The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America asserts, ?Awell-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the peopleto keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
? At the time when this amendment waspassed, the country was still primarily an agrarian and hunting society, guns were ahousehold item, and necessary for daily life. The armed farmer was the principal soldierin the revolution to establish an independent country. The framers of the Constitutionunderstood that these gun-wielding countrymen were essential to the revolution, andwanted to insure the people would never be defenseless. In recent decades, with thewaning practical application of guns in an industrialized nation, the Second Amendmenthas come under much fire. Living in a technologically advanced country, United Statescitizens no longer have a need for guns in their everyday lives and, therefore, manyAmericans have grown up in gun-less homes. The recent rash of violence across thecountry has shown that the ideals of modern American society have gone awry.
Many arequick to blame guns as the reason for this violence. Actually, the problem is not thepossession of guns; Americans have had them for over 200 years. Instead, the demise ofthe morals of society and the lack of restraint of the American public have caused therecent violent trend. Guns are merely a tool.
In the hands of immoral and undisciplinedpeople, they are put to evil purposes. The problem lies in the fact that the amendment was created to deal with themuzzle-loaders of the time, and now guns have evolved into killing machines, not justhunting rifles. These new guns however, are no more capable of killing without a mancontrolling them; guns have been prevalent for literally hundreds of years without beingused as weapons for humans against humans, except in times of war. Guns have been inAmerican 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 theAmerican people through television, movies and even music. Movie and televisionproducers are businessmen, and they produce what sells, that usually being violence. With the American public watching such films, and loving them, the influence oneveryday life cannot be ignored. Statistical facts from other countries show the USA to be much more violent thanmost other industrialized countries.
Last year, Paris suffered less than 25% of the violencethat occurred in Washington DC, and Paris is four times as large. The classic society thatis 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 termsGeneration X and the Me Generation have been coined and convey the selfishness that isevident in modern society. The Columbine High School violence spree is simply one ofthe recent acts of violence, but it illustrates how the country’s ?troubled? youth arereacting to their surroundings. People are taking a more violent approach to try to solveproblems than ever before, and that is certainly not solving anything.
The recent increase in job related violence can be blamed on the increased stressand desensitization of the average worker. This new approach to workplace problems isvery evident, recently in Hawaii and is so common that the term ?going postal? has beencreated to describe workplace shootings. In the early years of our country, and in mostplaces around the world at a boss or a layoff might have been expressed through yellingor at worst, throwing a chair. The desensitization of the American worker has caused himto take a different approach in very recent times, the approach of violence expressed withthe abuse of guns.
The issue of gun control is historically split between the two major politicalparties in the US The Democrats have always pushed for stricter gun laws, and theRepublicans have always been for lenient laws. Heavy campaign contributions are madeto both parties in hope to push certain group’s views with The National Rifle Associationleading the way with large contributions to the Republican Party. Regardless of party,most politicians agree that something must be altered in the present equilibrium, becauseviolence is almost becoming routine. The Second Amendment was intended for the purpose of reminding thesepoliticians that they are there to serve the people, and no other reason.
Although electionsare usually enough incentive for politicians to please the people, they need to know thatthe people can revolt, and the Constitution is not the last ruling document that thiscountry will ever see. The brilliance in the Constitution is that the Framers allowed forchanges in society and changes in government. They knew that they could not map thefate 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 theFramers of the Constitution could never envision what would become of guns or theviolence that would occur in the US, they cannot be blamed. The amendment was nevera problem for the first 200 years of our existence, and that points to a problem in modernsociety, not the Constitution. Before something that has been around for centuries ischanged, maybe what has changed in recent decades should be examined. Modern American society is based on instant gratification and what people absorbfrom their surroundings.
Unfortunately, these surroundings are not always the bestinfluences. Movies, television and music are filled with violence, drugs and sex. Ifsociety surrounds itself with such activities, the influences will be widespread. In conclusion, the focus of violence and violent behavior is often directed at gunsand the availability of handguns.
Instead, the focus should be turned on society and thechanging morals and actions that have caused something that has always been present inour society, guns, to become a problem in recent times. Although more efficient, gunstoday serve the same purpose as always, and in no other time period or any other moderncountry has the problem with gun violence that the United States has. Maybe societyshould change instead of changing a document that has been steadfast for over 200 years.