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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Bearing Arms Isn’t Right

    The founding fathers bestowed many unalienable rights. They are most commonly known as part of the “Bill of Rights.” One of these unalienable rights is the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution — the right to bare arms.

    The right to bear arms means the right to own a weapon, which is generally assumed to be firearms. A gun can be a tool of death and destruction in the hands of the wrong person, and a lifesaver in the hands of the right person. While the line between the wrong and right is often gray, we can still agree that many people who own firearms have no need for them.

    The founders of our nation lived during a completely different time and had lived in a different culture in different circumstances than we do today. Guns were a huge part of their lives. They carried rifles to hunt their food and to protect them from wild animals that could attack them. They defended themselves from native inhabitants of the Americas.

    The times they lived in were treacherous, you fended for yourself in the wilderness. There weren’t cities and developed areas everywhere; it was forests and plains. The need for weapons was obvious and it was that need that directly influenced the second amendment.

    What we must realize now is that the writers of the Constitution also wrote it in such a way to prevent the abuse of the rights given to us.

    The Constitution states that a “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.” This same rule doesn’t apply to every person as many claim it to be. According to the Constitution, guns are to be used to protect the citizens from danger, and that the people in charge of protecting us oversee the “militia” and make sure no one is infringing on others’ rights by misusing the weapons they were given.

    These firearms can be found across America in thousands of homes, many of whom have little or no proper training with them. If the use of firearms was limited to police officers and military servicemen, we could prevent thousands of gun-related crimes every year and create a safer and more peaceful society. With reduced crime would also come less of a need for firearms as a means of protection. The people who acquire guns to steal and kill wouldn’t have them to commit such heinous acts in the first place.

    This amendment should be more stringently interpreted to the means in which the founding fathers intended it to be. Many people and groups, such as the National Rifle Association, promote the use and ownership of firearms for protection and claim it is our Constitutional right. I say that once the option of using firearms is eliminated, we are ensured the right our forefathers gave us: protection.

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