In fact the question that should be posed is: Had our forefathers foreseen the tragic events of Columbine and New Town, would they have omitted the Second Amendment in its entirety? The likely answer is “no,” as our forefathers were staunch supporters of a free state and allowing the “people to keep and bear arms.” This was in fact, largely due to the era in which they lived – one where British rules and regulations deeply infringed upon American freedoms. Imagine living in an era where everything your new, young country produced was picked through and only the best was sent to the heads of British royalty, while only subpar quantities remained for you and your family. Imagine living in a time where taxation was such a heavy burden, life expectancy was less than 33 years and less than 60-percent of the population hailed from England, but were in fact natives or those born overseas in Europe or Africa.
Our forefathers never wanted their freedoms infringed upon, which is why when our 56 founding fathers gathered to sign the pivotal Declaration of Independence, they were declaring their freedom from a country of tyranny and monarchy rule, seeking a new freedom that was founded upon the ideals and pursuits of a democracy, a government designed for the people by the people.
As America secured their freedom from England, the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights were drafted by a number of influential Americans including Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and George Washington, to name a few. These men understood the power of unrest – the human voices that fueled a revolution that ultimately created a budding new nation. They understood that conformity was not the only option and that, in fact, being an individual was idealistic. Breaking molds and pushing boundaries, these influential politicians, farmers and inventors helped change not only the course of American, but ultimately impacted the entire world, helping design and create a superpower that is the awe of humankind for more than 236 years.
So in fact, the real question that is posed before Americans right now should not be about gun ownership, but about more involved gun safety regulations. Should the government impose additional background check measures on those citizens purchasing guns? Were the mentally ill individuals responsible for these violent, unnecessary crimes able to obtain guns through illegal means? Will banning all weaponry result in people turning to other forms of violent weapons instead of guns? These are all questions that are being discussed daily, not only amongst the media, but also between friends and family.
As the New Year envelops us in good cheer, it may be an important time to consider our freedoms and the sacrifices our forefathers made, with their own blood, sweat and tears, for us to be afforded the liberties we so often take for granted.
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