The real deal: The problems of the Gun Rights Movement

It seems like every week there is a new story in the news about shootings. Whether it is news anchors or kindergarteners, it appears that today no one is safe from gun violence. Despite the tragedies that have taken place in recent times, the movement against gun control has only gotten stronger. Here are my problems with the modern gun rights movement.

America has always had a love affair with guns. Our founding fathers understood that people needed to protect themselves, whether it be from the wilderness, an invading foreign army, or the government itself. However, this amendment was created at the dawn of the 19th century, when the musket was the pinnacle of weapons technology. In a 21st-century world with jets and drones, a bunch of Michigan Militia with assault rifles are not going to hold a candle to even the most technologically primitive of modern militaries. Also, armed civilians couldn’t even come close to overthrowing the U.S., which has created the most powerful military in human history. Because of these realities, it is questionable if the Second Amendment is even still relevant in present-day context.

Also, the modern gun movement is a perplexing one, as it seems to contradict itself in a few ways. The Republican Party has taken a strong “pro-gun” stance. This is the party that typically supports increased military spending. The Republican Party supports the right to bear arms to overthrow a tyrannical government, yet at the same time supports making that government more difficult to overthrow. The only connection that explains why Republicans tend to share these contradictory stances is that their campaigns receive funding from both the military industrial complex and the gun industry. They preach not by logic or by conscience, but by the moneyed interests that fund them.

Another confusing part of the gun rights movement is that it seems to ignore the “plights” of other amendments; those campaigning for gun rights care little about infringing upon other rights. For example, former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) was the head of the House Intelligence Committee when NSA mass data collection NSA was made public back in 2014. Rep. Rogers had a very strong “pro-gun” record, even voting for a bill that made gun manufacturers exempt from lawsuits filed against them to pay for damages caused by defects in their own products. However, Rogers was in support of bulk data collection from phone records, a blatant violation of the fourth amendment. This issue is most likely one of the reasons Rogers did not seek re-election this past election cycle. Rogers is not the only “pro-gun” Republican to be comfortable infringing on the rights of American citizens; Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), now a presidential candidate, also supports bulk data collection, and is pro-gun as well. It seems our rights only matter now when agendas are concerned.

There is a cycle that perpetuates in America. Republicans shout that the government is out to take your guns, and then gun sales increase. With that in mind, it only makes sense that the NRA is the biggest lobbying group in the U.S. today. The modern gun rights movement has little to do with the actual meaning or spirit of the Second Amendment, and instead has everything to do with financial gain. So, the next time conservatives shout that someone is coming to take your guns, make sure the NRA isn’t indirectly trying to take your money instead.