America And The Second Amendment

How Americans on both sides of the aisle view the Second Amendment

Conservation Agents teach Outdoor Pursuits I students how to safely handle weapons. Students have multiple views pertaining to the Second Amendment.

Liz Hayes

Conservation Agents teach Outdoor Pursuits I students how to safely handle weapons. Students have multiple views pertaining to the Second Amendment.

Cody Cushing, Reporter

Many Americans in recent years have come to the conclusion that the most deadly guns around the world are assault rifles and other long barrel guns perceived as threatening in appearance, or “military style.”

Some people believe that the Second Amendment (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necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed) is outdated and is in need of revision or total repeal. A number of Democrat politicians have been pushing to restrict and/or have a mandatory “buy-back” which is an inaccurate term because the United States Federal Government never truly owned the guns they would be taking.

In a statement from 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke at the third Democratic presidential debate on Sept. 12, 2019: “Hell Yes we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47, we’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore!” While O’Rourke’s sentiment is easy to get behind, there are some very heavy implications to fully outlawing guns based on looks alone.

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.”

— The 2nd Amendment

In the 2008 Supreme Court ruling DC vs. Heller, it states that the prefatory clause (A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state) does not affect the operative clause (the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed). Although the Second Amendment does say “well regulated,” this means well trained as opposed to restricted ownership of arms.

The National Firearms Act which violates the Second Amendment’s operative clause, in restricting the legal ownership of firearms has been in effect for nearly 100 years. The NFA law, passed under the Roosevelt Administration, was intended to protect American citizens. The law has come to be an all-encompassing set of gun laws that dictates all varieties of firearms that should be banned, taxed, and how weapons are classified. Certain weapons that civilians can own are listed as an “NFA item” and are given a $200 or $5 tax stamp. This includes suppressors, forward grips, automatic or 3-round burst firearms, and short-barreled rifles.

When speaking to students, we found many students who do not oppose the Second Amendment, but support regulation of arms (ie: no machine guns or explosive rounds without a license.)

Freshman Jackson Johnson, or JJ, said that he does not support a repeal of the Second Amendment but would like certain limits on what an average citizen may own. He believes that there should be a fine of $500 per violation and/or jail time.

Somewhat on the flipside of the coin, sophomore Jordyn Lovercheck has little faith in gun control as she believes that gun control violates your constitutional rights. Lovercheck believes that the most extensive punishment should be a ticket comparable to a parking or speeding ticket.

Being that guns are such a delicate topic in today’s world and require so much care when speaking publicly about them, many students declined to speak about guns as they are a somewhat taboo subject.