The American Civilian and the Right to Bear Arms.
November, 30, 2010
Instructor: Barbara Lach-Smith
The American Civilian and the Right to Bear Arms
In the Bill of Rights, under the Second Amendment, it 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” (Government Printing Office, 1996, p. 1193). This amendment is often referred to as “The right to bear arms.”
Many people believe citizens should not have easy access to firearms. These people believe, easy access to firearms will result in more violent crime. The right to bear arms, has even been argued to pertain to militias only and not to the average American citizen.
The right to bear arms pertains to the American citizen, and a well-educated and armed public will create a safer society. With this in mind the right we as Americans should stand by and protect.
A Right or a Privilege
Recent court cases, District of Columbia v Heller (2008) Supreme Court and Parker v District of Columbia (2007), Court of Appeals, argue the Constitutional right of Americans to own and keep firearms in their homes. In the cases listed above, the Supreme Court ruled Heller and Parker had the right to own firearms and keep them in their homes (Mount, 1995-2010). The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights gives Americans the right to bear arms.
The Supreme Court has ruled the right to bear arms, as stated in the second amendment, pertains to the individual and not to a militia (Mount, 1995-2010).The right to bear arms should be viewed as a privilege.
There circumstances in which one can and should lose their right to bear arms. Two circumstances of where a person can and should lose his or her right to bear arms are: *
When an individual is convicted of a felony
When an individual is convicted of a domestic violence crime.
When either of the two events listed above happen, the individual becomes a “restricted person.” As a restricted person, an individual is not allowed to purchase, own, buy, or sell a firearm or ammunition. Doing so will result in a Federal Law violation, which comes with a prison sentence (Utah State Legislature, 2003).
The right to bear arms, is something that can be taken from someone. It is important for people to protect their right to bear arms, so they can protect and defend themselves.
Better access or Stricter regulations
It is better to have a well-armed and educated public versus a controlled and limited access to firearms. Some would argue that firearms control and restrictions prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands. This would stop criminals from getting firearms and committing violent crimes. This point of view states stricter regulation makes it difficult for bad people to get firearms. The problem with this theory is that if a bad person wants a gun; he or she will more than likely obtain it illegally, bypassing any regulations.
A person can look at America’s drug problem as an example of what could happen if more regulation was placed on firearms. America has strict regulations on almost all drugs, and in most cases it is illegal to possess them. However, even with these regulations in place, America has one of the largest drug problems in the world. If someone wants a drug that is restricted or illegal, he or she simply bypasses the regulation and gets the drug illegally. The same would happen with firearms if stricter regulations were put in place. People would find ways to bypass the regulations and obtain the weapons illegally. This would make it much more difficult to track or even control who possess firearms.
Firearms in the hands of well-trained law-abiding citizens will increase the safety of the public. The following quote shows individuals use firearms often to prevent crime from happening and not to commit crime. “Sixteen national surveys from...
References: Government Printing Office. (November 1, 1996 ). The Constitution of the United States of America. Retrieved from http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/amdt2.html
Levy, R. A. (2009). Gun Owners Next Victory in D.C.. CATO Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10504&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CatoRecentOpeds+(Cato+Recent+Op-eds)
Loomis, B. (2010). Concealed guns for (almost) everyone. Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/49849261-76/permit-gun-utah-concealed.html.csp
Lott, John R. Jr.(1999), American Experiment Quarterly: More Guns, Less Crime http://www.americanexperiment.org/uploaded/files/aeqv2n2lott.pdf
Mount, S. (2010). Constitutional Topic: The Second Amendment. Retrieved from http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_2nd.html
Utah State Legislature. (2003). Utah Code. Retrieved from http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_10_050300.htm
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