The Sage

A Modern Age of Guns

Riley Hull, Staff Reporter

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Photo taken from NPR
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters at a press conference. Ardern announced the plan of action regarding New Zealand’s gun laws three days after the attack.

On March 16, a gunman opened fire within two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Three days after the attack, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced plans to tighten gun laws around the semi-automatic, military-style weapons used in the massacre.

Compare this to the U.S., where after every mass shooting its “too soon to talk” about gun limitations, and we can begin to see why these atrocities still occur on U.S. soil all the time. The only way to prevent and put an end to these slaughters is to enact gun limitation laws.

Now before getting started, I want to emphasize the terminology I use here of gun “limitations” rather than gun “control.” The point I make in doing this is that the thought process behind these laws is not to take away all types of guns for everyone under any circumstance.

The purpose of the vast majority of legislation and supporters of that legislation is to take military grade style weapons, such as those used in the Las Vegas Shooting and the Christchurch attack, out of the hands of non-military personnel.

Photo taken from Jakes Legion
This shows the differences in rifle capabilities from an 1842 rifle and more modern equivalents. Even without comparing to the military grade weapons, this shows the disparity of knowledge the founding fathers had when writing the Bill of Rights.

Simply taking away guns of every citizen would be a violation of the Second Amendment, which I will discuss more in depth later, one of the founding principles of the U.S. But the framers of the constitution and the Bill of Rights knew that the plan they came up with wasn’t perfect, which is why they gave the power of amendments, to fix what they couldn’t predict at the time in order to meet the changing world.

A perfect example of what the people of the late 1700s could not foresee was the rapid improvements in weapons technology. At the time the Bill of Rights was written, weapons could fire about three rounds a minute, one shot at a time and were accurate up to, at max, 50 meters.

Compare this to the 45 rounds per minute, 30 rounds per loading, 550-meter accuracy range of an AR-15 style weapon and you see there is a large disparity between what was had at the time of writing and modern weaponry.

The founding fathers never envisioned a time where people could be wiped down 15 times as fast and from 11 times as far away.”

The founding fathers never envisioned a time where people could be wiped down 15 times as fast and from 11 times as far away. For them, guns were simply tools used in daily life; hunting for dinner or settling disputes on the dueling grounds. The weapons today don’t meet these descriptions, they are designed to kill as many as possible as quickly as possible.

Now as for arguments revolving around the Second Amendment and what it guarantees of citizens, I ask, have you read the entire second amendment? It’s only one sentence, but I ask sincerely, because the part that ensures “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” has a major caveat at the beginning.

The full line of the second amendment reads as follows: “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.”

Photo taken from Giphy
Military grade weapons such as the AR-15 and other semi-automatic weapons, were not made for civilian use. Preventing civilians from gaining access to them leads to a safer environment.

And it is because of the hoo-ha-ha around guns and the Second Amendment, as they make you feel as if you have power over your small section of the world, that this beginning part of Second Amendment is often overlooked.

While the unrestricted access to the most dangerous guns at the time made perfect sense, as America often used civilian militias to keep peace in cities and in skirmishes between Native Americans and settlers, that time is no more.

Nowadays, modern police officers keep the peace debatably well and civilians aren’t in fear of an oppressive monarchy.

It’s time for America to leave behind the 1700s and join the modern era by, at the least, passing legislation that prevents weapons of atrocities from getting into the untrained hands of the average citizen.

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24 Responses to “A Modern Age of Guns”

  1. Bryce on April 30th, 2019 1:07 pm

    This is actually a good and unbiased article about gun legislation, with facts and logic. I respect that. It’s not just screaming NO MORE GUNS. Well written article.

  2. Tass Tassinari on April 30th, 2019 1:25 pm

    Love the article, Riley. Super important distinction there. Non military personnel should under no circumstances need a military weapon. Gun limitations are more than called for. Thanks for this article!

