Gun Rights Vs Gun Control
The Second Amendment; Gun Rights versus Gun Control Our government is involved in a balancing act which deals with gun rights versus gun control. O’Connor explains that “There has been a longstanding dispute about whether the Second Amendment had been written to assure for the preservation of a well-trained militia, or whether the right to own a weapon also extended to ownership for private use” (110). One side believes the Second Amendment was written to form a militia during the early years of our country and does not mean everyone may own firearms. Then, there are those who believe in favor of gun rights and believe the Second Amendment explicitly grants them those rights. To express an understanding of these two views, I will describe crimes committed with guns, such as what happened at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, and the Reagan assassination attempt. All of which led to public uproar in favor of gun control and sparked debate in gun rights activists. My goal for this paper is to explain why the Second Amendment has been hotly debated recently by Americans who want to protect a traditional right to bear arms and those who call for new gun control measures in the wake of shootings such as those at Columbine and Virginia Tech. To achieve this goal, I will first explain how the Second Amendment is defined as well as two of the most common beliefs that come from its interpretation. It is in understanding these two interpretations that we can come to see which side of the fence people stand on. Next, in understanding why this issue has been hotly debated recently, gun related crimes that have received national attention will be discussed. Also, in understanding this debate or balancing act between the two interpretations, pertinent Supreme Court Rulings and legislation will be discussed. To keep a sense of order I will explain opinions from gun control activists first (when possible), then from gun rights activists within each section,
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