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Mark Dallas, the school resource officer at Dixon High School, stopped a school shooting back in May, as stated by The New York Times. After hearing gunshots, Dallas raced to the shooter and shot him once, stopping the perpetrator. Thanks to Officer Dallas, many lives were saved and a tragedy was avoided. This is an example of an armed individual able to prevent a catastrophe.

The gun controversy roots back to the second amendment of the Constitution, which states “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” A common argument against the second amendment used by Lawrence O’Donnell, the host of an MSNBC news program, is that only slow reloading muskets existed during the time the Constitution was written. However, firearms like the Nock Volley Gun (invented in 1779 and used by the British navy until 1804) were able to fire seven barrels at once. There were other guns that had similar features, such as the Girandoni Air Rifle, invented in 1779 and in use until 1815, most known for venturing alongside Lewis and Clark during their exploration.

The first amendment of the Constitution guarantees us the freedoms of speech and press. With the Constitution being a living document, the first amendment has expanded to include communication over the internet—something the founding fathers had no idea would exist. The second amendment should be able to broaden in this same way to encompass guns that didn’t exist during the framers’ time.

Not only would limiting the second amendment violate the policy of our living Constitution, but it wouldn’t be an effective solution to the gun violence issue. To clear up a misconception about rifles, fully-automatic guns have been banned in the U.S. since 1986. Therefore, only semi-automatic rifles (requiring a pull of the trigger for each bullet fired) can be bought today. According to FBI data, only 3.4 percent of firearm-caused deaths were committed with rifles in 2016. Additionally, a report on the ban of assault rifles in (1994-2004) funded by the government and conducted by Christopher S. Koper suggests that “gun crimes since the ban [had] been no less likely to cause death or injury than those before it”. Hence, gun regulation will not solve the problem of gun violence.

A gun is an object—which is neither good or bad. If guns kill people, then by the same logic, cars drive drunk and spoons cause obesity. As a solution to keep guns away from the wrong people, we support universal background checks and increased awareness of mental health to insure they are used responsibly. If you still don’t believe in good people with guns, ask yourself why you call the police. Because they’re armed responsible individuals who can protect you.

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