Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

Students participate in a vigil In Benton, Kentucky, on January 23.

On the morning of Tuesday, January 23, a child walked into Marshall County High School in Kentucky, wielding his mother’s handgun. The unnamed 15-year-old proceeded to shoot 18 people. Two were killed: Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both 15. This tragedy marked the eleventh school shooting in the first month of 2018. It’s no secret that America has a problem with gun regulation. In order to prevent tragedies like Kentucky, America should impose smarter gun regulations.

The gun control debate is always reignited immediately following mass shootings. Yet little change has occurred as a result of these arguments.

The Second Amendment states that “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.” Widespread misinterpretation of the Second Amendment has led to a misinformed perspective of the individual right to bear arms in the United States. There are three positions recognized by the Justice Department: first, the “collective right” of states to bear arms, secondly, the “individual right” of a citizen to bear arms, and lastly, the “quasi-collective right” of individuals to bear arms. When considering gun policy on campus, the accessibility of arms to schools, students, parents, and teachers lie within these distinctions; ergo the incidence of school shootings is similarly tied to the various unscramblings of the Second Amendment.

The position currently endorsed by the Justice Department, and the one most pertinent to the argument against gun control, is the defense of the right of an individual to bear arms. This postulates that the Second Amendment was intended to provide unwavering support towards each American’s entitlement to bear arms. When speaking to this interpretation, staunch opposers of gun regulation are correct: the Second Amendment protects their individual right to bear arms. It would be pointless and unfruitful to regard this argument as inaccurate or inconcise, rather, what had been appropriate when the Constitution was drafted is not relevant or just now.

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