News, Open Mic

Open Mic: A Treatise on the Second Amendment by Eli Hedstrom

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of clay Magazine or TPS.

This Second Amendment to the United States Constitution preserves the right of the people of the United States to bear arms. There are no lists or rules regarding the number of arms that the people can bear, what kind of arms they can bear, or the number of cartridges that their magazines, or storage devices beneath the gun for extra rounds can hold. Instead, the Constitution clearly states that no one may infringe on anyone’s right to have firearms. The original intent of this amendment was not to protect hunting rights, but instead, it was written for two purposes: to protect Americans’ right to self-defense and to impose restraints on the federal government. By permitting armed resistance against tyranny, the founders hoped that this amendment would keep the government from taking away America’s freedom. Thomas Jefferson even said that no country may preserve its freedom unless the people are armed and can resist the government.

The AR-15

With the Democratic Party controlling both the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch, new gun control bills are being proposed. In addition, President Biden is threatening executive action to expand gun control laws. Most of these gun bills are focused on banning assault rifles, or more specifically, the AR-15. Why is this? At the 2020 Democratic primary debate, Congressman Beto O’Rourke said that the AR-15 is “a weapon that is designed to kill people on a battlefield” (Eyewitness News). That is what the gun’s military counterparts, the M16 and M4, are used for, but is that what the guns owned by the civilians are used for?

First, the AR-15 is not as assault rifle. An assault rifle is defined as a weapon with select fire capabilities, such as guns that can fire three round bursts or are fully automatic.  In addition, the “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for “Automatic Rifle” or “Assault Rifle,” but instead, it stands for “ArmaLite Rifle.” That’s right. That means that the gun is named after the original brand. Furthermore, the gun was not designed for mass shootings. The AR-15’s designer, Eugene Stoner, originally designed the AR-15’s predecessor, the AR-10, for the US military in the 1950s, but the US military did not want it. It wasn’t until the Vietnam War that the military finally decided to adopt the fully automatic version of the AR-15, the M16. By then, ArmaLite had sold the rights to Colt’s Manufacturing, another firearm company. After its success with the military, Colt began selling semi-automatic versions of its AR-15 to civilians as a “modern sporting rifle.” People used them to hunt for years. The minimal recoil makes these guns fun to shoot, and the large capacity magazine is very handy. Many hunters would agree that they would never use this gun to kill innocent people.

So, why do the Democrat politicians want to ban this gun? It is true that it has been used in some horrible mass shootings, but it has not been used in shootings as often as handguns, for obvious reasons: handguns are much easier to conceal. This figure shows that pistols are used in mass shootings more than rifles are.

In several of the recent mass shootings, however, AR-15 style rifles were used, and these unfortunate events have increased the number of politicians calling for the ban of these guns. But will a ban of these guns, or a complete ban of all guns, help stop these terrible crimes? The answer is no. Common sense tells us why: no matter how many guns are banned, the criminals won’t give up their guns. Naturally, that will not stop crime, but instead, it will take away the citizens’ weapons for self-defense.

In addition, these politicians forget something very important in their anti-gun agenda: guns can’t shoot by themselves. It takes an evil person using the gun to commit these horrible crimes. Instead of going after the inanimate object, these politicians should go after the criminals doing the shooting. Furthermore, these politicians should also remember that legislation and executive orders will not fix the evil in human hearts. Only God can do that. Making gun buyers go through a background check is a fine way to make sure that criminals do not get guns. However, we should be more focused on the criminals. Those who committed these horrible mass shootings must be punished, but no law-abiding citizen who has an AR-15 for hunting, home defense, or target shooting should have to be punished because of someone else’s wrongdoing.

 

Works Cited

“A 1963 Colt AR-15 Advertisment – Soldier Systems Daily.” Soldier Systems, soldiersystems.net/2016/06/21/a-1963-colt-ar-15-advertisment/.

“Beto O’Rourke: ‘Hell Yes, We Are Going to Take Your AR-15’.” Performance by Beto O’Rourke, YouTube, YouTube, 12 Sept. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMVhL6OOuR0.

“Control: Fighting Lies about ‘Commonsense’ Gun Control.” Performance by Glenn Beck, Blazetv, 24 Mar. 2021, www.blazetv.com/watch/channel/series/series/6h9e60TbKWdu-glenn-tv/episode/6-gleo5tjvjgvy-control-fighting-lies-about-commonsense-gun-reform-ep-96?t=0.

Johnson, Emily Alfin, and Lisa Dunn. The Origin Story of the Ar-15: From Misfit to ‘America’s Rifle’. 21 Feb. 2019, gunsandamerica.org/story/18/08/23/origin-story-ar-15-misfit-americas-rifle/.

Modern Sporting RIFLE: A Brief History • Nssf. 2 July 2019, www.nssf.org/msr-brief-history/.

Modern Sporting Rifle. congressionalsportsmen.org/policies/state/modern-sporting-rifle.

“What Should We Do About Guns?” Performance by Nicholas Johnson, PragerU, 7 Nov. 2016, www.prageru.com/video/what-should-we-do-about-guns/.

 

Photo Credits:

Second Amendment

Peaceful AR15 Gun Owner

www.statista.com/statistics/476409/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-weapon-types-used/

______________________________

Meet the Author

How old are you?

I’m 16.

Where do you live?

I’m fortunate to live in rural Lakefield, Minnesota.

What classes are you taking with TPS?

I’m taking English 4/5/6 Children’s Lit Analysis and Comp with Mrs. Thomas.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

I like informing others, so my purpose in writing this article was to inform people about the importance of the Constitution and specifically about the Second Amendment.

4 Comments

  1. Hey Eli! Great article! It’s really cool(:

  2. Great article and good reasoning and explanation for people that don’t understand guns. (finally someone spitting facts)

  3. Don’t you think it’s irrelevant to say that the government should go after criminals? As if they aren’t already punishing criminals who commit these crimes? However, punishing criminals of previous shootings does absolutely nothing to stop future shootings. That is why others means of decreasing shootings are being adopted. The standpoint you took does absolutely nothing to stop criminals from shooting innocent people. Civilians already have AR-15s(and other dangerous guns), and it has obviously not ended or decreased shootings.

    • Hey John, thank you for the comment.
      I think punishing criminals of previous shootings does help discourage future shootings. Punishing smaller crimes would also help as well ( the broken window policy). If we go after the criminals for committing smaller crimes, then they will be less likely to commit larger ones since they know the penalty will be much stricter.
      Civilians do have AR-15s, and that has not necessarily decreased shootings. Instead, the anti-police movement has made police officers less likely to go after criminals, which has increased crimes in cities like NYC. Which means civilians in those cities would have even more need for a good home defense weapon such as an AR-15.
      If you would like to continue discussing this, feel free to reach on email or Hangouts at eli.hedstrom@gmail.com