What recent mass shootings in US tell us about the Second Amendment

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi, India Published: May 10, 2021, 10:44 PM(IST)

PIcture for representative purpose only. Photograph:( Others )

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American politicians think the Second Amendment is some heavenly command. In reality, it is an outdated law that is killing Americans every day

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, is highly revered in the country. The words of Jefferson and other founding fathers are like the gospel truth. But how sincere is their devotion?

This is what Jefferson said about the American constitution: “Every constitution then and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right."

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Jefferson believed that laws have an expiry date and that a law that works today may not work in the future. Society changes, but if laws don't change with society it can be disastrous and the US is learning this the hard way. The Second Amendment of the US constitution talks about gun rights, and the law is considered largely obsolete.

Over the weekend, two separate mass shooting incidents took place in the US. One in New York City’s famous spot Times Square and another one in Colorado. 

Reportedly, a scuffle broke out at Times Square in which around four people were involved. It’s still unclear what they were arguing about, but things soon took a turn for the worse as one of them took out his gun and fired. The bullets hit three people, all of whom were bystanders.

Among them was a four year old girl. Fortunately, the shooting was not fatal. But it reveals a worrying trend in NYC. Mass shootings are becoming too common, and police officers are appealing for legal changes.

“How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously? We just had a one-year-old homicide cleared this week. How many more kids do we need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences and we need action and we need policies regarding laws to have consequences for the arrests”, New York Police Department commissioner Dermot Shea said after the mishap.

In some American states, you can buy guns at a Walmart and these shootings are a direct result of such policies. In Colorado, there was a shooting at a birthday party and the gunman killed six people, after which he turned the gun on himself. One of the victims was his girlfriend. The police are still trying to determine his motive but the attack has put Colorado on edge.

In Colorado, you can carry guns in state parks, restaurants. On top of that, you don't have to tell police officers that you are carrying a firearm. These are not gun laws, these are the lack of gun laws.

New York City and Colorado made all the headlines drowning other incidents of mass shootings that rocked the country. There were at least nine mass shootings over the weekend - one in Phoenix, another in Maryland. More shootings were reported in California, Milwaukee, and Missouri.

All these shootings took 15 lives in just two days. In 2019, there were 417 mass shootings in the US. In 2020, the number went up to 600 that too in the middle of the pandemic. In 2021, 147 shootings have been reported so far, and the number is rising every day.

The US accounts for more than half of all gun violence deaths. In America, guns are political and are marketed as a symbol of freedom. Gun lobbies are among the strongest in Washington, and the biggest of them is the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 2018, they topped 5 million members. Due to this huge vote bank, politicians end up being soft on gun control.

Joe Biden is proposing a range of measures including background checks and a ban on automatic weapons. But Biden says that these reforms will not affect the Second Amendment. American politicians think the Second Amendment is some heavenly command. In reality, it is an outdated law that is killing Americans every day.

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