It’s Too Easy for Any Arms to Bear Arms

by Brawnson Adams

The Second Amendment, which states that American citizens have the right to bear arms, has been under debate many times in the past.  When reading the amendment, it can be interpreted that the intention of said amendment was to allow for safety and a well-regulated militia. In many tragic events, some have abused a privilege reserved for protection and used it for harm. Currently, there has been a movement to ban assault rifles, which I think it a misguided initiative.  In a ten-year span from 1994 till 2004, a prohibition of assault weapons was enacted which prevented the possession of assault weapons to the general public.  Before the span of the ban, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives measured that only 1% of the guns in circulation were an assault weapon so the measure did not affect the majority of gun owners in the country.  In 2010, firearms accounted for roughly 67.6 % of all homicides at 8,775 homicides.  When putting factors in to perspective, guns and ammunition of all kinds are a means for harm, though they aren’t always the reason.  People use guns to kill people and each case has different motives, however, if those committing homicides have a harder time acquiring firearms and bullets, perhaps fatalities by way of firearms will decrease.

When looking into the matter, it is fairly simple to purchase a gun in most states.  It seems that as long as you have the money, one can buy a gun or even multiple guns, no questions asked.  Each state has their own laws regarding firearms and the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) is a big advocate of gun rights for Americans.  The N.R.A. is a big machine that has inserted itself into the government and in recent years has pushed its supported actions through various levels of government in a number of different issues.  Some claim that the government is afraid to challenge the N.R.A. as such, firearm restrictions are not very strict.  Other propose that because it is election season, politicians want to do everything they can to put run a successful campaign and won’t touch the highly controversial gun issues as a result.  Whatever the reason maybe, one thing is clear; it is too easy to obtain a gun and officials need to crack down on the regulations.

This issue has a couple contributing factors; the ease of gun acquisition because of deficient gun and ammunition regulations and illegal gun acquisitions because of a lack of uniformity among the states.  Every state has their own regulations, or lack there of, for firearms.  According to Trace the Guns.org, only 13 states, Hawaii included, require a permit to purchase a firearm.  A column written by John Rosenthal on the Huffington Post conveys that 33 states allow private firearms dealers to sell guns without an I.D. or background check.  The absence of identification requirements allows anyone from anywhere to purchase a firearm and simply take it back to where they came from, making the stricter regulations in their home state irrelevant.  Many states required a permit to carry a concealed weapon but no such permit is required to purchase one.  The recent happenings in Colorado involving James Holmes and his rampage at a movie premier are a prime example of what can happen as a result of guns being too easily available.  Holmes was able to buy guns from various places in Colorado over the course of two months and also purchased six thousand rounds of ammunition anonymously online without a single question being asked according to a post on CNN.  I personally think that one should be questioned with such purchases as to their intent with the products.  A background check would serve as a good basis for gun distributors as perhaps, through the check, they could uncover things that could raise concern.  For example, a common denominator in massacres seems to be mental instability.  In recent developments with the Holmes case, those were, at one point, questioning if Holmes was mentally fit for trial.  An interesting thing to note about Holmes’ case and some others are the detailed plans written out by the gunman to fulfill.  In July of 2011, Anders Breivik bombed an area outside the Norwegian Prime Minster’s office and then went on a shooting spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya.  In both Holmes and Breivik’s situation, both reportedly wrote about the issues they were dealing with and about the crimes they were soon to commit.  If there were background checks in place, run by the firearms dealers, maybe the dealers would be able to see alarming things such as mental instability or possible motives for harm and maybe even suggest help to a psychiatrist

To couple background checks, I also think that those interested in buying guns should be limited in the amount of ammunition allowed to be purchased at any one time and they should have to purchase them in person and not online.  I understand that some purchase ammunition for hunting and other recreational activities that may require many rounds to be purchased but I’m sure no one needs to buy six thousand rounds at a time like Holmes did.  The fact that Holmes purchased ammunition online is also alarming to me.  The extremely easy access to instruments of high destruction such as guns should be reconsidered as it poses a danger to everyone.

I understand that there is a basic right to be allowed to all citizens of the United States stating that they have a right to bear arms.  I think that those who desire to have firearms enough will comply with the regulations set in place to get what they want.  It may be a little invasive and somewhat cumbersome but in the end, safety is the main intent.  I do not believe in a ban on firearms because if one feels the need to carry one for safety, they should be allowed to do so but those unfit for possession should not be allowed to carry a powerful device of that magnitude.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Frances, Allen. “Mass Murders, Madness, and Gun Control.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 July 2012. Web. 01 Aug. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/mass-murders-madness-and-_b_1713812.html&gt;.

“Gun Laws Permits Statistics – States Compared – StateMaster.” Gun Laws Permits Statistics – States Compared – StateMaster. N.p., 2003. Web. 2 Aug. 2012. <http://www.statemaster.com/graph/gov_gun_law_per-government-gun-laws-permits&gt;.

HARRIS, DAN, and MICHAEL S. JAMES. “Massacre Plan Mailed? If So, Colorado Theater Shooting Suspect Would Not Be the First.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 26 July 2012. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/US/james-holmes-mailed-massacre-plan-colorado-theater-shooting/story?id=16866594&gt;.

Liptak, Kevin. “As Politicians Question Value of Gun Control, Bloomberg Calls for Action.” CNN Political Ticker. N.p., 22 July 2012. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/22/gun-control-debated-after-theater-massacre/&gt;.

McDonald, Jonathan. “President Obama Looks to Tackle US Gun Control Laws.” Latest News, World, Entertainment and Comment from MassNewsMedia.com. N.p., 29 July 2012. Web. 01 Aug. 2012. <http://massnewsmedia.com/news/10247/president-obama-looks-to-tackle-us-gun-control-laws/&gt;.

Moisse, Katie. “Anders Breivik: Unraveling Violent Crimes and Mental Illness.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/04/27/anders-breivik-unraveling-violent-crimes-and-mental-illness/&gt;.

“National Rifle Association.” New York Times.com. N.p., 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_rifle_association/index.html&gt;.

“NY, NJ Lawmakers Want Ammunition Sales Restricted.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 31 July 2012. Web. 01 Aug. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501363_162-57483088/ny-nj-lawmakers-want-ammunition-sales-restricted/&gt;.

Rosenthal, John. “Shame on Congress — Renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban!” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-rosenthal/gun-control-laws_b_1730567.html?utm_hp_ref=gun-control&gt;.

“Second Amendment.” Legal Information Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment&gt;.

Shank, Michael. “Why the Gun Control Debate Doesn’t Do Justice to Colorado Killings.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 July 2012. Web. 2 Aug. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-shank/why-gun-control-debate-do_b_1690107.html&gt;.

Smith, Sebastian. “Politics.” Mother Nature Network. N.p., 31 July 2012. Web. 01 Aug. 2012. <http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/politics/stories/us-gun-control-leaders-try-again-to-hit-target&gt;.

“Trace the Guns.” Trace the Guns. N.p., Sept. 2010. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://www.tracetheguns.org/&gt;.

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