american politics

Topics: Firearm, Gun politics in the United States, National Rifle Association Pages: 6 (2355 words) Published: March 4, 2014
Literature Review- Gun Control
Gun control has been a very controversial issue in American history in part, because America is the most armed nation in the world, with American citizens owning about 300 million fire arms. In fact, this is even more than a quarter of the whole world’s firearms. Besides, Guns have always been a hobby of Americans because of the gun culture that is unlike other states. American gun culture has survived since the earliest days of the republic because hunting has been a popular pastime, and also because guns were a means of protecting its citizens from tyrannical government. In addition, various militias have also played a major role in gun culture in terms of defending citizens from criminals. Therefore, gun control is often considered one of the most controversial subjects in the American polity. There have been lots of arguments about gun control but most importantly arguments have related to the Second Amendment. One of the reason Americans own so many firearms is because of the Second Amendment which states, “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.” (Rauch J). The ability of American citizens to have a gun and use them will continue to be a point of argument if the Second Amendment doesn’t change or intends to have regulations because it guarantees the right to own firearms. Even NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre declared “Our founding fathers wrote and intended the Second Amendment to be an individual right”. The Supreme Court has also confirmed that the Second Amendment is a real and permanent part of American Constitutional Law. Therefore “Anti-gun politicians can no longer deny that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right,” said NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox. “All law-abiding Americans have a fundamental, God-given right to defend themselves in their homes. Washington, D.C. must now respect that right” (NRA – Institute for legislative action 2008). This literature review will concern the contrasting extent to which a well-armed community creates a hazardous environment with the private use of guns. To begin with a main disagreement, “fewer guns mean fewer gun homicides”. An increase in gun ownership is leading to a higher gun-homicide rate and, legislation allowing citizens to carry concealed gun doesn’t reduce the crime, according to Mark Duggan (2012). In theory, gun ownership crimes don’t literally reflect on the individual buying the gun, and the ability to own firearms should be allowed or not allowed for citizens. Should there be a regulation about gun control or should gun owners be made to undertake some training or should there be national standards about gun control?

The essential place to start a review on the literature relating to gun control in America is with the constitutional Second Amendment that has brought guns to such an important issue in political controversy: “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” (Rauch J). A great deal of the literature is concerned with the founder’s intent in inserting the aforementioned statement, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”. It is believed that to preserve freedom, it is fundamental that the whole body of people are always permitted to possess arms and this is supported by the Second Amendment. In general, there are two opposing viewpoints on whose rights framers of the Constitution intended to protect. Firstly, that the Second Amendment was intended to defend individual rights. Individuals protect themselves by possessing guns in their rights to own. Furthermore, an important author on this topic Robert E. Shalhope argues that the NRA clearly states that issue “the NRA, the foremost guardian of the traditional American right to ‘keep and arms’,...

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Gabbat, A. (2012). Poll finds gun owners in favour of tighter restrictions on buying weapons. Available: Last accessed 1st Jan 2013.
Moorhouse, J. (2008). Gun Control Laws Do Not Reduce Violent Crime.Available: Last accessed 10th Nov 2012.
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