For obvious reasons there has been a great deal of conversation surrounding the United State’s second amendment and the reason(s) and interpretation of its origin. With the latest speech delivered by the US President vowing to make legislative changes to the “gun laws” it has become clearly illustrated that a great schism has been amplified surrounding this controversial right and the influence it has over the major news stories as of late. The argument that will always exist when it comes to this topic will be the age old saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This is a very accurate statement however the opposing side would argue “that there would be no motor vehicle fatalities if there were no motor vehicles.” We could continue the debate utilizing different analogies for every product we use on a daily basis but in the end it’s all just speculation. For the sake of remaining objective what we can do is look at the facts and the statistics we have been equipped with, because after all, the numbers don’t lie.
Last year handguns killed:
48 people in Japan
8 in Great Britain
34 in Switzerland
52 in Canada
58 in Israel
21 in Sweden
42 in West Germany
10, 728 in the United States (Source: UNODC – UN Office of Drugs and Crime)
How does this affect the workplace? 548 of these events occurred as an act of workplace violence.
Now as bad as that sounds, Columbia, Honduras, and El Salvador are leaps and bounds above the US; Columbia being 12 times that of the US with Honduras and El Salvador roughly 10 times more. (Source: UNODC – UN Office of Drugs and Crime)
The U.S., accounts for 4.5% of the world population, and about 40% of the planet’s civilian firearms, said Dr. Garen Wintemute, of the University of California, Davis, Medical Center.
The origin of the second amendment pre-dates the constitution and was part of the common law heritage of the thirteen original colonies. There were a few reasons behind it; however, they may be somewhat outdated at this point; I’ll let you decide.
The fundamental reason for this piece of the constitution was to allow the absolute rights of individuals as: personal security and liberty, and possession of private property, and the right to have and use arms for self-preservation and defense.
The question is: defense against who, and when?
The answer is: when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
To take a piece directly from Sir William Blackstone (an authoritative source of the common law for colonists):
“Nothing … ought to be more guarded against in a free state than making the military power … a body too distinct from the people.” To prevent such an occurrence, Blackstone not only believed in the individual’s right to have and use arms, but further believed that for its defense, a nation should rely not on a standing army, but the citizen soldier. Plainly, for such a concept to be a reality, it was necessary that all able-bodied males possess and be capable of using arms.
From these historical writings an interpretation could be formed that the military should never be more powerful than the people and the people should always have the right and preparedness to fight back in the event that the state becomes too authoritative.
If this is true then I have but one question; why does the US account for 58 % of the total defense dollars paid out by the world’s top 10 military powers at a staggering $695.7 billion dollars in 2011 alone, (according to the most current statistics available), dwarfing second place China who came in at $120 billion, with Japan nabbing the bronze from the UK at $60 and $59 billion.
Upon review of these statistics and the population of the United States in 2011 (meaning every human of every age on U.S. soil) in order to compete with the government in terms of a civilian militia, each person would have had to spend just over $2,200 on weapons that year. This also includes the 2,936,396 active and reserve military personnel.
Once again I must remind you that I am in no way being subjective; these are just the numbers.
Subsequent to doing my greatest impression of Sir Isaac Newton and having the numbers speak to me, the one opinion I did form from this, is that there are two types of societies in this world when it comes to bearing their arms; those that use tanks and those that use tank tops.