My house is a block from the UCLA campus in Westwood, California. This normally idyllic community was riveted this morning at 9:55am when shots were fired in Boelter Hall, the Engineering Building. Two males were shot dead.
As a high school junior in Los Angeles, I have a lot of friends who attend UCLA and during the crisis I messaged them one by one, learning that they were all on lockdown, but all safe… afraid. One of my friends was in the building where the shooting occurred. She told me she hid in the bathroom for two-and-a-half hours. She was hearing no information, just hiding, waiting. My other friend sheltered in place in the building next door, reaching out to all of us for emotional support as her waited, afraid. Reading their texts and snaps I see the chaos that was thrust upon them, during finals week no less. And, I think to myself about the second amendment of our Constitution which reads: “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.”
As more and more of these school shooting occur I have come to believe that the “individual right theory” of the second amendment which sees that individuals have the right to bear arms, is misguided in modern America.
I believe more in the “the collective rights theory.” A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms. In a society where we show time and time again that individuals do not have the ability to use guns only for protection, it seems in the collective good that guns be kept out of the hands of the individual, and put only into the hands of those entrusted with our safety and security. It is time that we stand up as a nation and protect our citizens by prohibiting guns — look at the undue chaos and terror that my friends suffered today. It is they that know what it means for just any citizen to possess a gun. I hope none of my readers will ever know this same terror. God Bless the Bruins.