By Jay Chambers
The passing of the 2nd Amendment was decided in a political landscape much different than the one we know today. But that doesn’t make it any less applicable.
Ben Franklin once said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
The idea here is that in order to be free, we have certain liberties entrusted to us. We take these
liberties for granted on a daily basis, and we often forget that when we begin to take them away
in the name of safety, everyone suffers.
Our 2nd Amendment is just another example of the liberty and freedom we were intended to
Much like guns can be used for good or evil, so can freedom of speech. The moment we
infringe upon our peoples’ right to keep and bear arms is the moment we take away every
essential freedom we have been given.
Gun Culture in the United States
The behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding guns seem to have changed dramatically
since the 2nd Amendment. Fueled by school shootings and mass murders, like-minded
politicians and civilians alike are working harder than ever to get laws changed.
It didn’t happen overnight. Early Americans saw guns as critical to their survival. Hunting was a
primary source of food for families.
When war broke out, militias were formed to protect communities from being attacked by the
Guns were never inherently bad, but people certainly can be.
Popular culture in the early 20th century did a lot to promote the popularity of guns, with
characters like Annie Oakley, John Wayne, and Buffalo Bill. Cowboys were idolized, sharp
shooting was a sport, and gangster films were on the rise.
Our long-held affection for guns was only politicized starting in the 1970s, when the term ‘gun
culture’ was first coined. People on the outside began to view America as a gun culture that
celebrated and embraced the ownership of guns.
The spirit of rugged individualism gripped everyone and it was idolized by young and old alike.
Young children always have and always will fantasize about being cowboys, police officers, and
other men and women of the law. No amount of gun control will take that away.
Perhaps our affinity for guns came from a rebellious place and an effort to distance ourselves
from British rule. It might have even been a dramatic swing in the opposite direction, but it’s a
big part of what gave us our footing as a country apart from England.
It’s important to remember that strict gun control is not a new concept. When the British realized
that selling guns freely to all of their colonies resulted in arming their enemies against them,
they placed rather strict laws on who could buy or sell firearms.
So when we argue over whether there should or should not be gun control, we’re simply
repeating what’s been done for all of history.
One side of the issue wants to take all guns away to protect everyone from them. The other side
wants to be able to arm themselves in defense of their own rights and criminals who will attack,
no matter what the law says.
There are radical views on both sides of the barrel, and they’re not any different than they were
hundreds of years ago, but we certainly hold these views for different reasons now.
These days, it’s about protecting our children and keeping large gatherings safe from attack.
The problem is that there are other modern inventions at our disposal these days that can be
used as weapons, too.
Driving a car down the wrong side of the street or under the influence can be deadly. Texting
and other distractions while driving have killed thousands.
For some reason, liberals target guns as the one thing they think they can control and the one
thing that will solve the problem.
The reality is that there are other culprits and you can’t simply single guns out as the only
danger in our modern society.
Changing the 2nd Amendment won’t change opinions. Taking guns away won’t solve the
problem. Our gun culture developed over the course of many years, and turning the ship around
will take many more.
Leave the freedoms and add education. Gun education, drivers education, alcohol education,
and technology education are a great start. Arm young people with knowledge so when you arm
them with the tools, they’ll know how to use them.
Our gun culture hasn’t failed us, we’ve failed ourselves. Building a foundation of understanding
is the perfect place to start.
Our gun culture is what makes us unique. It’s one of the founding principles of our country and
something that many other developed nations will simply never understand. It’s part of what got
us where we are today and a good reason why the 2nd Amendment suits us so well.