The Consequences of Guns

The Consequences
of Guns

Handguns and other firearms have a long
tradition in American civilization. The right to bear arms is an American
right featured in the second Amendment of the Constitution. In the 18th
century, when the constitution was written, times were different; there
was a need for armed citizens to insure the safety of the society as a
whole. Contemporarily the police department preserves the safety of society
and the need for armed citizens is out of date. The founding fathers of
the Constitution could presumably never imagine the horrendous outcome
of their actions. Every year too many lives are claimed as the result of
the American government’s inability to fully face up to effects of the
issue. Compared to other western countries that have considerably stricter
gun control laws America is still viewed as "The Wild-Wild West".

The growing gun related death toll in the

U.S. has to come to a turning point. Stripping away the constitutional
right to bear arms might have the effect that only criminals will have
access to guns. It is important to understand that in a society where both
criminals and law abiding citizens have access to guns the likeliness of
an innocent person getting shot, when both parties are waving guns, is
probably greater than if only criminals have guns. A ban on firearms might
not be appealing as a short-term solution but it is important that people
don’t limit their thinking to their generation and not think about the
safety of their children, grandchildren and the society people are creating
today for them to live in.

The main obstacle in removing firearms
from citizens in the U.S. is the second Amendment of the Constitution.

It reads: "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." The second Amendment can be interpreted as every citizen right
to bear arms. However the key word is "Militia", meaning soldiers or defenders
of the State. In the late 18th century, when the Constitution was written,
times were very different than those of contemporary America. People were
scared of possible invasions from Native Americans, the English, and other
nationalities. By "a well regulated Militia..." the founding fathers probably
meant that citizens could have a muscot standing in the corner just in
case anything would happen. Note that the writers of the Constitution added,

"a well regulated..." in front of the word Militia. That would most likely
reveal a controversy in writing this Amendment, some of the founding fathers
might have foreseen the possibility of a misinterpretation of this Amendment.

In the U.S. there are approximately 200
million privately owned guns, which is statistically close to a gun per
person and places more than one gun per home on average (O’Donnell 771).

In other words, guns are all around. This effects, without a doubt, the
whole society structure and the citizens that live within its boundaries.

The children that live within a gun infested
society are going to suffer the consequences. In fact, kids between the
ages 16 and 19 have the highest handgun victimization rate among all age
groups (O’Donnel 771). It’s not hard to understand why, since there are
on average more than one gun per household, kids are likely to find firearm
and in some cases even use it.

In March 1998 two children, 11 and 13 years
of age gunned down a total of 13 people in a school in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Of the 13, nine survived and five people, classmates and teacher, died
as a result of the shooting (Liesen, Owens). One of the boys had taken
two rifles from his grandfather. They positioned themselves about a 100
yards from the schoolyard and when the bell for recession sounded and people
started to exit the school building the two boys opened fire. This is a
horrendous event that proves that if guns are present within a household
or within a family, odds are that kids will know about where they are kept
and perhaps even be curious enough to actually use them.

In October, 1997 a 16 year old boy shot
and killed his girlfriend and her best friend while they were exiting a

Mississippi school leaving six others wounded (Liesen, Owens). The spontaneity
of young children and guns are a lethal combination as illustrated in these
two examples.

In a study made across high schools in

Seattle, 47% of males and 22% of females reported that they had easy access
to handguns and 11.4% were gun-owning males (O\'Donnel