Modernizing the Constitution

Drew Taylor

As we all grieve the horrible school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead — most of them kids — the American argument on guns continues. Most people in this country believes new laws need to be made to prevent the increasingly common mass shootings in America, while the rest believes this would infringe on Second Amendment rights.

It’s frustrating that this country has to go through this every couple of months. We are the only country on earth where this has constantly happened.  After so many deaths, you would believe that something would change. Whether it’s the side trying for tighter restrictions, or the side that wants it to be easier for people to get guns for protection, something should change. But as we’ve seen after Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas and now Stoneman Douglas High School, and every shooting in between, nothing will be done to prevent future tragedies.

I’m not saying we should repeal the Second Amendment. Nor am I saying we should create ultra-strict gun control laws in the style of Australia, even though it has shown to be successful in their country. I do believe that there are some situations where certain kinds of guns are necessary. There are people who live too far from police and a weapon is legitimately needed as their only protection in an emergency.

But is an AR-15 needed in that situation? Absolutely not. Was the Second Amendment written for these types of weapons in mind? I sincerely doubt it.

The goal is not to eliminate the Second Amendment or take anyone’s rights away. I wouldn’t want to eliminate it the same way I wouldn’t want to get rid of the First Amendment or Fifth Amendment or Eighth Amendment. But the amendment, like other amendments, should be modernized. The Second Amendment was not written by the founders of the country thinking of people being able to own multiple semi-automatic weapons. The same way the First Amendment wasn’t written with the idea of whether white supremacists could speak on college campuses in mind.

I understand why this idea is scary for some gun owners. It’s something that hunters and people who shoot for hobby love, and don’t want to lose something they enjoy. But modernizing the gun laws isn’t mean to literally take these handguns away from people. It is meant to prevent people who are at risk of hurting others or themselves with weapons that nobody really needs in any situation. If one of my hobbies was helping to contribute to a crisis that we have seen increase over the last few years, I would understand why it is problematic. I would also understand why it would be important to increase restrictions on said hobby.

I hope eventually those in power make change in response to these shootings. Unfortunately, we are only seeing people let these mass murders become more common and more normal in everyday life.

Drew Taylor is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].