DISCLAIMER: All views on this article are the author’s own. They do not represent the opinions of the rest of the Sitting Apple team, or any organization the author is affiliated with.
Sandy Hook. The Pulse Nightclub. Las Vegas. And now, Sutherland Springs. It’s clear: gun violence is on the rise in America. And everyone has just one question.
Why are there still no strict gun control laws?
Oh wait a minute. “Guns don’t kill; people do.” Yeah, sure. But if people can just so easily buy a gun at their local gun store, without so much as a background check, we’ll have more people with guns who can kill.
Tightening gun regulation seems like the best solution.
With less people having guns, it’s less likely for shooting sprees like these to happen. The numbers don’t lie. Yet a lot of people still fail to see the value of gun control. They alway point to the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
Wait, what exactly does the Second Amendment say?
Most people would word it as “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. But that’s not the whole story. The entire Second Amendment reads:
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.
There you go. There’s a condition in the first few words. But pro-gunners still insist upon just “the right to bear arms” without any conditions whatsoever.
It’s called the Individual Right Theory.
This is what pro-gun advocates like the NRA argue for. According to them, the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” means that every American has the constitutional right to own a gun. They say that gun control laws that restrict or prohibit people from owning guns are unconstitutional.
But they’re clearly missing something.
Let’s go back to the first part of the Amendment. It reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”. Regular people are not a “well regulated militia”. This means that not everyone necessarily has the right to bear arms. What the Amendment protects is the right of America to self-defense.
This is called the Collective Rights Theory.
According to this theory, individual people do not have the right to own guns. In turn, the government has the authority to legislate gun control. Which makes sense, considering the whole context of the Amendment.
Individual people owning guns does not constitute a militia.
Let alone one that will protect our security. In fact, people can do anything they want with their guns. With that in mind, gun control is in order, and certainly does not violate the Second Amendment.