  3. Darius Rahmanian on April 30th, 2019 3:18 pm

    The Second Amendment defends all other amendments from the tyranny of the government. The day the government comes to take my rights and liberties away, which can be any day, I choose to defend myself by bearing arms against them. The Founding Fathers knew that technology would advance and the entire reason the minute men had the ability to fight against the British at Lexington and Concord because they owned flintlock muskets. Everyone seems to forget the part where we fought the largest empire in the world, the most tyrannical upon the colonial north Americans, literally fighting against the government to ensure our property and our rights. We as countrymen have the responsibility to take care of each other and protect the rights of the individual. There should be no reason for me to have to justify owning a fire arm when the constitution allows me to.

    The Bill of Rights are not meant to be changed just because something is old, your right to free speech is as old as your right to bear arms and the your speech should not be altered just because new developments like social media came along. Some even say that speech is oppressive and harmful to others, so should the First Amendment be changed just to allow certain kinds of speech? Regular law abiding Americans should not have their rights taken away because of criminal actions because regular law abiding Americans dont intend to kill other Americans.

    Now lets talk guns. The Arma Lite Rifle 15 is nowhere near “military style”. Just because it is metal people think it is a scary gun. The military uses extraordinary levels of fire power and fire arm engineering that outclass a simple civilian rifle. Its like comparing an Arquebus matchlock musket from the 1600s to the Enfield Musket.

    This whole “muh guns” issue is stupid. You can’t touch my rights or restrict them because of one off incidences. I did not commit those crimes or intend to ever hurt anyone, I simply want to protect my home and my property so why should I have to be punished? If I want to collect fire arms why should that be restricted if I am a law abiding citizen? Teach people about fire arms not scare them, there are no citations in this article or evidence. Heck the image you use isn’t even of an AR-15, thats a silhouette of a modern AK model that is an actual military grade weapon. An informed populace is a safe populace, a populace that cannot defend itself is a helpless populace. Stop trying to take away my rights because some teenager cried on TV, the rest of America isnt having it Riley and neither am I. This is a psuedo intellectual piece that feigns some greater good, the greater good is only ensured by the individual who upholds and defends the rights of others and protects others when malcontent arises. Stop misinforming people and stop being a mouthpiece for the establishment.

  4. Ziggy Ulugia on April 30th, 2019 8:30 pm

    Well said Darius well said

  5. Joseph Phillips on April 30th, 2019 11:17 pm

    Can you write a follow up and call it “A Postmodern Age Of Guns.”

  6. Samuel Ellis on May 1st, 2019 9:07 am

    Just some things that I find to be incorrect about this article. One is that even though the ranges that a rifle can be shot is much farther it is near impossible to hit anything at that range with your standard rifle because of everything that you have to account for ex. drop, wind, speed etc. Another thing is that yes taking away all guns would be a violation of the second amendment, but also restricting guns would be to because in the amendment it states “shall not be infringed. Almost any restrictions would be an infringement on the amendment. At the time they did also have guns that could shoot more than 3 shots a minute 1 example would be the puckle gun which was almost like a early Gatling gun which had 9 shots. Last but not least almost every firearm is semi-automatic, this does depend on the definition you go off of though, it could be either “A firearm that fires 1 round with 1 pull of the trigger” or the same thing but also states that it loads another round into the chamber. Personally I think that the one that loads another round into the chamber is correct but that’s besides the point. But restricting semi automatic weapons would be a almost everyone’s guns. The AR-15 contrary to popular belief stands for “Armalite Rifle 15” (Armalite is the manufacturer) and the AR-15 is basically the civilian version of an M-16 which the military uses so many things are changed for civilian use, now they use the M-4 but its just a smaller M-16.

    I do have one genuine question though, why would putting restrictions on guns stop mass shootings because they aren’t gonna follow any laws that restrict the tool used if they were there wouldn’t be any mass shootings in the first place because they’re already illegal. Criminals are criminals for a reason and that’s that they don’t follow laws so I fail to see how more laws will stop them.

  7. Andrew on May 1st, 2019 9:09 am

    pew pew.

