The Second Amendment: Current Background Checks Essay

Although the Second Amendment stops the federal government from entirely banning guns in America, limited restrictions are permitted on the possession and distribution of firearms. The ease of obtaining a firearm in America fosters a dangerous environment and crime. Hence, the Second Amendment should be reinterpreted so that sterner gun laws can be implemented because current background checks are flawed, gun accessibility has been abused by foreign and domestic criminals, and some people cannot handle guns responsibly.

An example of current background checks is they are not always enforced properly was the recent attempted assassination of Assembly woman Gabriella Giffords. The shooter, Jared Loughner, was initially turned away from purchasing ammunition at a Walmart but could purchase it at a different Walmart (Martin and Siegel). While one Walmart successfully enforced this background check, another Walmart failed to do a proper background check. Thus, the ammunition enabled him to kill six innocent people, including a nine-year-old girl. This example shows a need for the laws to be enforced, especially when people can be harmed if it is ignored.

As it stands, the gun laws may sometimes lack serious enforcement. This is partly due to how every year thousands of felons are regaining the right to bear arms without thorough legal investigation (Luo). A stricter gun law would provide much needed supplemental to the faulty background checks and loose laws that provide criminals the means to hurt innocent people. The problem with the current gun law is the “gun show loopholeā€¯ where guns can be legally purchased from private dealers and gun owners at gun conventions without any background check (Perez).

For example, two high school kids responsible for the infamous Columbine School shooting exploited the “gun show loophole” to buy shotguns and an assault rifle (Where’d They Get Their Guns). It is chilling that there is a legal loophole that allows people to bypass background checks to obtain these weapons. A recent instance of how a foreigner abused the ease of obtaining a gun would be how Anders Behring Breivik, the shooter responsible for the Norway massacre this past summer purchased his firearm ugh an American supplier.

As seen by these examples, the lax gun laws in America are not only supplying psychopaths domestically but also foreigners who commit the same atrocities. The restrictions and gun laws currently in place are obviously obsolete if they provide the means for criminals in America and abroad to kill people. A strict gun law would ensure the safety of the people by eliminating the weapons used to kill them. Per a survey supported by the Swiss government, America boasts the most accidental gun deaths in the world at 0. 27 deaths per 100,000 people (U. S. Gun Facts, Figures, and the Law).

Even the former vice president Dick Cheney accidentally shot his friend in a hunting accident (Bash). This incident is especially disappointing, considering the vice president is a leader who sets examples for others to follow. It is also shocking that 34% of American children live in houses that have firearms (Cochran). In Georgetown, Maryland a girl was shot in the arm while an eight-year-old boy was playing with a gun during school (Cochran). The complete recklessness of some Americans with their guns is baffling.

Some of the evidence presented so far indicates that as a country are not responsible enough to possess and use firearms in a safe and proper manner. Stricter gun laws would solve this problem and in the process, save many people from getting killed or injured. Although there are a few legitimate groups who must carry guns such as military, police, and security forces, there is no reason for civilians to carry them. Some gun advocates claim that they carry guns as a form of self-protection. However, this has been scientifically proven to be untrue.

A study done by the University of Pennsylvania on the 677 shootings over the span of two and a half years indicate that people who carry guns are 4. 5 times more likely to be shot than an unarmed person, and 4. 2 times more likely to be killed by a gun (Callaway). The author claims that the reason for these statistics is that guns give people false senses of empowerment that make them overreact in volatile situations (Callaway). Carrying a gun not concealed is like painting a bull’s-eye(s) on oneself rather than self-defense especially when it might foster delusions of empowerment.

Even statics discourage gun possession; through legislating stricter gun laws, this can ensure public safety. Gun advocates also claim that current gun laws are restrictive enough. However, it is surprising that some states do not require firearms registrations or even limits on the types of firearms a person can own. Especially in the southern states such as Texas, a person can legally own automatic rifles or semi-automatic guns given they do not possess certain features such as an extended ammunition magazine (Texas Gun Law Made Simple).

Alaska has similarly loose gun laws where a gun license and state background check are not required to buy a gun (Flynn). It is baffling that gun advocates can still consider such lax gun laws as too restrictive. Such loose laws can easily be abused; however, with stricter gun laws, this can avert a recipe for disaster. There will always be twisted individuals as well as criminals who will abuse the Second Amendment. Someone needs to step back and stop thinking so rigidly. Is following the Constitution word for word worth the lives of innocent children?

Someone must also question the amount of “self-defense” a gun provides, when a person carrying a gun is four times more likely to be shot and killed than a normal person. Though some understand that the Second Amendment is a civil right and plainly stated in the Constitution. Is it too much to ask to limit this freedom in a safer environment where people do not have to constantly worry about crazed gunmen. After all, some people would never want to be in a country where they are constantly in danger of being shot.