Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Second Amendment

After the tragic event that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, the question that is often used by us non-US ignorant people is this: "Why do you Americans still hang on to this rule?"

I know the US Constitution is sacred amongst the American people. I don't want to trash it or give any disrespect for it. But can one person come and explain to the rest of the world, after the killings in Sandy Hook Elementary School or even after the numerous shootings that have occurred over the past years, why the American people don't stop this.

I really wish to have an educated debate on this, so lets go back to the original text:

"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 overall gist I get from the Second Amendment is the US founding fathers wanted people to have the right to protect themselves in no matter way. I have no problem with this issue. I don't think Jefferson or Washington wanted their citizens to go out and kill people just for the sake of it. They wanted normal Americans to be able to defend themselves and be self reliant. I don't like animal hunting but in this context, I can understand why people have hunting rifles for this hobby - that is a legitimate claim.

But would the likes of John Adams and Benjamin Franklin could foresee that arms, including firearms, could get more sophisticated? Could they imagine that firearms could be have faster reloading mechanism or quicker firing rates that they no longer became a way to protect oneself but became an avenue of destruction and mayhem? As one anti-assault-weapon protester said during an interview outside the White House, weapons such as machine guns and assault rifles have no place in common society.

"But it's in our Constitution!" I hear Americans cry. I know its the establishment for your law and order in your country. Yet amendments have been added over the history of your nation. Could it be possible to have amendments altered or even deleted? The Eighteenth Amendment was the prohibition of alcohol, but was repealed by the Twenty First Amendment, which regulated the sale of alcohol. So there is a precedent. I'm just raising this possibility and I would like to have an informed person state why this cannot be so.

Even then, there are a lot of sacred texts that people pick and choose. Does that seem familiar to all you Christians out there? That's another debate for another date.

I know the pro-gun lobby, mainly in the form of the National Rifle Association, would oppose any further control. But can any member of the NRA go up to a parent, especially one from Newtown, Connecticut and state that, despite that most of the weapons used in gun shootings are legally bought, what they are doing is right?