Reclaim Our Domestic Tranquility: Putting The First Amendment Before the Second Amendment

It’s 1791 and people write by candlelight with quill-tipped pens and no one has indoor toilets.

There are only a handful of personal firearms in existence, and they are all complicated to operate. of individuals in the US self-report patterns of impulsive angry behavior AND own firearms at home (8.9%) or carry guns outside the home (1.5%).”Because only a small proportion of persons with this risky combination have ever been involuntarily hospitalized for a mental health problem, most will not be subject to existing mental health-related legal restrictions on firearms.” This does not even include people on terrorist watch lists and people associated with hate groups. Ideally there were would be a psychological screening process tailored to potential gun owners to look for these traits and disqualify potential buyers at risk, but at the least, universal background checks and minimal licensure requirements make sense. And, while I can see why some responsible gun owners enjoy using assault rifles, there can be no justifiable reason to purchase magazines over ten rounds.

This is why the sight of guns destroys my domestic tranquility. With so few national restrictions on who can buy and operate these lethal weapons, I do not want to be sitting next to a civilian concealing a gun on their person or openly carrying one. I don’t want to live in a society where civilians feel the need to carry a gun. No gun safety class is going to reassure me that a stranger next to me isn’t going to accidentally, impulsively, or intentionally fire a gun in my direction.

I don’t believe that carrying a gun will make me safer, and statistics sadly bear me out. Research highlighted in the APA report show that women handgun owners have a 55% increased chance of becoming a homicide victim, and gun owners of both genders have much higher suicide rates in the six years after purchase. Only male handgun owners have a lower risk of becoming a homicide victim (by 31%). Very few US gun deaths are at the hands of terrorists. Nearly all of the 13,432 gun violence deaths from 2015 are just from everyday gun owners.

These days, the First and Second Amendments are clearly in conflict. Our nation was founded on the right to domestic tranquility, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Ten times the gun deaths of every other developed country cannot be what our Founders had in mind when they imagined a peaceful society.

Living in a world where everyone is increasingly armed takes away all those rights, and puts us into a domestic war-zone not of our choosing. The Founders put the First Amendment before the Second Amendment. Let’s take back our domestic tranquility and our First Amendment right to peaceful assembly.

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