Firearms have a long and interwoven history with the United States, as the United States would have never existed if the colonists didn’t have access to a firearm. Americans were acutely aware of how important the right to bear arms was to them, as they had experienced a tyrannical government firsthand, and used firearms to end it and govern themselves. To prevent any sort of tyrannical government reemerging, Americans granted themselves the government’s protection over the right to a firearm in the form of the second amendment.
Many citizens bought guns for defensive use too. In the case of a home invasion, gun owners wouldn’t be sitting ducks who would simply have to accept their fate. Gun owners would possess power equal to that of the invader, granting the invader a chance of losing their life too, preventing invasions.
However, recently, opposition to the second amendment has arisen, claiming that the threat of tyrannical government is mostly paranoia. With lots of gun crime that many blame on the accessibility of guns, gun control legislation has been passed federally and on a state level. The underlying concept behind gun control is that safety is more important than liberty.
Many third-party candidates have made their position on the second amendment crystal clear: Howie Hawkins of the Green Party is largely in favor of gun control, and limiting the ability of citizens to acquire firearms, through waiting periods, magazine capacity bans, and assault weapon bans. Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party is strongly opposed to gun regulation, and wants citizens to have the same ease and accessibility to firearms that the government and criminals have.
However, Joe Biden and Donald Trump have both been notoriously unclear on their gun policy.
Joe Biden has mainly been strongly in favor of high amounts of gun control, with dozens of claims to make firearms far less easy to access. On his campaign website, his plan to end gun violence is well over 3,000 words long, including dozens of new restrictions and laws. However, he has said repeatedly in the past that guns can help protect people, despite his lengthy plans to disable people from acquiring them. “If you want to protect yourself,” Joe Biden famously said, “get a double-barreled shotgun.”
Donald Trump has also been unclear about his position on gun control. While claiming himself to be a hero of the second amendment and Biden as an enemy of it, his actions say otherwise. He has shown support for increasing background checks and bans on bump stocks, while also showing support for arming teachers.
The security of the right to bear arms is in decline, as no politicians strongly support and protect it. We are likely entering a future without it, a first for the United States.