The History Of Guns

The History Of Guns

Is the second Amendment outdated?
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Gun control has been a debate for decades, and little governmental action has been taken to improve gun fatalities.

Since the catastrophic Parkland, Florida high school shooting, the debate over gun control has heightened. An aspect many have yet to focus is on is the history of guns. Identifying the primary reason guns were introduced to this country could help shed light on the necessity of guns today, and contribute to pro-gun control arguments. With that being said, here is a brief history of fire-arms in the United States.

Guns existed since the early times of Colonial America; they were pervasive and necessary for hunting, fishing and general protection. The conflict between Native Americans and Colonialists pushed law makers to mandate gun ownership as a tool to protect oneself, one’s family and their property. If attacks were to take place, citizens would have the resources to fight and defend with a gun.

As history continued, tensions between the government and its citizens increased. Throughout the world there had been brutal monarchies and totalitarian governments which imposed political, economic and religious persecution. The colonialists themselves left Great Britain to pursue a grand opportunity and to escape religious suppression. The government then decided that the Second Amendment, ratified in 1791, would grant citizens the right to “bear arms.” They believed that citizens had the right to own fire arms to better fight off any form of tyrannical government.

Many other steps to push and monitor guns took place in these years and years to come. In Revolutionary America, the government further required all persons eligible to serve in a militia to own and be able to operate a gun. This was for the protection of the country in the event of war. About four decades later, restrictions included not allowing any person of “colour” to own or operate a gun. Jump ahead to the 1900’s, regulations became specific in terms of what type of gun was lawful and how to restrict them without violating the Constitution.

After analyzing history, the reason behind gun legalization is clear: Protection.

There were two threats present that demanded a need for gun protection: Firstly, guns were necessary for survival, and protection against regional conflict in early colonial America. Secondly, the opportunity for a tyrannical government to form pushed the government to allow citizens to “bear arms” as a method of protection.

It seems that the main two threats which prompted the government to mandate and legalize guns are outdated.

There is no regional conflict that requires citizens to bear arms. There is the national guard, the army, police force and other bureaucratic departments that protect citizens and the nation. Feudal times demanded every man to fight for themselves, but in U.S. 21st century society, this issue does not exist.

It would be virtually impossible for a tyrannical government to form in the United States. We have an elaborate democratic political system that has mechanisms of checks and balances in all branches of government that cannot allow one person, or one group to take over internally.

Additionally, there is no practicality in the Amendment. If the impossible were to happen and a dictatorship government took over the US, the government would have the most advanced technology and defense resources in the world to defeat us, meaning, guns wouldn’t be effective in any fight. Your AR-15 is useless against a nuclear bomb.

Furthermore, guns are no longer being used for their intended purpose of protection.

Statistically, guns are RARELY used for self-defense. Between 2007 and 2011, of the estimated 28 million violent crimes committed, “0.79% of victims protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior.” This means less than a percent of people used a fire-arm in a violent situation.

Pro-gun control supporters might argue that increasing the presence of guns could directly increase protection of citizens, however, studies show that the presence of a gun in a home increased an “individuals risk of death by homicide to 90%.”

Since guns are no longer primarily being used for protection, gun control laws need to be radically changed for any progress to be made in this country.

There have been about 400, 000 gun deaths between 1999 and 2013, a staggering number compared to countries such as Japan or Singapore where there have been less than 4,000 deaths.

Guns have contributed to astonishing losses, and directly affect the safety of every US citizen. Hopefully, with this knowledge and the uniting of this country, changes will be made to prevent any other fire-arm related deaths.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
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This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

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Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

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cpabel
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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

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There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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