Negative Consequences of Second Amendment

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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In late pasts guns were the only means of survival. The gun was what kept the home front safe from unwanted intruders from invading your land. It was also used to hunt for food to be put on the dinner table. However, today guns, as of late, are being used in the mass killings of innocent lives. Many of those who are caught in the crosshairs of a mass shooters were children and young adults. No amount of blood and tears can say that enough is enough, that there should be more done to solve this issue with gun violence.

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We live our lives fearing that we could be the next victims of a mass shooing. In Fox News June 2016 article by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano “Why I Will Always Defend the Second amendment and the Right to Self- Defense,” he believes that everyone has the right to self-defense and that we should be able to defend ourselves in gun free zones, but he is wrong. I believe that Judge Napolitano is wrong because though the Second Amendment protects our rights to bear arms, some people with mental health issues or a criminal background should not have the right to bear arms.

A mass shooting is defined as an incident that involves multiple victims of firearms-related violence. Many of the mass shootings that we see happen occur in gun free zones. According to Napolitano, we should be able to carry weapons in gun free zones to prevent mass shootings from happening again. In the case of the Orlando night club shooting, Napolitano says that the time it took the gunman to reload his weapon, someone who has had firearms training would have been able to take out the gunman. Napolitano argues that, “We have a government that, in its lust to have us reliant upon it, has created areas in the U.S. where innocent folks living their lives in freedom are made defenseless prey to monsters — as vulnerable as fish in a barrel. And we have mass killings of defenseless innocents — over and over and over again.” Allowing guns in a gun free zone would make it easier for someone who has a mental health problem or a criminal background to cause a mass shooting. The intentions of gun free zones is to prevent the loss of life, suicides, reduce criminal activity, and mass shootings. By eliminating guns in a gun free zone, theres is a higher possibility that there will not be injuries suffered by a gun. In a 2013 article published by USA Today by Mark Follman “NRA’s gun-free zone myth” that allowing guns in a gun free zone would only cause more harm than good. Follman argues that, “Veteran FBI, ATF and police officials say that an armed citizen opening fire against an attacker in a panic-stricken movie theater or shopping mall is very likely to make matters worse.” No amount of gun training someone could have can prepare them to shoot a gunman shooting at other innocent bystanders and actually shoot him the civilian would most likely injure someone else.

Though gun free zones help reduce or eliminate the presence of guns in these areas, thereby eliminating the risk of firearm injuries due to recklessness, escalatory conflicts, or criminal activity, there is still much needed change to the Second Amendment. Napolitano, however, argues that, “Because the right to use modern weaponry for the defense of life, liberty and property is natural, we should not need a government permission slip before exercising it, any more than we need one to exercise other natural rights, such as speech, press, assembly, travel and privacy.” However, not all people should have the right to own a weapon. The Second Amendment may state 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.” Those who should not be able to purchase a weapon should be those who have a mental health issue or who has a criminal background. A mental health illness would include conditions such as anxiety disorders like spider phobia, social phobia, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, hair-picking, pathological gambling, schizophrenia, dementia, different forms of depression and personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder commonly known as psychopathy. In a February 2018 article published by the New York Times by Benjamin Mueller “Limiting Access to Guns for Mentally Ill Is Complicated” an analysis of some 350 mass killers going back a century, about 22 percent were found to likely have had psychosis which is metal health issue. Mueller argues that, “Federal law forbids people who have been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital and people found to be a danger to themselves or others from having guns.” But some mental health illnesses are not reported so those who have a past with mental health issue can still purchase a weapon. By reporting all mental health illnesses in one central database could help reduce the number of weapons that is purchased by someone who has a mental health illness. Thus, reducing the chances for another mass shooting from occurring.

It is a no brainer that those with criminal backgrounds should not have access to a weapon, but yet some are still able obtain a weapon. An example of someone who has a criminal background and was still able to purchase a weapon was Nicholas Cruz. Nicholas Cruz was the shooter in the deadly massacre that lead to the death of 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s day. According to a February 2018 article published by CNN by Jose Pagliery and Aaron Smith “How gun background checks work,” Nicholas Cruz was able to pass the background check because he was only screened for certain indicators of past violence, misconduct, and mental health issues. Pagliery and Smith argued that, “The scope of review is narrow and would not capture all aspects of Cruz’s profile, even if it included explicit, public threats against students and school disciplinary behavior that led to his expulsion from high school.” Background checks fail to fully dive deep on determining if someone is capable of owning a weapon and not cause harm to others around them. Background checks only check to see if someone had ever been convicted of a felony, convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, a fugitive from justice, and if the person has ever been committed to a mental institution. Improving better background checks would greatly increase the chances that someone who should not be able to have weapon does not receive one.

There should be certain changes that should be done to the Second Amendment from allowing individuals who have a mental illness or even a criminal background to purchase a weapon. According to Napolitano, “The Framers recognized this when they ratified the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court recently held was written to codify — and thus prevent the government from infringing on — the pre-political right to own and use modern-day weapons for self-defense or to repel tyrants.” If innocent lives are being lost to guns why continue to support an amendment that allows almost anyone to purchase a weapon. We live in a society where we fear of the next mass shooting will happen to one of us. Without any restrictions on guns simply more people would be killed from a gun. In order for any change to the Second Amendment to occur it must be approved by majority votes. This requires a two-thirds majority vote by congress and must be followed by ratification by three quarters of 50 states. Without the majority votes, no change can be implemented to the Second Amendment.

Opponents often argue that Napolitano’s arguments that the time it took the gunman to reload his weapon, someone who has had firearms training would have been able to take out the gunman. Being sufficiently trained using a weapon could mean that more lives would be saved. According to a March 2018 article in USA Today by Greg Toppo “Gun-free school zones’ take weapons from kids, not cops,” gun free zones makes them easy targets for a mass shooter to shoot. Toppo argues that,” You have a gun-free zone, it’s like an invitation for these very sick people to go there.” Logically the couple minutes it takes for the police to arrive some inside a gun free zone the gunman would have killed a few more people before the police can do anything about him. Admittedly, some who has firearms training could possibly take out the gunman, but in reality, no civilian would be able to preform under pressure. There is a chance that they could either harm themselves or even an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire.

Many have suffered a loss of someone who had been killed by the hands of a mass shooters. Improving areas such as background checks improves the likelihood that someone who has a mental health illness or even a criminal background a chance to get their hands on a weapon. In Andrew P. Napolitano’s article “Why I Will Always Defend the Second amendment and the Right to Self- Defense,” believes that there is no need for gun free zones because there would be people who have gun training there to take any gunman that would try to shoot into a crowd of unarmed civilians. However, Napolitano is wrong because those with a mental health illness or a criminal background are able to possess a weapon and eventually cause harm to others. Countless lives were lost to guns that were given to wrong people with the wrong intent of its use. If we limit those who are able to posses a weapon the world may feel more at ease and not have to worry of the next mass shooting. We as whole can stop this crisis and stop the loss of precious lives being lost.

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Negative consequences of second amendment. (2021, Oct 17). Retrieved from