  8. Austin Adkins on May 1st, 2019 9:39 am

    How else do we protec wamen

  9. Ethan Nguyen on May 1st, 2019 11:28 am

    You don’t need an AK-47 to defend your suburban household. Keep pistols, not Assault Rifles. I guess there can be debate on bolt-action rifles, buuuuuut I think a pistol if enough to defend yourself. The purpose literally says it in the name. ARs are meant to assault people, not defend.

  10. Andrew Emde on May 1st, 2019 12:46 pm

    Subscribe to pewdiepie.

  11. John on May 1st, 2019 10:05 pm

    we need guns in the united states. one day, we are going to get invaded by mexican terrorists trying to harm you and your family. Make America Great Again.

  12. Zach Stansell on May 2nd, 2019 9:58 am

    It is disgusting how little you know about the thing you want regulated.
    The AR-15 is a civilian weapon, and it was never used in the military. It’s commonly mistaken as an M4 or M16-style weapon. I understand your mistake.
    The muskets that the Second Amendment refers to were military-grade at the time, and you could do a lot of damage with a musket, in terms of percentage, because the population was so low.
    I also don’t believe any recent shootings have been long-range, so that point is somewhat invalid.
    If you want to have a public debate that would be actually really cool. I would be down.
    Hmu on loopmail if you want to discuss this further.
    Also, Ethan, that comment is really irrelevant because of`the variety of calibers and barrel lengths. My offer goes to you as well.

  13. Darius Rahmanian on May 2nd, 2019 1:24 pm

    Ethan, you cant buy an AK 47 full auto in the united states and its not chambered in its 7.62mm form. Bolt action rifles are chambered in hunting calibers that are made to kill big game in one or two shots and a .223 carbine is literally useless for self defense. Besides AR doesnt even mean assault rifle, its ArmaLite Rifle 15, and semi automatic rifles are not US grade battle rifles or assault rifles. Why do I have to qualify or justify what I want to buy as long as its legal? It is my RIGHT to own a fire arm that I deem fit to protect my home, a fire arm that I would not use to hurt my fellow country men, but a fire arm that is effective enough to protect property or go hunting with, it doesn’t matter what kind it is because a “gun” is just a metal frame. I do not have to explain my rights, my rights are inherent.

  14. Zach Stansell on May 2nd, 2019 5:50 pm

    AR-15 is short for ArmaLite 15, not Assault Rifle 15

  15. Sebastian on May 3rd, 2019 9:30 am

    I think that instead of trying to take people’s guns we should focus on the greater threats to our way of life. Cyberwarfare, climate change, artificial intelligence; none of these can be solved by shooting or not shooting. If we stop trying to take away people’s constitutional rights, the American people can unite against a different, more formidable enemy.

  16. Zach on May 3rd, 2019 9:53 am

    You CAN buy a full-auto AK-47 in the U.S., but you need a permit and you can only buy firearms manufactured before the Full-Auto Ban.
    Typically only Private Military Contractors by them because of their price.

