Gun rights. Do the American people have the right to carry a gun according to the Constitution? Are guns dangerous? Is the second amendment outdated? Are guns needed now, in the twenty-first century?
Yes. No. Yes.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States-
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. [Emphasis mine]
This amendment states, beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt, that Constitutionally, the American people are granted the right to own and carry guns. Yes, this amendment also mentions a militia. But at the time this was written, every man (males 14 and older) who could tote a gun were considered the 'militia'. Women were also counted into the 'militia' if some catastrophe happened and there were no able bodied men left.
Hence, the American people can carry guns anytime they please. This right cannot be infringed. Infringed means violated, encroached. Things like gun laws are, in my opinion, infringing the right to carry a gun, as it adds unnecessary legal process and bureaucracy to the simple act of owning a gun.
"But the Constitution is outdated!"
An argument I have heard manymany times- more times than I would like to count. So, our system of government is outdated. Our Congressional election style is outdated? Our Presidential veto is outdated? Our government for the people, by the people is outdated?
"But guns are....dangerous!"
Yeah. That's what makes them so fun!
No, not really. In experienced, practiced hands that have been trained in the use of a firearm, they aren't all that dangerous. Yes, accidents can happen. Yes, some people have gotten killed by accidental discharge.
But when handled properly, guns are no more dangerous than a glass of water. I know of a family who has guns. Many guns. They had young children, and now grandchildren. Their guns stay out. The kids know not to touch the guns, because they have been trained that guns are dangerous, since before they were old enough to understand. It is no problem.
"Guns kill people!"
No. People kill people. If guns kill people, why don't we put the gun in jail?
If someone wants to kill another, they will do it. They don't need a gun. In your household, you have plenty of items that could potentially kill someone.
And oh yeah, what was that other one...oh yeah- Humans!!
The list of items that can be used to kill someone goes on. And on. And on and on and on. There is no end to it. If someone wants to kill someone, they will do it, regardless of if they have a gun or not.
"Without strict gun laws, the criminals will get guns."
They get guns anyway. The only thing gun laws do is deprive law abiding citizens of protection they are legally allowed to have, making them more susceptible to a homicide or a robbery in which a gun is used.
"But guns are just fundamentally bad. There isn't any real reason we should have them."
The Constitution, ladies and gentlemen. Go read it, it will do you good.
The Constitution guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms. That means that any gun laws that prohibit or hamper the keeping of firearms are unconstitutional. (Side note- that does not mean I think that every citizen should have a tank in their backyard. Those are military weapons, which I am not sure about. There may be some other hamper to that. I don't know.)
The Constitutional Bill of Rights was intended to make sure that the people's rights were not infringed. That means that the entirety of the Constitution is intended to keep the government in check.
Using this line of reasoning, we can conclude that the reason the American people are allowed to keep guns is to keep the government in check.
Governments have a history of going astray. England did it. Spain did it. Rome did it. Every single government in the history of the world has slipped up and started going the wrong way- becoming more totalitarian, etc. This kind of government is the polar opposite of a democratic republic.
So, the founders instituted some very interesting clauses in the Constitution. For starters, the representatives are, in a rather indirect way (at that time), elected by the people. If the people do not, for some reason, like the job their congressman is doing, they can recall him with various processes that are outlined in the states, and then elect another.
The next is contained in the first amendment- we the people have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Unfortunately, our current government has stopped listening to such petitions, as We The People and other organizations have discovered.
From there, we go on to guns. The entire idea of keeping and bearing arms was to have them in case of an emergency. An emergency would include the idea of a non-responsive government. (Note- I am not advocating going and assassinating all the members of Congress. That would be wrong. Nor am I advocating assassinating President Obama. That, too would be wrong.)
But we do have the right to keep and bear arms.