Every now and then when lawmakers in the U.S. are asked about the abuse of guns, they respond and rely solely on the Constitution which came into effect on March 4th, 1789. Perhaps people who don’t, and even those that do understand governance may ask if a Constitution is a sacred pile of papers or it’s a working document subject to a change.
The wise men that drafted the U.S. Constitution made provision for change; hence the various Amendments were ratified. Just before we go into the need for a change, let’s remind ourselves of what really is a Constitution. A Constitution is defined by Merriam Webster (dictionary) as “the basic principles and laws of a nation, State, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it.” Common sense should tell everyone that where they are people, there must be leadership and the main responsibility of the leadership is to be proactiveby crafting rules and regulations to guide individual behavior. Otherwise there would be anarchy. Thus, one of the principles of strategic planning is to use the facts you know to plan towards the future. The three branches of government in the U.S. already know that unwarranted killings in the malls, schools etc. are done by unmarried people in the age bracket of 16-27 years of age, so how have these people in Washington used this fact to minimize this type of crime? All we hear in the news is about the second amendment as if the second amendment is an end to itself.
If the rights of U.S. citizens are to own and carry guns, it becomes relevant to discuss the foundation of those rights on one hand and also to talk about the victims arising from the actions of those rights.Never-mine that the U.S. had a declaration of Independence over two hundred years ago but because the average person in America read the history of this great nation, it’s still fresh in our minds the battles that were fought to attain Independence before peace finally came. Ginsberg, Lowi, and Weir, in their book titled “We the People” gave us dates of major events in the U.S.: Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776, Constitution became effective March 4, 1789 and second Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791. More importantly on this matter is the date given by books of historians and the Internet on the battle of Saratoga – September to October 1777. With these dates, you don’t need a Professor to tell you that some of the wise men in the days of President George Washington felt that it was necessary to write the second Amendment because what transpired in 1777 after the declaration of Independence 1776 could happen again. Therefore, all nooks-and-corners of the nation were fortified with armed men. Even at that, the wise men were careful with this decision hence; the second Amendment 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.” There are three words of relevance here: Regulated, security and State. If we were to translate these words to the understanding of elementary school pupils, it would be control, safety of your community. On the other hand, why are the present Judges and lawmakers in the U.S. behaving as if we’re still in the era where foreigners can invade the U.S. borders and take over control of governance?
Those wise men were justified with their decision to fortify their environments with armed men. The interesting observation here is that as grievous as the British invasion of 1777 (Saratoga battle) the 1789 Constitution did not include the second Amendment though the event was in 1777 (before 1789). We can deduce that the use of weapon such as AR-15 is not something to be allowed to everyone in society all in the name of second Amendment. Rather the wise men were concerned with age limits of lawmakers in order to get rid of immaturity in governance, for a Representative (25 years) and for a Senator (30 years). The same immaturity is what we are talking about here. These killers are not matured; hence it’s the responsibility of government to place age limit on gun owners – 30 years at least. Age limit is important at most stages of our lives, so it’s unwise for government to fold their hands and watch innocent people being slaughtered daily all in the name of second Amendment that has been corroborated with lobbyists to Congress people in Washington. By the way, is there a difference between what is known as “blood money” and this scenario whereby people’s blood and souls are wasted through the abuse of guns while money is being doled out to keep the status quo? Amazingly, those wise men of President Washington’s era didn’t have the kind of education that people in this era have, yet they were articulate enough to craft a Constitution and where the need be, they made changes, or added vital documents called Amendments.
By now, we all know that the quality of education you get is dependent on the information made available to you.In the days just after Christopher Columbus’ voyage of 1492, the early founders of the U.S. didn’t use a refined document known as Constitution. But it would be foolish of anyone to think that those early men didn’t have rules and regulation. It’s time and events that determines the progression of governance. In many parts of the world today, people still name their new born babies after an event that just occurred. Therefore, government’s regulation of its people’s behavior is dependent on events of the time. The more civilized people – President Washington and his colleagues found it necessary to have a Constitution because population was increasing and individual behaviors were becoming more complex. It’s obvious that if there was no Saratoga battle of 1777, there would not have been anything like the second Amendment. This is true because as we can read, the right to carry arms was not in the original Constitution.It’s therefore a surprise to many people that what was proposed to be the security of a Free State has been interpreted these days to be security of private families. For avoidance of doubt, how many of these recent killers actually have wives and children to defend in their homes? Probably none.It’s amazing that people in this era with high technology education who are placed in leadership positions are looking the other way while innocent souls are killed by those who abuse gun ownership and they believe that all is well because it’s the culture of the people.
It’s okay to reason that the right to carry guns is the culture of Americans. This is so because when a child is growing up and he sees his father with guns, he too believes that owning a gun is a way of life. In fairness, every U.S. citizen now living on American soil was born after 1791 (2nd Amendment). Is this period not long enough to believe that owning a gun should be a normal way of live that has transition from generation to generation and to generation? Yes, it’s and therefore a large portion of the society has become addicted to guns. Perhaps, a better title for this article would have been addiction to evil guns. This addictive syndrome has eventually gone out of proportion to be a culture as some lawmakers claim. Be that as it may, it’s up to government to place age limit on gun ownership in order to reduce the bloodshed because this is a society that protects life.
The U.S. is known across the globe as a nation that protects and gives rights to her citizens. However, a culture that encourages the rampant killing of innocent people through abuse of gun ownership cannot be part of the U.S. Constitution – God forbid.
Tosan Bob Okotie
December 13, 2012