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A week that needs to be amended

What does second amendment week actually support?

Lake Larsen | Digital Media Manager

This week is second amendment week, a week to heighten awareness on the subject of and advocate for the second amendment and gun rights. But does this highly-discussed amendment actually need — and, honestly, deserve — a full week of recognition?

The second amendment is one of the most controversial amendments due to an epidemic of gun violence in the news in recent times. Because of this, there are very vocal protesters on both sides of the argument fighting for their views. But I don’t see these pro- and anti-amendment arguments as equals. This is why I believe the pro-second-amendment rhetoric on our campus is undeserving of a full week of recognition.

In the gun debate, the sides can be reduced to two basic arguments: the right to bear arms and the need for major gun control. Yes, I realize there is an ocean of grey area to this argument but for the sake of time, let’s try to condense arguments into the following groups: one side fights for the right to be able to attend your class without the fear of an ex-student entering the room with a firearm with the intent to kill, the right to go see a movie without thinking in the back of your head an escape plan for how to get out in a shooting or even just the ability to attend a concert without needing to worry about seeing your loved ones gunned down by a weapon that can be bought by a high-school-aged kid. Meanwhile, the radicals on the other side argue that because a handful of old white men wrote on a paper 227 years ago that the “right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” anyone can own any gun at any time with any amount of ammunition to do with what they please. That the right to own a gun is given to American citizens no matter what their past is like. That no matter how many innocent lives are taken by guns, people still need them.

I am not trying to throw all second amendment advocates into one generalized, gun-crazed group. What I am trying to say is that one side wants the peace of mind to not worry about whether they, or a loved one, will come home safe. And the radicals on the other side think some ink on a paper means everyone should own a gun, any type of gun, for hunting or killing a robber or whatever they please.

This gross difference in the value of a human life is what disqualifies this week as appropriate for a college campus. If we want to be the kind of college that condones speech like this, at least match it with dialogue that actually follows what the second amendment says. Because a true second amendment week would preach about the need for regulation on guns, because after all, the second and third words in the amendment are “well regulated”. Instead, the events for the week involve playing with Nerf guns.

 

Ignore the voices pushing  this week of second amendment worship on campus. This campus is for education, not preaching for ownership of weapons that cause the deaths of almost 13,000 Americans every year. While diversity of thought helps grow society, the lack of empathy for human life slows progress.

Enough of this “good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.” Instead, realize that the lack of a gun means there’s a lowered ability to kill anyone. Preach love and unity, not protectionism and violence. If there is one thing that the founding fathers said that needs to be repeated, it’s that every American has the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” So, stop these lies of needing a gun to be safe and, instead, educate about how we can come together to create a peaceful society.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with some facts that should carry the most weight during this pro-second amendment propaganda week: per everytownresearch.org, on average in America every 15 minutes someone is killed by a gun; there are approximately 36 homicides by a gun everyday; every other month on average a child or teen is murdered with a gun; as of May 13, there have been 39 gun related incidents at a school in 2018 — that’s an average of two per week.

Now ask yourself: do we really need this week?

 

Contact the author at llarsen13@wou.edu

Photo by: latimes.com