Second Amendment Under Fire

Protecting Citizens, While Protecting Rights 

Ethan Menning, Sports Editor

The right to bear arms, a fundamental right our founding fathers bestowed upon us almost 228 years ago.  This right gave citizens the ability to own legal weapons that can protect themselves against any opposing force. The second amendment has saved many lives but unfortunately has tragically taken innocent ones. This has put the second amendment under the spotlights for many years; some of it has been rightly so. Many have called for expansions on background checks, criminalizing certain rifles, instituting a mandatory buyback and even taking away all guns. This would be a giant expansion of federal power by taking away a fundamental right.

I would be remiss if I didn’t address the mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. These attacks all began from monsters who happened to get their hands on an assault weapon, and I agree that they should have not been allowed to buy any weapons because of a mental illness or crime. Stricter background checks are needed. We need all gun owners to be safe and legal, which in turn would make the country safer. Our own community does very well with background checks. Sarpy County requires a mandatory background check every three years to check for any mental illnesses by screenings, domestic abuse or crimes. The country could learn to implement this system. Also in Nebraska, all gun owners must register every handgun with the Courthouse to be entered in their database in accordance with the law. These styles of background checks would have possibly prevented shootings such as El Paso and Dayton.

Many could argue that because civilians did not have the weapons in times of need tragic events occur. These mass shootings could have been prevented if one citizen could have shot the gunman. Weapons could have prevented major wars, too. Look at the two world wars on the European stage. One reason why Germany was able to take Europe with such ease was because of the lack of gun ownership. An armed population is much harder to conquer than the weakly equipped one.

What makes that applicable today? Weapons protect against the threat of government tyranny, not just from foreign countries but our own as well. The framers of the Constitution said that if the government were ever to begin infringing on our rights, it is our job as Americans to destroy this government and create a better one. With the government only continuing to grow, this is more important than ever.

The people have a grave responsibility to ensure their safety. We also have the responsibility to secure our country. I do agree with the opposition that there need to be expanded background checks and more strict access, but I do not agree with the widespread ban of weapons. The founders of our Constitution gave many rights to the people and taking these completely away would only lead to the destruction of the American government. The government would start with the second amendment, then the first, until finally the whole Constitution is changed and our current way of life is obsolete. Once powerful people begin to take away the rights of citizens, it is so easy for a great country to fall down a path of injustices.