By MARIUXI MANSFIELD
Nine deaths in a church. 26 deaths in an elementary school. 49 deaths in a nightclub. 58 deaths at a music festival. These are just the most recent mass shooting that this country has faced.
The Second Amendment has definitely divided this country. According to Pew Research Center, 52 percent of Americans want to see more gun restrictions.
But why are Americans so fascinated with the idea of owning a rearm?
When the Founding Fathers decided to include the Second Amendment in the Constitution, there was a powerful reason: they had already experienced the aggressive laws of the British government.
The Declaration of Independence states “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
This is the reason why “we the people” have the right to keep and bear arms – to protect the citizens from the government.
However, the question now is: after 241 years, should Americans change or modify that law?
The United States has evolved politically, socially and technologically. The country has changed. The people have changed.
So, why has the government done nothing to implement gun control?
Probably because there are two groups whose interests are different than those of the country and the American people: The National Ri e Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers.
The NRA, a nonprofit organization, has become powerful, with reported revenues of $227 million.
Since 2005, the NRA has accepted between $20 million and $52 million from the gun industry through the “Ring of Freedom.” Some contributions of over $1 million came from Sturm Ruger, Remington Outdoor and Smith & Wesson, according to PBS.
“While the NRA portrays itself as protecting the freedom of individual gun owners, it is actually working to protect the freedom of the gun industry,” Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center, Josh Sugarmann said.
The gun manufacturing industry alone has made $1.5 billion in profits, according to IBIS World, a market research company.
The United States has 42 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns and the highest homicide by rearm rate among the world’s most developed nations, according to a 2007 report by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey.
Meanwhile, other countries have already enacted gun control measures.
According to The Atlantic, Canada has restricted handguns, semiautomatic and sawed- o s, and prohibited automatics. Australia prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles. United Kingdom has banned certain semiautomatic rifles and increased registration requirements. Japan has highly restrictive rearm regulations, and the only guns permitted are shotguns.
In Latin America, the thought process of having a rearm is completely different.
In countries where there is a high level of violence like Colombia, Venezuela or Brazil, people expect the police or army to confront the delinquency.
And although citizens can obtain a rearm through a special permit, there is no point in owning one because it is thought that it is the police’s responsibility to protect them.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited the
sale of rearms to certain citizens, including those under the age of 18, those with criminal records, the mentally disabled, unlawful aliens and dishonorably discharged military personnel, according to The Washington Post. Moreover, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 mandated background checks for persons who wanted to purchase a gun from a federally licensed dealer.
But these are not enough.
The NRA and gun manufactures spend millions of dollars lobbying in Congress to stop gun control.
Chris Cox, chief of the NRA lobby team, has been given more than $31 million during the last three years for gun-rights candidates and causes, according to The New York Times.
In the end, it’s not about the Second Amendment or the right of Americans to protect themselves from the government. It’s about money.
And it’s about two groups that made Americans believe that with a gun, they are free.