  17. Jean-Luc on May 6th, 2019 10:08 am

    First off, I would like to address the fact that no one will take your opinion seriously if it comes off at brash and overly-passionate. Now that being said, both sides present a good argument. To address the original argument presented in the article by Riley, I would agree with the fact that the framers’s weapons are leagues behind our own technology, with the modern rifle (a very broad statement) almost unrecognizable to previous muskets and the like. However, I would say that restricting certain firearms to only military personnel would be a misguided attempt to try and quell recent mass shootings. Many shootings have been perpetuated by veterans and/or military personnel in the past, with two of them taking place in Fort Hood alone. Not to say military personnel isn’t trustworthy, but only to say that limiting it to certain citizens based on governmental occupation would not help the current climate or situation. This would also feed Darius’s point and the Framers point on militias. I have faith in my government on certain issues, but blind faith is what allows governmental bodies to infringe on rights, as shown multiple times in other aspects (think First Amendment infringements with Julian Assange and/or wikileaks). I would also like to bring up another point brought up, which has a lot of credence. The point that people that you would have to defend yourself against and/or mass shooters, will acquire firearms any way they can. This holds true in many cases, with many shooters having acquired firearms illegally, and most gangs in America acquiring them the same way. A good example is the gangs of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has some of, if not, the strictest gun laws in the nation, however have one of the highest gun death tolls in America.
    Now to address the other argument presented by the commentors, Earlier, it was mentioned by Zach Stansell, that he doesn’t believe many recent mass shootings have been long range. However, this is untrue. One of the shootings referenced in the article, the Las Vegas shooting, was done from almost 400 meters away, with previous shootings like the D.C. Sniper attacks, being perpetuated at long distances. A point I would like to talk about, that was brought up by Darius, is the fact that would shouldn’t have the change amendments or the Constitution itself because something is old or related. However, I would have to disagree with this point, saying that is what we should precisely do, as our current America changes. As America has grown larger and generally more powerful, many things in the Constitution have been changed to fit with basic rights and the passage of time. An example is denying some of the right to vote because of their skin color or gender, which was an archaic and frankly evil practice until America progressed and got rid of this old doctrine. It’s only natural evolution and progression. However, I disagree with restricting the rights laid out by the Bill Of Rights. A point I would like to bring up, is how we are to prevent or reduce mass shootings. After reading the comments, I have only found people defending their right to bear arms and other rights, but they offer no alternatives. I would be very interested, and frankly I feel others would be too, in exploring what measures we can take to prevent or decreased mass shootings. Be it intermitten mental health check ups and firearms courses to refresh and educate, or increase in mental health help or the like. I would very much like to see the Sage create or allow for a firearms debate.

  18. Zach Stansell on May 7th, 2019 9:02 am

    Thanks Jean-Luc
    (I was referring to the effectiveness of shootings not changing because of range, but I worded it wrong. My bad.)
    I would be down for a debate. That sounds like an oppurtunity.

  19. Christian Rocha on May 7th, 2019 9:17 am

    Ethan while I do agree that you do not need a rifle to protect your house hold. Also what is your argument on bolt rifles if you actually know what that means. Personally I do believe that non military personnel should be able to purchase any stranded semi automatic rifle. I do believe that you should not be able to own a fully automatic gun unless you have a permit. While the mass shootings are horrible I do not believe banning any sort of gun would solve the problem. Any body can buy anything if you know were to look and who to talk to. It is easy to buy guns illegally. Hardcore drugs are illegal yet people still have easy access to them. Here is a list of what I think should be legal and illegal.

    Illegal; Fully automatic guns, Bump Stocks, and explosive ammunition.
    Legal: Semi automatic guns, Bolt Action guns, Pistol Grips, Forward rail grips, Extendable stocks, Sights, and while I do care about the main grip and the law about getting to put your hand all the way around it I actually prefer it to the original.

    Feel free to ask me anything and debate with me

  20. Christian Rocha on May 7th, 2019 9:26 am

    I completely agree with Sebastian mental health is a much more serious problem and claims more lives than shootings do. But the only reason mass shootings get more attention is because it is a ton of people dying at one time in one area.

    Also John you make your side look bad if you just make fun of/ insult people. It makes your party look like a bunch of mean people that cant have a civilized conversation and needs to resort to insulting the other to try and get your uneducated point across.

  21. Isaiah on May 9th, 2019 7:49 am

    Ok Jean , I really liked Darius and Zach’s opinion ok and if they are overly passionate about something I would take their opinion seriosly, ok?

  22. Darius Rahmanian on May 9th, 2019 2:39 pm

    Isaiah Jean Luc is chillin. Its all up to the individual to decide on the validity of a topic, most of the time those who are most eager are the least prepared to discuss a topic.

  23. Sulemaan on May 14th, 2019 12:22 pm

    Never see anyone talking about how knives kill 4 more times than guns but I don’t see any articles??

  24. Andrew on May 14th, 2019 12:25 pm

    Just subscribe to pewdiepie and you will all be fine.

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A Modern Age of Guns