Point/Counterpoint: Your 2nd Amendment Rights
January 7, 2013 by Tim Young
The other day, I received an opinion piece from one of our writers, Bailey O’Malia, that discussed the 2nd Amendment. In it, she made many of the same mistakes made by a lot of liberals, “progressives” or whatever they call themselves today to not sound bad.
I thought about how I wanted to post it and then realized I couldn’t let it go without weighing in on the issue.
Frankly, she was wrong. So I posted my response and created a point/counterpoint article. I want you to read her piece and mine and then get in on this argument. If you think she’s wrong, tell her. If you think I’m wrong, tell me. We begin with O’Malia’s argument.
Point: The Right to Bear Arms — Within Reason
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, Americans and politicians have spent time reflecting on gun control.
We often hear that our Founding Fathers wrote our right to bear arms into the Constitution as a way to protect ourselves from harm — that they wanted us to have that right, even today.
But that’s not something I’m so sure about.
When the Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution, their idea of a weapon was a musket — not an automatic weapon. The gun they had in mind would be used for safety or for hunting.
With this in mind, I wonder what the fathers of our Nation would have said about civilians owning military-grade weapons that can shoot 100 rounds in a minute.
Surely, there is no need for a civilian to hold that kind of power in his hand. In fact, why should anyone have that much power over another human being? Do we really trust each other’s judgment?
I’ve been thinking about this for days, and I can’t come up with one good reason that a person would need anything more than a handgun or rifle for “safety.”
So when the discussion of changing the gun laws is brought up, I think: “What a perfectly simple solution; ban all automatic weapons.” This appeases Democrats because they will have made steps toward gun reform, and it appeases Republicans because they won’t be fully losing their right to bear arms. Do you consider shooting an automatic weapon a fun hobby? They could still be available to rent at a gun range.
But this is a compromise — a concept politicians and Americans are unfamiliar with these days.
If you’re pro-guns, at this point you’re probably saying: “But it’s my right, and they’re taking away all of our rights.”
But it’s also your right to feel safe in this country. And despite the theorists who say, “Arm every person in the country; that’ll scare ’em,” the lunatics who are shooting up movie theaters and schools don’t seem to place much value on their lives or the lives of others.
Before you start spouting your Founding Fathers crap, take a second to think about the core principle that this country was supposedly built on: freedom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel very “free” knowing that my neighbor could be housing an AK-47 in his garage.
Counterpoint: The Reason for the Right to Bear Arms
As intelligent as I think Bailey is, she’s dead wrong here. I do feel safer knowing that my neighbor could be housing an AK-47 in his garage. Why? Because I know most of my neighbors are honest, hardworking people who aren’t nutcases looking to shoot up schoolchildren.
See, what happens when these terrible tragedies occur is the media blow things out of proportion to spread their leftist views. I generally don’t yell and point fingers about how biased they are; but this time, they really have showed their hand. Somewhere in the middle of all the hype about how access to guns was the issue here, we forget what the 2nd Amendment was really about.
When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they wanted to ensure that all people were equal — equal with each other and equal with the government. Yes, when this was all written, people had only muskets. But do you know who else had only muskets? The government.
We had just finished overthrowing a tyrannical government in order to become a free nation; and the Founders, who literally helped fight in that war, wanted the American people to have equal footing with whatever government took over, in order to prevent tyranny if necessary once again. These guys were smart; they weren’t thinking inside the box of their time. They were completely aware that technology would change, but they wanted Americans to be able to stand up for themselves. How does one do that? By having the same level of weaponry as the government!
The Constitution was written with revolution in mind, not the peace that we have internally had for about 150 years now. I say 150 years, because we fought ourselves with our armed militias in the Civil War; we have been lucky to have had internal peace since then. But you can’t closed-mindedly say that the 2nd Amendment was for limited weapons. It just wasn’t. It was meant to keep people on the same level as the government so that they could fight for their rights if necessary.
Sure, if my neighbors had rocket launchers, I think I’d be scared just because they could blow up my house. But if the Founders were still around, I think they’d be all right with it.