amendment

Riddhi Andurkar, Managing Editor

Dec. 14, 2012: A 20-year-old man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and killed 26 students and faculty.

Dec. 2, 2015: A couple entered a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif. and opened fire. Fourteen were killed and 22 were injured.

June 12, 2016: A 29-year-old American-born man who had pledged allegiance to ISIS shot 102 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 and inuring 53.

Oct. 1, 2017: From the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., a gunman broke open the window of his room and opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people attending a concert, killing 58 and injuring over 500.

As a nation, we have been repeatedly shocked by incidents of mass shootings in the last few years. Each time, no matter who the shooter is or what motivated the shooter to kill, the victims were mostly innocent men, women and even children, going about their lives.

Shooters have used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S, a Glock 20SF,  a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic pistol, a pipe bomb, a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooting, investigators found 23 firearms and even more in his houses.

In 2015, 13,286 people in the U.S. were killed by firearms. In those same shootings, 26,819 people were injured, according to BBC.

Also according to BBC, in 2012, the number of gun murders in the U.S. was 30 times the number of gun murders in the U.K. Gun sales are very restricted in the U.K. and this is reflected in the significantly lower gun-related murders.

So far, in 2017, there have been over 50,000 gun-related incidents nationwide in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive.

In 2016, 762 people were killed in Chicago. Sixty-one percent of these homicides were gun homicides.

Recently in our own school, a student was discovered with a gun, though it was unloaded.

The Second Amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This amendment is supported by those in favor of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The passage of the Second Amendment resulted in the permanent prevention of gun control laws.

The Founding Fathers used vague language in the development of the Second Amendment. Therefore, it is subject to interpretation and has resulted in such senseless acts of violence that victimized not only the people killed, but their families as well. Those in favor of guns consider the Second Amendment a guarantee of their right to carry any firearm, while those opposed to guns in our society are of the opinion that the Second Amendment should be limited in scope relative to the kinds of guns that should be permitted in a civilized society.

Supporters of the Second Amendment say that if “guns are outlawed, only outlaws will purchase guns.” These supporters see these mass shootings as motivation to purchase guns because they believe that if they had had a gun, they would have shot the gunman. As a result, after each mass shooting, the demand and supply for guns skyrockets as do the stocks of the gun manufacturing companies.

Those who oppose the Second Amendment say that it is okay to have a handgun, but they question the need for the layman to have an automatic weapon that can fire hundreds of rounds per minute. They argue that such weapons should be only for law enforcement and military.

The Second Amendment implies that anyone is eligible to purchase a firearm. As a result, even people incapable of safely handling a gun, such as the mentally unstable, have been able to purchase firearms. Such people then carry out mass shootings.

The supporters of guns argue that people kill people, not guns. If we believe in this notion, then we need to start early. A perfect solution could be elusive, but we have to start somewhere. In schools, for example, there should to be programs regarding individual responsibilities that come with ownership of a weapon. Another thing that can be initiated are programs such as meditation, yoga, Tai-Chi or the like, that, when practiced regularly, enable individuals to exercise mind-body control.

After considering this information, it is up to us to decide the fate of gun control. Ultimately, we have to decide between two things: whether to live without gun control, waiting for the next news broadcast announcing yet another act of gun violence or to place some restrictions on obtaining a firearm and live assured that the freedom to bear arms and the safety of Americans is guaranteed. In the least, the incidences of mass shootings of innocent people can be minimized or even eliminated from our society.