COLUMN: Guns perpetuate cycle of violence

Erin Roof

Americans have bought into the myth that we not only need guns, but have a constitutional right to bear them. However, a thorough review of the Second Amendment reveals this right was not intended to be administered broadly:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The frequently distorted Second Amendment only protects the right to bear arms for members of state militias, not for everyday Johnny Machismo with an urge to assert his manhood. The modern militia, to which the amendment refers, is the National Guard. Being that the National Guard provides government-supplied weapons to its soldiers, instead of relying on privately owned guns, this amendment is now void.

The NRA likes to hide behind this notorious sentence to grant authority to its opinions. But the Second Amendment is simply not a valid argument for the right to bear arms in our modern society.

The NRA also likes to tell Americans they need guns for protection. But guns only perpetuate the cycle of violence.

We live in a terror-driven nation. Americans are looking for anything to make them feel safer, be it handguns, Prozac, duct tape or one good hit of cyanide. This makes good business for gun manufactures, but it does nothing to address the larger problem of violence. Guns only act as a placebo to quell our fear.

If America is to become a safer place to live, we must restrict access to firearms. It is obvious – having fewer guns would severely limit the occasions of gun violence and less gun violence would make America safer.

Tighter gun control is also in the nation’s best financial interest. Gun violence costs the United States about $126 billion every year (Accident Analysis and Prevention). Also, because most victims of gun violence are uninsured, taxpayers foot the bill for about 85 percent of their medical expenses (Annals of Internal Medicine).

All this being said, I believe there is one productive gun use – coup d’etat. For years I have straddled the line of thinking between violence and nonviolence as a means of political revolution. Then I looked to a modern prophet for guidance. It was Jim Morrison who once said, “They’ve got the guns, but we’ve got the numbers.”

Old Jim couldn’t be more right. His theory of nonviolence was recently proven true by the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, where only a couple thousand protesters overthrew their corrupt government in one day without a single shot being fired.

We could rush the White House with a swarm of pistols and sawed-off shotguns, but, let’s face it, the Man has much bigger and better weapons than we could ever imagine. We must find another way.

Everyone who shares in this nonviolent dream needs to go to Washington D.C. this Saturday for the anti-war demonstration. These are the guns we really need to worry about – the ones taking innocent lives every day in Iraq. Buses are leaving from Kent and nearby cities. Find one and hop on! Let’s speak out this weekend and stop this war!

They have the guns, but we have the numbers!

Erin Roof is a senior magazine journalism major and a point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].