There’s freedom in gun control

Kellie McCown

The general argument surrounding gun control is that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I agree 100 percent.

But, guns do make it a whole lot easier for people to kill people.

In light of the recent school shooting in New Town Connecticut, we as a people need to take a serious look at the ownership of firearms, and how our society glorifies guns while the mentally ill slip through the cracks.

Americans love making laws that make people safer. For instance, driving a car is a great responsibility, much like owning a gun. In response to the serious consequences one faces when misusing a car, we as a nation have rules and regulations that motorists must follow when operating a motor vehicle. As a result, over the past three decades the deaths resulting from driving under the influence has gone down. Why not apply the same regulations to guns?

The second amendment states that, “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.” What this does not say is that every American citizen can own and operate semi-automatic firearms. When the constitution was written, the original Framers intended to restrict the influence of Congress from allowing the states right to self-defense by establishing a “well regulated Militia”. Scholars have come to call this theory “The Collective Rights Theory.” A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns, and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without infringing on constitutional right.

And United States courts agree with the Collective Rights Theory. In 1939, the Collective Rights Theory was used in the United States vs. Miller where it was determined that Congress could regulate a sawed-off shotgun that had moved in interstate commerce under the National Firearms Act of 1934 because the evidence did not suggest that the shotgun “has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated Militia.” The Court then explained that the Framers included the Second Amendment to ensure the effectiveness of the military.

Furthermore, the argument that gun control is only going to result in the government taking away all guns and leaving the people helpless and dependent only compromises the security of our citizens as guns will never disappear. Not one person in a public office has said that a persons firearms are going to be taken away from them, but it is not safe for serious firearms such as assault weapons and magazines that are able to hold large amounts of ammunition to be sold to the masses without mental and criminal background checks. These weapons are designed to kill on a massive scale, and should not be sold beside non military grade weapons.

Taking guns away does not disguise the real issue of American mental health. The government‘s failure to give substantial aid to the mentally ill drives citizens to ask the question, “Why do people gravitate towards guns?” Mental health is becoming a wider and more serious sociological issue in the United States as we are seeing its effects through violence and most imperatively, deadly shootings. Being wrapped up in the fear that the government will one day break into our homes and take away our guns only distracts from more serious and pressing present day problems.

Gun control only means just that. Controlling guns. It is our constitutional right to own firearm, but it is our right to humanity, to each other, to come to a common ground and protect the mental, emotional and physical safety of all citizens by any means possible.