For the first time in years, the Supreme Court agreed to examine a case concerning the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
On March 18, the Court heard arguments on the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, a Washington D.C. gun ban.
The last thing this gun-crazy country needs is more people owning and carrying handguns. Handguns serve little other purpose than shooting other human beings. While rifles and shotguns can obviously kill people, they can at least be used for hunting. And it’s much harder to hide a rifle in public than a pistol.
The Second Amendment declares “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 operative words of that sentence are “A well-regulated Militia.” The founding fathers, when drafting this awkwardly-worded sentence, intended for an American militia to have the right to bear arms. This amendment does not give every American the right to keep any weapon they so choose.
And even if the founding fathers did think every American should own a gun, they certainly couldn’t have imagined the guns of today. When the amendment was ratified in 1791, guns were fired by flintlock, and could only shoot one bullet before having to be reloaded, which took a significant amount of time in itself. There was no such thing as a Colt .45, or a Glock. To think that the founding fathers would want every American to have the right to walk around with these types of guns is ludicrous.
According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, homicides committed with handguns far outnumber any other type of homicide. The obvious solution, to me, is to take away the handguns. And while outlawing handguns doesn’t mean people won’t be able to get them, it does mean that it will be harder to get them.
And the argument that banning concealed weapons leaves the law-abiding citizens defenseless while the criminals walk around armed to the teeth seems ridiculous to me.
As we’ve seen in almost any mass shooting, whether it be in schools, malls or people’s homes, sometimes the criminal is the last person you would ever suspect. Letting people walk around with a gun in their pockets is not the solution. It is only asking for innocent people to get hurt.
Perhaps the most compelling argument of all against handgun ownership is the ease with which accidents can happen with handguns. Everyone has heard the scare stories about the kid who shot his friend, thinking the gun wasn’t loaded. And while those mythical children never seemed real, the three-year-old Detroit girl who shot herself in the head serves as a reminder of what handguns can do. Reportedly, the gun was owned by one of the girl’s parents, and one parent was home at the time of the shooting. Clearly, not every American can handle the responsibility that comes with owning a handgun, which is much easier to fire than a shotgun or a rifle.
In my perfect world, guns wouldn’t exist. It will never cease to amaze me what kind of devices human beings can think of to kill each other with. But since a gun-less world is something that will only exist in my dreams, I’ll settle for one in which handguns are illegal.
You can find the response to this column in part two of “Dueling Columns: Gun Control” here.