The debate over gun control and the second amendment has gone on for years. Ultimately, the interpretation of the second amendment and the rule of law regarding the possession of firearms depends on who you ask. It seems that those on both sides of the debate take an “all or nothing” point of view.
If you ask an opponent of gun control they would most likely say there is no debate, after all, the second amendment is quite clear.
Those in favor of gun control will have no trouble citing countless cases of innocent bystanders and victims of violent crimes being injured or killed as a result of the lack of gun control and thereby make a compelling argument that guns should be outlawed.
Is it possible that both are, to some degree, right? The second amendment reads as follows:
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.
When I read this I have to ask myself one question, has the wording become outdated as it applies to the modern world? Our founding fathers had no knowledge of the evolution of firearms or of America and our military power.
They could not have foreseen a time when the muskets and flintlocks of their day would be replaced by assault rifles and automatic handguns.
They could not have foreseen a time when America would be one of the most powerful countries in the world with a powerful full time military to defend us against our enemies. They could not have foreseen a time when “well regulated” militia would be represented by the thousands of reservist who serve our country on a moments notice when called upon to do so.
Is it possible that the real question is not how do we protect or eradicate the second amendment but rather how do we modernize it?
We often hear the argument that “I need my guns for hunting”, or “I need them to protect my home from possible intruders”. Both of these can be considered valid points, however, do we really need an AK47, Uzi, or AR15 for hunting? Can we not defend ourselves with the same shotgun we use for hunting; will it somehow be less effective than an automatic handgun?
Is their a valid reason why a honest person with a valid reason to own a firearm would object to a waiting period, background check, or a permit for a handgun? With handguns being the weapon of choice for most criminals is it possible that eliminating handguns could decrease crime by making it more difficult to conceal a weapon?
These are just a few of the points that will debated well into the future. What is your opinion? Is it possible to modernize the second amendment and find a reasonable compromise to this debate?