After every tragic mass shooting, politicians and the media are quick to blame guns rather than people. We’ve seen it with Sandy Hook and Aurora—among countless other incidences—and now we are seeing it once again with the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
Our President and those who will stop at nothing to abandon the constitutionality of the Second Amendment in the name of security use panic rather than logic to make their appeals. What these appeals fail to notice is the amendment’s original intent, and how it is applicable in today’s society.
The Second Amendment, like many of those included in the Bill of Rights, was created in response to government encroachment and the violation of American rights. It provides for those who were being oppressed to defend themselves when the government could not or would not do so. To use the language of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second Amendment guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Although they also said, “[T]he right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
When you apply this logic to the situations we currently face, it seems those most oppressed in our society are those in minority groups or groups that are viewed negatively by larger or violent groups. While I am not advocating for unwarranted violence as a pre-emptive response to oppression, I do feel that when people are threatened, they should be able to defend themselves.
While scrolling through the comments left on Pulse’s facebook status update warning those inside to flee, I came across a comment by a man who identified himself as a gay man living in another large city with similar nightlife. He explained that he realizes that, because of his sexual identity, he is at an increased risk of violence. Therefore, he carries a licensed, concealed weapon when he visits gay nightclubs.This is a perfect example of those whom the Second Amendment protects. Other LGBT persons agree, such as members of Pink Pistols.
Meanwhile, our President and those like him made it clear they will refuse to even utter the words “radical Islam” after a terrorist attack claimed by ISIS, let alone protect those who are being violently attacked by making an example of extremists. This is the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, and the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history that targeted a particular demographic. This failure to distinguish radicalized individuals from the generally peaceful demographic. This is something former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton understood.
We do not have a gun problem, we have a heart problem. Mass shootings happen when violent people perceive that they can carry out their treachery with little intervention. Banning guns will not alter the result, it will only change the method of the madness.