December 8, 2022

The Second Amendment May Be Overstated in the Gun Debate

The Second Amendment may be overstated in the gun debate. The opinion of the Supreme Court has been that, the right to bear arms is not a privilege or a natural right. In other words, it’s not an inherent human right. However, many people believe that it is and this argument will continue for years to come. But what if we take a step back from all the talk about guns and let’s look at history for a moment.

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new firearm and that you want to buy one with advancements in technology, such as improved accuracy and reloading time. Which of these two guns would be right for you? A Colt Paterson revolver or an AK-47 assault rifle? If we consider the definition of a revolver it’s a handgun containing multiple chambers in a rotating cylinder and a single barrel for firing.

The revolver was an awesome new advancement in firearms technology, but if firefights were to occur at long range the accuracy would be greatly reduced because of its short barrel. In addition, the reloading time is quite slow when compared to the AK-47 assault rifle. The AK-47 could fire up to 30 rounds a minute and because of that, winning a firefight would be much easier with the rifle.

Many theorists believe that an armed society is a polite society, but this theory couldn’t be more wrong. Prohibition in the 1920’s proved just the opposite when it gave way to the rise of organized crime. During the prohibition era, gun control went virtually unchecked and this led to an increase in handguns among criminals. There were many cases where gangsters would use their handguns in public places without any fear of repercussion because they knew that nobody in the city was armed.

Today, there are hundreds of millions of privately owned guns in the United States and criminals still get their hands on them. In 2009, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), 467 people were killed by rifle fire from rifles that were illegally manufactured, which means they were not obtained through a licensed gun dealer. The death toll in 2009 from guns in the United States also included:

8,775 deaths from handguns. 1,032 deaths from shotguns – 516 deaths from unknown firearms type.

Along with improved technology in consumer markets came a new way to sell and distribute firearms products to civilians. In 1993, under President Bill Clinton’s tenure, The Brady Act was introduced. The Brady Act had a provision that required people who purchase firearms to pass background checks. This law also imposed a five-day waiting period before purchasing handguns to allow for processing of the buyer’s information by authorities. These new provisions on firearm purchases were extremely successful, according to the BATFE, in 2010, 1% of criminals found their firearms through legal means in comparison with 90% of gun purchases in 1993.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act is the main reason why the United States is nearly 400 million guns short of Germany, even though Germany has a population double that of the U.S. While many European countries have embraced stricter gun control laws, the United States has been moving backwards. According to a report by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA),

The United States of America is one of few countries in the world where civilian firearm ownership is guaranteed by law and where, as a result, approximately 270 million firearms are owned by civilians.