Protect the United States by Protecting the Second Amendment

Charlie Kraemer, Staff Writer

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After the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, many seek a solution to our nation’s concerning gun violence. Some are even arguing for a repeal of the second amendment itself. This argument is severely lacking in both nuance and warrant. While America does have a gun problem, a repeal of the second amendment is premature. Not only can more moderate measures be taken that pose fewer negatives to American life, but the argument that such a repeal poses a reliable solution to gun violence in the United States is unsubstantiated.

The first significant detriment of repealing the second amendment would be a large expansion of the federal government’s power. Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the right to bear arms has served as a deterrent to tyranny. This system works because it places a check on unjust governmental expansion. The government must face the reality that, should it behave unjustly, its own people have an effective means of retaliation. Excessive gun control has been one of the first steps in the development of many of history’s most cruel totalitarian states, including Nazi Germany. Depriving Americans of the right to bear arms only increases the likelihood of future tragedy occurring in our nation at the hands of an overbearing federal government.

Furthermore, the notion that the American government should control what its people do on a day to day basis goes against the strong values that the nation was founded upon. America has long retained a proud national identity as a group of individuals capable of pursuing what is best for them, not one federal power capable of defining the common good on its own. Many Americans currently benefit from their liberty to use guns both recreationally and for personal security, and would be upset by an obstruction of that right. A complete repeal of the second amendment would only exacerbate the increasing state of discontent, discomfort, and polarization in our country, while also threatening America’s fundamental values.

In addition to the tremendous harms posed by repealing the second amendment, we can’t even be confident that it will yield any benefits. While supporters of such a repeal use evidence to demonstrate that gun violence exists in America (a truth near universally agreed upon), they lack empirical evidence that gun control will end this violence. Historically, gun control has failed to reduce gun violence significantly when implemented. Looking to Chicago, it is clear that even when gun control exists on some level, it doesn’t stop criminals from simply distributing guns illegally. Aggressive gun control has not ridden Chicago of its unfortunate reputation as the most homicidal city in the United States, with 700 recorded murders last year.

Depriving Americans of the right to bear arms only increases the likelihood of future tragedy occurring in our nation at the hands of an overbearing federal government.”

— Charlie Kraemer

Another misconception is that repealing the second amendment would substantially reduce suicide in the United States. Japan, a nation with some of the toughest gun control laws, has nearly double the suicide rate of America. Clearly, there is not a cause and effect relationship between reducing access to guns and reducing suicide. Without warrant in the form of real-world evidence, advocacy for a repeal of the second amendment is only an emotional reaction to current problems facing America.

Infringing on the long-preserved right to bear arms is not a proper solution to America’s concerning gun problems. While it is fair to discuss moderate measures, like cracking down more heavily on semi-automatic weapons in response to recent gun violence, a repeal of the second amendment would not only fail to achieve its proposed benefits, but also result in the loss of an effective check on governmental tyranny as well as obstruction of valued individual liberties in America. The argument that repealing the second amendment will prevent future incidents like the shooting in Las Vegas from occurring is only reactionary.

America is a beautiful nation sustained by its protection of individual, personal liberty. Until a repeal of the second amendment is favored, both by concrete evidence and a democratic majority, it is quite frankly no American’s business to obstruct the rights of his or her fellow American.