BY JACOB PALMIERI
In 1791, when the Bill of Rights was ratified, our Constitution gained its first ten amendments. The 2nd amendment recognizes the right to bear arms: “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.” The second amendment is still being debated and interpreted today.
This amendment speaks to the forming of militias for protection against the government. Although this idea may seem foreign to us now, it was not in 1791. Today American laws are enforced nationally unlike back in the day where each state enforced their own laws.
The right to own a gun was one of the utmost priorities to them. I was curious to see why this was the case. Most of the reasons I found were outdated like, participating in law enforcement and suppressing riots and uprisings. These are still plausible in today’s society, but if such a thing was to occur, the U.S military would be called upon to handle it and not the everyday citizens. These reasons don’t hold up in today’s society.
As I read on, it struck me. The people believe in a natural right of self-defense. This idea reaches down to the very core of America as it was founded; the idea that every American is born with rights that cannot be stripped from them. The right for an American Citizen to protect themselves is one of those rights.
Americans deserve the right to own guns. We deserve the right to be our own first line of defense. It’s important that we make sure people with bad intentions don’t get their hands on guns. That’s where Maine’s Referendum Question 3 comes into play.
Question 3 requires that everyone in the state of Maine who buys a gun gets the same instant criminal background check, no matter where they buy it or who they buy it from. On paper this sounds like a great idea. This bill limits the accessibility of guns for people with criminal backgrounds. Well sometimes things that sound good just aren’t plausible.
The lending of guns will be made illegal under this referendum, however it will not be illegal for hunting and shooting range purposes. A transfer of a gun to shoot on a shooting range is legal while the same transaction is considered illegal if it was on public land. This just further confuses law abiding gun owners and constricts their rights as citizens.
The plan for a universal background check is bogus. In a perfect world it sounds like a great idea. Having a record of all gun owners would allow you to not only prevent guns from going into the wrong hands, but it will also ensure that the legal purchasing of firearms can still occur.
The problem is, if less than 1 percent of criminals are buying registered guns, then that means you only have data on a very limited number of people. Sure you have data on the law abiding citizens, but you are missing out on more than 99 percent of the people you are actually targeting with this initiative.
The worst part of Question 3 is that it is a stepping stone for more gun legislation. They are going to use this to begin to create a registry for law abiding gun owners and further their push for gun control.
As Americans we must stand up for the rights that were guaranteed to us in the constitution and not let anybody take them away.