Obama’s gun plan infringes on rights

GUN-CONTROL-INFOGRAPHICBy LUKE MENDELSOHN

President Barack Obama recently released his plan for gun control in response to numerous mass shootings in the recent years, culminating in the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Obama’s extensive plan entails four key points that outline the gun control legislation he hopes congress will pass. The main points in his plan outline steps to curb gun violence, but where Obama goes too far is in asking Americans to surrender the right to own assault weapons and magazines that have the capacity to hold more than ten rounds.

The first point in Obama’s plan is to strengthen background checks and eliminate existing loopholes. Currently, it is possible to obtain a gun through certain loopholes in the background check, even if you cannot legally own a gun. Purchasing a gun at a gun show does not require a background check. This legislation would ensure that those who buy and own guns are not restricted by current laws to own them.

The second point is to place a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The final two points in Obama’s plan reflect less on gun control and are focused more on reducing the likelihood of another mass shooting. They entail, first, making schools safer by providing funds to increase safety and resources and, secondly, increasing access to mental health services.

The last two points in Obama’s plan are needed steps in addressing the mass shooting problem that has become considerably worse over the past few years. Even the first point, closing background check loopholes, seems pretty reasonable, as it is a strengthening of current law and keeps those not allowed by law, such as felons, from owning guns.

However, in banning assault weapons and limiting magazine capacity, Obama infringes on America’s Second Amendment.

The assault weapons considered in the ban are semi-automatic, meaning that the trigger has to be pulled for every bullet fired. This is unlike an automatic weapon which fires continuously while the trigger is held down. Automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since 1934.

At first glance, it might seem to make a real difference to limit the magazine size to ten bullets. However, changing a clip only adds on three seconds to the rate of fire. Is this a substantial enough difference to warrant banning a clip size that could be a lifesaving defensive tool?

This is an infringement upon our Second Amendment constitutional right to keep and bear arms. When a government takes away from the people the right to own semi-automatic assault weapons, it takes away part of the people’s liberty and freedom. The state would have the only real firepower with which to enable the state to potentially oppress and use violence against its citizens.

The right of every American to have a gun is not simply for self-defense against other individuals, but also for defense against a potentially tyrannical state. The reason that the right to keep and bear arms was included in the Constitution is so citizens could protect themselves, not only against rogue citizens, but also against a tyrannical state.

Obama is reacting rationally to the terrible emotional impact of the Sandy Hook tragedy but not fully understanding the long-term implications of the restrictions that he is proposing.

Obama’s new plan for gun control legislation states: “While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the American people want action.” But do we? Do we want the kind of laws that limit the freedom and ability of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

The people in support of the proposed law need to remember that this law does not guarantee a reduction in violence. Are we willing to turn over our right to keep and bear arms in the hopes that this may potentially reduce violence? Banning assault weapons and posing restrictions on high-capacity magazines will mostly restrict law-abiding citizens. Black markets for these types of guns and magazines still allow people to purchase these weapons. The concept that a law can reduce the amount of guns in the wrong hands is an idealistic thought.

It would be a shame to see Second Amendment rights infringed upon. Especially when Obama’s plan itself states that the proposed legislation is not guaranteed to fix the problem.

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6 Comments

  1. Katie says:

    Interestingly, no mass shooting has ever been stopped by an armed civilian, and in fact they often lead to more injuries, even in places with heavily armed and trained people like Fort Hood. (Source: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation) Saying that we really need to be 3 seconds faster in our shooting to defend ourselves from criminals simply isn’t backed up by the data; if more guns meant less crime, America would be the safest country in the world, and we very obviously aren’t.

    As far as needing defense from the government: The Framers also included checks and balances and regular elections to avoid tyranny, and it seems to be working out pretty well so far. I would MUCH rather lose my “right” to carry a dangerous weapon in exchange for the safety that comes with a reasonable gun control law than risk more tragedies like the hundreds of deaths by gun violence that happen every single year in America. To suggest that the “right” to own some specific kind of gun trumps all those lives is frankly pretty offensive.

  2. Christine says:

    However, in banning assault weapons and limiting magazine capacity, Obama infringes on America’s Second Amendment. Yes that is, but into today time we don’t really needs guns in homes/ the time the second amendment was written we needed guns in the home they was no phone electric etc home was miles apart. needed to be able to protect ourselves then now we had phone etc we can do more now than then we can make phone call to get help. i feel removing guns from homes but make place where citizens can go get the gun by checking it and the bullets with it return with matter of time limit for hunting etc but to allow guns in the home 24 hour a day 7 days an week we don’t have need for that now!! i hope Obama can help with the control!!

  3. MadMann135 says:

    Obama wants to infringe on my 2nd AND 9th amendment.
    2nd Amendment protects the American’s right to own a firearm.
    9th Amendment prevents interpretation of the Amendments.
    Now more than ever Americans need to be armed.

    • Conor McMahon says:

      For what reason does America need to be armed? What giant threat is looming over us that requires more guns? The Second Amendment should be protected, but there’s a point where the weapons we are allowed to have need to be limited. Things that can deal out death in the blink of an eye should not be taken lightly. You don’t need an assault rifle over a pistol for home protection, in my opinion.

      • S Anderson says:

        At this time there is no giant threat but one of the reasons the founding fathers made the 2nd amendment was to ensure that the government would not control the people. Look at history, you take away your citizens right of protection and not far away is tyranny in some shape or form.

        Also talking about weapons that deal death in a blink of an eye can include knives, your own hands, clubs, bombs (which can be made from materials found in a hardware store), etc. The list could go on and on. What are you going to do then ban those to? I am seriously asking you I am not angry or making fun of your reply

        Yes guns can be very effective but still if you take those away from the law abiding citizens doesn’t mean that the criminals are going to just hand over theirs.

        Last thing I would like to say is American citizens are not allowed to own assault rifles unless they have the proper licenses. Assault Rifles are fully automatic, which means they fire multiple rounds per trigger pull. The term that you are looking for is assault weapon (which was a name made by politicians because they just look like military grade guns, and was introduced when they made the Assault weapons ban in 1994). An AR-15 and AK-47,considered assault weapons, even though very scary looking are semi-automatic guns which means they fire one bullet per pull of the trigger. Some shotguns, rifles, and most pistols are semi-automatic as well. So does that mean we should ban those as well? Again I am not making fun of your comment I want to know what you think. I am also trying to inform people the differences of the terms that are flying out in the media right now.

        • Conor McMahon says:

          I’m sorry I don’t know much terminology, and I don’t really care to learn much about weaponry in general. I was more responding to the feeling I was getting from MadMann135 which is a fear that the government will turn the United States into a police state. I didn’t see a reason for Americans needing to be armed now more than ever. I said in my comment that the Second Amendment should be upheld. I just am unsure as to why some people choose to have guns that exceed their needs.

          Your last comment about needing proper licenses to own assault rifles just makes me wonder since when have a lot of people cared what they’re allowed to have? My argument wasn’t against guns, and I’m sorry if you thought it was. It was against certain types of firearms that I think are unnecessarily effective and overkill compared to what one would need. I also thought that guns had parts that could be switched out, or am I mistaken in thinking that? There might be some special way they stop a gun sold to be a semi automatic into an automatic, but I don’t really know much about it.

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