Column: The Second Amendment needs to be re-evaluated

The Second Amendment is outdated at best, and it’s time to talk about why that is.

Madi Baughman is a freshman journalism and political science major at MU. She is an opinions columnist who writes about political and civil rights issues for The Maneater.

The Second Amendment is, to many people, a beloved piece of the U.S. Constitution. The right to bear arms is one of the most controversial ideas in our government, and for good reason; the number of U.S. mass shootings is exponentially higher than those of many other developed democracies across the world. The Second Amendment is extremely outdated and needs to be re-evaluated, at the very least, if we want to begin to fix this problem.

I know that this statement can get people heated for a lot of reasons. One common argument is that the Second Amendment protects the right of people to own powerful weapons in the case we ever need to rebel against the government. While this may have rang true hundreds of years ago, there are a few key problems with this theory in modern circumstances.

One reason is that when the Second Amendment was written, firepower was very limited in terms of capacity and speed. The guns that people have access to today are a lot more dangerous, and when in the wrong hands, they can lead to disaster. Times have changed, and so has technology. With this logic, military-grade guns that require months of training and strict upkeep do not belong in the hands of normal citizens. The American family does not need to own an AR-15.

Another key problem is the thought that we would stand a chance against the government with all of its resources if it ever came down to it. We’re talking about the same government that has developed nuclear weapons and can quite literally monitor every person in the country through the devices we use. If we had a regime that really wanted to, they could wipe us all out in an instant — and a couple of guys with their hunting rifles aren’t going to change that. It’s a dark truth, but it’s reality.

Even more than that, we should also show sympathy and take action to prevent any more innocent lives from being lost. The U.S. only makes up around 4.4 percent of the world’s population but has 31 percent of the world’s mass shootings, according to CNN. It seems like the number of innocent lives lost only keeps going up — in fact, the Columbine High School shooting, which is one of the most famous U.S. mass shootings, does not even make the top-10 list of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history anymore. Every year, hundreds of lives are lost to violence that could have been prevented with sound legislation.

People are never going to agree when it comes to the Second Amendment, but can we at least agree that some protective measures need to be put in place so we are not constantly making innocent people the victims of mass shootings? Your right to fire your gun ends when it infringes upon someone else’s right to their life. Doing things as simple as keeping semi-automatic rifles out of the hands of citizens, mandating stronger background checks and/or forcing gun owners to go through responsible gun ownership training would save so many lives, and we need to make this official with more legislation.

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