• Christian Hoeger

The 2nd Amendment Is Obsolete: Gun Violence in America

The speakers are loud, the good vibes flowing. The notes coming from the stage are causing everyone to dance, smile and feel happiness that is hard to beat. Complete strangers become best friends as the crowd of thousands becomes the loudest karaoke bar on the planet. There is nothing quite like a music festival, for many (including myself) music festivals are a way to escape everyday life for a day or weekend. They can make the old feel young and the young feel like their life could last forever.

Route 91 Harvest Festival was just that, a safe haven for the young and old to come together and make life-long memories soundtracked by their favorite country artists, in America’s capital of good times on top of it all. Then Stephen Paddock opened fire from his room on the 32nd Floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel with automatic gunfire that witnesses said lasted “10-15 minutes” by many accounts. The music died and with it at least 58 people along with it, because it is legal in the state of Nevada to purchase automatic weapons.

Now, the argument can be made that Paddock would have still found a way to get his hands on the reportedly ten plus firearms at his disposal. However, why should the very fabric of our society, the Constitution, make it easy and legally defensible to have easy access to these weapons? This is the debate all throughout the country, again, as this latest mass-shooting has now become the deadliest in American history. It’s long been time to face facts, the 2nd Amendment is obsolete.

The Amendment was put in place to give the fledgling America a defense against foreign invaders (Britain, etc.) or to be able to mount a revolution if the government were to ever become un-democratic and oppressive. This was a time of gun powder and muskets, warfare and the act of killing had not become technologically advanced yet. Now America reaps the benefits of that Amendment’s shortsighted-ness in that “America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world” which comes out to 88 in 100 American’s own guns according to United Nations data and research conducted by The Guardian new publication and the Harvard School of Public Health. This is nothing new, these statistics are shared after every major mass shooting on American soil, but yet the White House says it “isn’t the time for us to go after individuals or organizations.” Why would they want to come in conflict with an organization, the NRA, which gave $30 million to the campaign?

In the same speech press secretary Sarah Sanders pointed out that Chicago has stricter gun laws than most of America but yet one of the highest homicide rates. This argument is by all accounts the go-to for pro-gun activists. Back in 2011, economist Richard Florida conducted a study to find out the correlations between gun violence and various factors in America and found, “fatal gun violence is less likely to occur in richer states with more post-industrial knowledge economies, higher levels of college graduates, and tighter gun laws,” and that was just in America. These statistics don’t even mention the fact that Australia has not had a mass-shooting in the twenty plus years since the extreme tightening of their gun laws or the decline in gun related violence in the U.K. since similar laws were put into place. Chicago is a city with violence bred in individuals at a young age because of economic and social problems that have gripped sections of the city for decade. These very human emotions of powerlessness and despair can overpower any type of restrictions. There are many factors to look at when it comes to the issue of gun control and complete restriction will probably not end all gun violence in America, the facts prove and have long proved that it will definitely help. So why fight to protect an obsolete Amendment that science and common sense has long since deemed obsolete?

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