Freedom is the philosophical backbone of American politics. It is the foundation upon which our nation was built and the primary mode of ensuring its survival.
Let me briefly acknowledge that while our rights as citizens are largely protected and endorsed, this protection is greatly limited, especially in the perpetual inequality among minorities and women.
These discrepancies in our freedom, however, are not the focus of this article.
In fact, I am proposing the imperative need for certain freedoms to be limited in order to guarantee our safety as citizens of the United States.
While it is undoubtedly true that our supposed “unwavering” freedom is challenged as previously mentioned, our amendment rights are more frequently protected because of precedent and are therefore a topic of controversy when challenged, even for a good reason. The First Amendment, allowing our freedom of speech, for example, is the means by which I am able to right this article without being condemned for treason. While these rights are undeniably important as free citizens of the United States, the Second Amendment allowing citizens to bear arms may need to be reconsidered or even eradicated.
Gun control has been a hot topic, especially recently, as the number of school and public shootings have risen exponentially. Shockingly, these shootings are not committed by people who suffer from mental illness. In fact, only a small portion of people with mental illness commit violent acts.
Therefore, mental illness cannot be a viable reason for violence involving guns to take place. It is more so a result of the people’s freedom to own and operate guns.
The deadliest school shooting in U.S history occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th, 2012.
Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children, six adult staff members, in addition to his own mother. The shooting made people think twice about the ease with which Americans can own and operate firearms. It shocked the nation and sparked a frenzy of gun control advocacy groups.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, there have been 74 school shootings since this fatal mass murder in Newtown, CT. President Obama used this statistic in an interview with Tumblr CEO, David Karp when he referenced the number of shootings being roughly per week since the horrible attack.
Obama claimed in this interview “we’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens.”
In New York State, (excluding New York City) state law does not require a hunting license or a permit to own or possess a long gun or pistol. New York is considered one of the stricter states concerning gun regulation laws.
While school shootings are statistically rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 81,300 nonfatal injuries and 31,672 deaths every year involving guns. That means there are about 308 shootings and 86 deaths every day because of guns. These statistics are far more telling and obviously less rare than the still alarmingly high rate of school shootings.
The political debate over gun regulation laws makes it seem as though there is limited hope for an increase in the regulation of firearms without the eradication of the Second Amendment. However, perhaps we as American citizens need more than small regulatory state laws to combat the immensity of gun violence in the United States. Are our Second Amendment rights more important than the safety of the American people? Wouldn’t you do anything to prevent another Newtown school shooting?
It seems to me to be a simple and stupidly obvious answer. What good can come of owning and operating a weapon designed to kill? Let us rethink the importance of bearing arms and promote the necessity to ensure the safety of American citizens.