The Second Amendment


The Second 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.

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