Correction: The date referring to the Bill of Rights should be 1791 not 1751 as previously stated. The Collegian regrets this error.
I can confidently say that as young man living in America, I have never been in a situation where I look back and say â€œwow, good thing I had my gun.â€
Â There is this antediluvian notion in this country that claims guns are a necessity for everyday life. The Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights were adopted in 1791; it is now 2011.
The issue is this: The Bill of Rights and the Constitution were written in an era that we are so far removed from, it is ridiculous that we still abide by the same social norms that were accepted in the mid-18th century.
If folk from 1791 were present today, they would try to coax me into the idea that I had to marry in my teens to a girl detached from love, solely for economic and status advancement. And that I should find a plot of land and grow my own wealth, and instead of playing basketball, I should go fowling, angling, shooting or fencing.
I would tell such folk to go fly a kite. Unless that person were Ben Franklin, he had already done thatâ€¦
â€œBut Chadwick, itâ€™s in the Constitution, so therefore itâ€™s the American standard.â€ Itâ€™s not. Weâ€™re in a different time. Today, we tweet, abuse credit cards, watch â€œMan v. Foodâ€ and smoke marijuana, which my Grandma says â€œturns your brain into a sponge.â€
The Second Amendment was necessary in its day. It has become irrelevant and far more detrimental to society than beneficial.
In the wake of the Tucson shootings, the on-going battle over gun control is again raging, and this is an opportunity for Democrats to take charge on legislation to restrict the access to the dangerous weapons.
Unfortunately, the red party-of-guns lives for the nostalgia of the day when you got on a horse and rode west to fend off bandits and foreign enemies, with a refined, yet pleasantly voluptuous and promiscuous lass you met at a saloon in St. Louis.
The reality is, with gun laws as lackadaisical as they are, we now have East St. Louis, which a prominent professor of this university claims should be declared a â€œdisaster zoneâ€ due to its crime rates, poverty and history of violence.
Estimates from justfacts.com say that in 2010, roughly 47-53 million American households own a gun or 40 percent of the population. Of those gun owners, a Gallup poll reports that the reason they own a gun is to protect themselves against crime, the second reason is to use at the shooting range.
Some Republican lawmakers came out claiming that if there had been more guns at the supermarket in Tucson, the situation would have had a better outcome. No. This conviction is an utter malign belief and is highly counter-intuitive. Unless Jason Bourne was in Safeway that day, chances are those rip-roaring gun advocates would be so anxious to pop off rounds that the final outcome would have been not only more innocent by-standers shot, but most likely everyone who had a gun drawn. Point being: amid the chaos and calamity, how is Jared Loughner going to be differentiated as
the bad guy?
The logical concept is to separate everyone from their guns. Guns are a dead, obsolete technology.
â€œBut Chadwick, I want my guns to shoot animals!â€ Wow. Okay, Elmer.
The Democrats need to do what is right in this situation. This is one of those scenarios in American politics where the smartest, most intuitive citizens need to force legislation upon the people, even when it is not the popular choice. The leadership roles that Congress and the President have taken oaths to uphold need to make decisions that are blatantly and obviously the correct ones, which will make for a safer country. A safer country, even when many citizens do not have the intellectual abilities to understand that it is the safest choice for them.
Editorial Editor Chadwick Bowman is a senior Sociology and Journalism major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.