Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 3:03:49 AM
Last month’s shooting in Newtown, CT shocked the whole world, and the question of gun control was pushed yet again to the forefront of national debate. The Second Amendment of the Constitution explicitly states that all men have the right to bear arms; the restriction of such a right would be unconstitutional and against the values of freedom upon which the Founding Fathers shaped this country. However, the Constitutional Era was one plagued by constant skirmishes not only with the unrelenting British forces but also with the Native Americans. As the country expanded through the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican-American War, men needed guns to face the dangers in the wilderness during their journey west. Now, average citizens are not faced with such imminent, daily threats to their lives. There is no need for every citizen to have a gun. Yet the law stands.
President Obama has been trying to pass laws that would require stricter background checks on gun purchasers and limit the amount of gunpowder available in the market. These laws would benefit the public without voiding the Second Amendment. Background checks eliminate past convicts or the mentally insane—those more statistically likely to commit murder—from the population of people wielding firearms. The restriction of gunpowder aims to render even those people with guns incapable of committing massacres. While it is unclear whether these laws will prevent such tragedies from happening again, at least the public can rest assured that the NRA will not be allowed to supply every school guard with a firearm.
The tragedy of the current situation is that as these laws wait to be reviewed by Congress, people have flocked to gun stores and online retailers to buy bullets, guns, and gunpowder. Prices have soared to five times those of November, and many online stores have been unable to satisfy the exponential demand. Interestingly, the rise and fall in the demand for firearms serve as an indication of public unrest. There has been a trend for more people to buy guns during the term of a Democratic president rather than that of a Republican president. Some have interpreted this to mean that people feel safer with a Republican president and insecure with a Democratic president. While President Obama offers definite solutions to the problem of gun control, the Democratic Party must first become a party that the people can trust to protect them from such adversities as the shooting in Newtown. Only then will people stop frantically searching for firearms as a means to keep them safe and start to look towards the government as a properly functioning body elect.