Guns in America: Inalienable Right or Inalienable Disaster?
Nothing is hotter in American domestic policy than the issue of gun control. In most western, developed nations, guns are illegal and very difficult to obtain. Yet in America, guns are about as easy to buy as a nice pair of shoes. In the state of Tennessee, all it takes is clicking a button, paying a fee, and you’ll get a “concealed weapons license package” sent straight to your doorstep.
The United States Second Amendment guarantees all American citizens the right to bear arms. This is perhaps the most commonly cited legal precedent used by gun rights defenders when lobbying to protect citizen ownership of automatic weapons. The original text of the Second Amendment cites the right of America, which was then a very young nation, to keep “a well-regulated militia” in order to protect the country.
Guns and the Supreme Court
Several Supreme Court cases in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries issued rulings that were quite contrary to today’s rhetoric of gun rights, and civilian access to guns was limited. Today, however, it seems the Supreme Court has come to favor this “inalienable” right of American men, women, and children to carry weapons, including automatic weapons and handguns that can be legally hidden from view.
For gun owners, this is a success, because those who want to own a gun in the hopes of protecting one’s self and family against a robbery or worse will be armed and hopefully prepared.
Potential for Gun Violence
Yet mass shootings have become regular fodder for citizens who acquire guns for purposes other than self-protection. From Columbine to San Bernadino, barely a year passes without America witnessing another aggressive attack from the hands of an American exercising his inalienable right.
In the wake of each tragedy, Congress debates endlessly about the pros and cons of gun laws for the masses, yet no permanent changes have happened.