In lieu of Newtown shooting, Obama administration decided to put forward some initiatives that supposed to curb individuals’ ability to obtain firearms. Despite the fact that the initiatives are fairly toothless, they did cause a decent amount of outcry from around half of Americans who own guns. Furthermore, a lot of opponents of the motion chose to cite The Second Amendment of the Constitution to argue their point. While there are some legitimate arguments one can use to justify his position on gun control, I wanted to write this post to refute the concept that evoking Second Amendment is any way, shape or form a legitimate argument for gun rights.
The first problem with the argument is what seemed like the most obvious rebuttal to the statement. The reason Second Amendment gave rights to individuals to bear arms was to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. That was in 1787, when both the governments and the individuals had access to the same kind of weapons, thus it was actually feasible for ordinary citizens to get together and mount a legitimate opposition to the government that became oppressive. Enter 2013, when the US government spends nearly as much money on defense as the rest of the world combined and has nuclear weapons, long range missiles, Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force at its disposal. I would be really interested in seeing how these gun lovers are planning to fight this kind of firepower with their riffles and pistols. If they do believe they are able to build a legitimate opposition to this, they are delusional, if they don’t their argument falls apart.
The second problem is the fact that this argument is very absolutist. No one has ever proposed an initiative to take all the guns away from Americans. At the same time, we already do ban certain kind of firearms from individual use – those include things like tanks and ground to air rocket launchers. So if we are going to argue that Obama is infringing on our Second Amendment rights by banning certain kinds of semi-automatic weapons, we should probably go all the way and argue that our rights are already being restricted because we can’t go to Walmart and buy a tank. Somehow it seems to me that, outside of some fringe right-wing group of people, no one will be OK with this idea.
The third problem is the most troubling in my opinion and it is also one that truly reveals the extent to which these people actually care about the rights the Constitution provides. I think that if you care about one amendment of the document you should at least give some thought to the rest of it. As it stands right now, the Fourth Amendment (which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures) is essentially being wiped out of existence. Around the new year, the congress reapproved FISA Amendments Act, which basically gives the government right to eavesdrop on any international conversation, read your every email, text message or any other form of digital cross-border communication you might have. The government can also amass unlimited amounts of information about you as a person. And they can do all that without even bothering to obtain a warrant!
Where is the outrage from you, my Constitution lovers?