The History Of Guns

The History Of Guns

Is the second Amendment outdated?
214
views

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

Popular Right Now

I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

7176
views

I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

147
views

This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

Related Content

Facebook Comments