The Second Amendment grants American citizens the right to bear arms and this amendment has caused debate between both sides of the political spectrum for years. One of the most controversial topics in United States politics is gun control and gun rights. After all the shootings, such as the Pulse Night Club Shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, that have occurred over the past couple years, this debate has continued to heat up. On one side of the political spectrum, you have people and groups advocating for gun control laws. On the other side of the spectrum, you have people and groups, such as the National Rifles Association and its members, fighting to have no gun control laws and have everyone be able to buy a gun.
In an article from The New York Times, Morgan Smith talks about how some legislators what to allow guns in schools to protect teachers and students from shooters. This article was written shortly after the Sandy Hook Shooting. After the shooting, federal and state legislators were deciding what to do about gun fights and gun control. One idea suggested was from Texas legislators that stated that guns should be made more available and should be more available so teachers and other members of faculty couold protect themselves and others and prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook from happening again. This idea received many criticisms. Some who agree with the idea disagree on how to achieve it and some disagree and say that it distracts from the main issue of mental illness. One of the legislators who wanted to expand gun laws to allow guns on school campuses is Representative Debbie Riddle of Tomball. Riddle does agree that mental health does need to discuss, but she also states, “Are we going to be able to screen and determine everyone who is going to be a threat? Of course not…We are not a perfect society, and there is no way we can create perfect laws.” In this quotes, Riddle implies that a perfect society is one where we can prevent terrible tragedies like this from happening through preventative measures, like mental health screenings, and with laws that can help prevent tragedies from happening. Riddle believes that our society lacks this value because it is impossible to create perfect laws to prevent tragedies when society isn’t close to being perfect. I agree with this statement, our society is far from perfect and because of that we can’t make perfect laws, but more should be done to try to figure out how to prevent events like this from happening again. Unfortunately, society has not changed much in the past five years. We still look at these tragedies and wonder what more could we have done to prevent this. Also, after these tragedies happen, we grieve, we debate, and then we do nothing to prevent these terrible events from happening again. Even after the deaths of 20 children and six adults, nothing changed. Even after the deaths of 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, nothing changed.
One person I think would agree with Riddle’s statement that since society isn’t perfect, we can’t make perfect laws is Plato. In his dialogue, The Republic, he states, “So, if you are willing, let’s first find out what sort of thing justice is in cities, and afterward look for it in the individual,to see if the larger entity is similar in form to the smaller one” (Plato 46). This quotes means that since the individuals of a city aren’t perfect, the city doesn’t have perfect justice and each city has it’s own, imperfect definition of justice. This supports Riddle’s claim because since cities and individuals aren’t perfect, there isn’t perfect justice or a perfect society, which means there can be no perfect laws made.
In his dialogue, Plato says, “Someone who has the power to do it (Justice), however—someone who is a real man—would not make an agreement with anyone, neither to do injustice nor to suffer it” (Plato 37-38). This quote means that you shouldn’t accept injustice or make others suffer injustices. I think that we shouldn’t just accept that these tragedies just happen. We should do everything in our power to prevent events like this. We shouldn’t wait for the next tragedy to occur so that the debate over gun control will get more attention. There should be stricter gun control laws so events like this don’t happen. We shouldn’t be arguing, we should be preventing these terrible events and the deaths that unfortuantely come with them.
Smith, Morgan. “Lawmakers look to boost guns in school.” New York Times, 28 Dec. 2012, p. A19A(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA313191533&it=r&asid=4963e9e803df3db2b6cdeed9c11336b1. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.