Right To Keep Firearms Invites Human Tragedy


Parmeshwar Devkota

At the onset of the year 2023, four shooting incidents were carried out at different locations in the United States of America (USA) which shocked the entire world. Frequent cases of gun violence and massacres in the USA have disappointed the people globally because it has been a melting pot of different nationalities from around globe for more than two centuries. 

Other nations which had liberated themselves from colonial rule shut their doors to the people looking for opportunities. But the USA has opened doors to them in diverse fields. This is the reason why so many people seeking opportunities have gone to America in their productive age. Thus, the USA has become a land for those looking for freedom, opportunities and innovations. Now, America has turned into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious nation. 

Though the Americans are wise and brilliant, there remains misperception among them that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution gives them right to carry fire-arms in public places for their own safety. And, the citizens with depressed condition, mood swinging problem or jingoistic mind-set have been taking advantage of this right, which has resulted in deadly massacres time and again. The Second Amendment has not been provisioned for the safety of an individual. Rather, it meant for safeguarding democracy. 

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Addison, Thomas Jefferson, James Addison and Alexander Hamilton were among the prominent leaders of the American Revolution (1765-1791) who authored the Constitution in 1781. During that period, the American democracy was in a budding stage. The Great Britain was the coloniser and the most powerful country at that time. The top leaders saw frictions in Britain. They feared for the collapse of the hard-won democracy from colonialists. 

The American leaders had faith in the local people and militia to safeguard democracy. So, they provisioned in the constitution to provide firearms to local militia for the safety of democracy. The Second Amendment adopted in the year 1791 reads: ‘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’.  So, the provision was made for different proposes. An individual carrying a machine gun can never be a protector of democracy. 

So, the Second Amendment should be redefined keeping the following ways in mind: First, if the USA is bound to give firearm to an individual, the model of the firearm should be of the eighteenth century period. It must not be a machine gun, multi-round pistol or harmful gas like anthrax because such weapons cause much damage to human lives. Second, America is a model democracy. So, it is not at risk. Another point is that from military, economic and technological perspectives, America is the strongest country globally. Therefore, the nation should be peaceful and friendly. 

The citizens of such a powerful country must not be so cowardice and fearful to walk in the market places and thoroughfares without a machine gun. They should garner courage to walk in the parks, schools and colleges even without carrying a machine gun. They should give up chauvinistic views and start learning to respect the people of different races, religions and cultures.

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