Gun Reforms and the NRA: Both a Misfire
Can Gun Control and the Civil Liberties issues be reconciled before the Second Amendment is Amended or ruled on by the Supreme Courts? Our Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights had created a virtual war over guns and gun ownership in the United States for more than two centuries. It reads The Second Amendment provides: "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." It is the only amendment written with a purported purpose. The only one with a preamble or perhaps an observation that; a well-regulated militia is a necessity for the security of a free state, and an objective or a legality that: the right to bear arms will not be infringed upon. “But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing.”(Barack Obama, 2013) President Obama has issued twenty-three Executive Orders on Gun Control after the tragedy in Sandy Hook, where an AR15 was the weapon that took 36 lives before the shooter successfully turned the barrel on himself. The nation seems to be completely divided on this matter with a recent Gallop Poll on gun control reforms that resulted in a fairly narrow margin. When asked if they would want their Congressman to vote in favor of the Executive proposals 53% responded yes, with 41 % voting against the reform (7% refused/don’t know).? Until there is clear construction on the interpretation of the Second Amendment, how can we move further in regulations without long, legal repercussions ensuing? The NRA, as a powerful opponent, and our elected Chief of Office are among the two most influential bodies in the nation, so how are their elucidations at the extreme opposite of each other on the same court proceedings? Even though the Second Amendment was ruled on in Heller V District of Columbia, and did set some precedents that could be used a stare decisis, clarification of the Supreme Court on the federal boundaries and individual rights for gun ownership is desperately needed.
The National Rifle Associations’ views stem from Second Amendment verbiage that the right to bear arms is a God given, natural liberty protected by our Bill Of Rights. Wayne LaPierre , Chief Executive Officer of the organization recently stated in a speech to Western Hunting and Conservation Expo for gun and hunting enthusiasts in Salt Lake City, “What they are serious about is banning, taxing and taking what they want. And leaving you, the average citizen all over our great country, as the first and least capable person in society of being able to defend yourself.”(February, 2013). He also explains that a movement to limit high capacity magazines and semi-automatic guns is equal to limiting a person’s ability to defend themselves. Mr. La Pierre contends the proposal of a universal background check for all purchasers of guns and ammunitions by dealers to the National Instant Check System is a fallacy that will allow a registry of gun owners. The registry will then be used to as a means for confiscating firearms held by law-abiding citizens. In Amicus Curiae briefs submitted by the NRA in U.S. V Emerson(1999) attorney Robert Dowlut fought for the respect and acknowledgment in the courts for rights of the Second Amendment to individuals, and not just a militia. The brief includes the rulings on the case of Miller v District of Columbia and his presentation states what the courts do NOT say in their ruling. For instance, he recognizes the Courts decision does not say that military weapons alone are protected by the Second Amendment, but that weapons under protection must have the ability to contribute to “the common defense”, relating that it [the Court] also does not say only foreign invaders comprehend to “the common defense” and therefore allows privately owned firearms to be useful against domestic rebellion, and self-defense from criminal attacks. He then exclaims...
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