Gun Control and the Second Amendment

Topics: Firearm, United States Constitution, Handgun Pages: 12 (2355 words) Published: February 12, 2007
Gun control and the Second Amendment

The United States Constitution says that U.S. Citizens have the

right to bear arms. Even though this guarantee was written with no

constraints, there are now laws that limit certain aspects of gun

ownership. The reasons for gun control fall under the flag of public

safety. Though there are many safety reasons why private ownership of

firearms should be banned, these arguments are outweighed not only by the

need for protection, but because the limitation of ownership rights could

become dangerous to personal freedom.

When the U.S. Constitution was written, some delegates thought

Militia was military forces because the Federal Government had its own army

to protect the people. The second amendment was made in response to the

fear of being helpless before a standing professional army. "Aristotle

said that decisions of a leader 'backed by a standing army' would be

different from those made by a leader 'awed by the fear of an armed

people'" (The Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States

Constitution, 28). Elbridge Gerry, a delagate to the Constitutional

convention from Massachusetts, was an activist for the right of the Militia

to bear arms. When asked what use a Militia has, he responded: "What sir,

is the use of a Militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing

army, the bane of liberty" (The Commission of the Bicentennial of the

United States Constitution, 26). On December 15, 1791, Virginia ratified

the Bill of Rights, making it, with the second amendment, part of the

constitution (The Commission for the Bicentennial of the United States

Constitution, 5).

The Constitution does not guarantee gun ownership for just any

reason. The second amendment makes it clear that only a well regulated

Militia needs arms. "As recently as 1980 the Supreme Court noted that 'The

second amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does

not have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of

a well regulated Militia'"(Isaacson, 163). The meaning of the second

amendment, as interpreted by pro-gun control supporters, was to enable

citizens to protect themselves from and oppressive government, not to allow

anyone the power to shoot another human being.

The main reason for gun control boils down to the want for personal

and public safety. One upsetting fact about guns is they increase the

severity of a crime. "With guns, unlike knives or hands, rage and

recklessness are likely to be translated cleanly and quickly into death"

(Isaacson, 162). Another upsetting fact is that hand guns are people

killers, that is their only use. "With fewer handguns, there are fewer

chances to use them. It is as simple as that" (Isaacson, 162). People

with guns are more likely to take a life that with upclose and personal

weapons like the knife or the fist.

Gun control activists believe that a ban on hand guns would

gradually deplete the number of handguns in circulation. This would slowly

take care of the cheep Saturday Night Specials, which hold no use to police

or sports men, because they only last about 10 years. Little pistols are

not needed by ordinary people and can easily be concealed be street

criminals. "One in every nine Americans has already been threatened or

shot by someone wielding a hand gun"(Isaacson, 162). This statistic shows

the effect of the availability of handguns on America. The handgun is not

needed except when a person wants to hide a weapon. For home defense, the

shotgun is more effective with its wide blasting stopping power, while a

handgun has to be aimed exactly on target.

A big problem with keeping guns in the house is the curiosity and...
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