The Age of the Gun

Gun control has been the subject of many debates and in the eyes of Americans still remains a controversial subject. In the late 1900s guns became more nationally known in several tragedies, such as the Columbine High School shootings and the Virginia Tech massacre.  They’re both tragedies in their own right, but when combine with today’s rising use of guns in American crimes they only become placement points in a discussion.  There will never be room in these discussions to ever discover the true effect of the use of guns on the American populous.  At present gun control shouldn’t be a few words uttered over a debate between two candidates, it should be a fact of life.

Classical arguments for the right to bear arms go back to the birth of our country as an independent nation.  In those days when the gun was not only a necessity for hunters, but for many people, who in those days, lived on the land. The gun was their primary weapon used in bagging wild game and the protection of their families. In days like those, the gun was a necessary tool in their everyday life and in later years became a necessity in enforcing laws. When America became more industrialized the use of guns became a little more recreational which lead to its increase use in the shadowy parts of American society.

In the United States, especially in the three largest cities, gun violence has become a widespread epidemic. In New York, a great and beautiful city, there are close to a thousand gun related homicides a year; in 2005 Los Angeles recorded that 3 people were killed everyday by firearms. Gun violence isn’t restricted to just murder, it is also a major component in the drug trade, robbery, and in organized crime.

A weapon that was created to protect and support one’s family and other loved ones is no longer used for its true purpose. Even in our homes it is possible for a child to find their parent’s gun, if hidden at all, which gives rise to children accidently shooting themselves, school shootings, and even suicides.  It now seems to be more of a problem than a tool for hunting and law enforcement. The Second Amendment made it out to be the right to be used as a means of self protection; however, in most cases it is only necessary to defend oneself against someone else with a gun.  Protection is paramount in the today’s world, but when one does not understand the meaning of protection something must be done.

Guns have become an integral part of human society and the usage of firearms spans all demographics, young and old, all over the world. It is possible to deduce the cause that led to the effect of the gun becoming so widely used is the need for self defense.  On the other end of the spectrum, it has become a tool for illicitly acquiring wealth through break-ins, bank robberies, and ransoms.

When unemployment rates go up, it has been observed that crime rates go up with them. It would seem that to help in the fight for control of guns we need to help those who actually need protection not only from guns but the availability of economic support. In their quest to help those less fortunate Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy and his brother, John F. Kennedy—like Lincoln before him, all became casualties at the end of the barrel of a gun.   As said by Lyndon B. Johnson, “In a climate of extremism, the best and brightest of us may be taken.” Just making a law for gun control is only a solution for the politicians, but they aren’t the ones who will have to deal with the change.  When or even if it is enforced the people will have a hard time adjusting to the change, but as humans always do we shall adapt.

To stem the outgoing tide of violent crime, we as a people need more than law and legislation in regards to the right to bear arms; as long as there is need and desperation, poverty and unemployment, hatred between races, religions, and the poor and more affluent, there will be violence, gun or not, the underlying desperation was there before the tool. There needs to be a much broader and deeper understanding between these disparate segments of society in regards to the value of other human beings. If every life was considered sacred, it’d be much harder to pull the trigger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s