Samples Gun Control The War Against The Second Amendment

The War Against The Second Amendment

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” 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.”
– U.S Constitution; Dec. 17, 1791

Gun control is the term used to refer to any law, policy, practice or proposal that is designed to restrict or limit the production, importation, sale, shipment, possession, or use of firearms. Firearms are classified into three very broad types, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns; both rifles and shotguns are referred to as long guns.

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Since the tragedy in December in Newtown, Connecticut, the people and the government have been split on what to do in this decision. Should we the people fight for our rights to have a weapon? Or should the government enforce such laws to regulate them. This is a continuing debate over the interpretation of the second amendment and whether or not it gives the individual the right to bear Arms and how limited is that right? I believe we should find a way to comprise the people rights and the government’s right over this issue and hopefully decrease the deaths by guns.

In the Gun Control Act of 1968, the statement that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to own and carry a gun for self-defense, rather than the people’s right to form militias for the common defense, was first introduced. A breakthrough in its development came when Orrin Hatch, serving on Strom Thurmond’s Senate Judiciary Committee, became chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Hatch commissioned a history of the Second Amendment, resulting in a 1982 report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” which concluded,
“What the Subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear—and long lost—proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”

The very constitution of this nation argues for the right to keep and bear arms, but there are those who argue that this means only militias should have guns, while there are others who champion it stating it means that all have the right. The wording is clear, but the interpretation is where the issue lies; it was clear for the time in which and for which it was written, however, with militias no longer in distinct prevalence, more and more state courts are ruling that it applies to all individuals, and their right to keep and bear arms.

There are several different arguments in regards to this particular debate, and a hotly debated issue it is; the first faction states that the definition of arms has changed drastically throughout the years, and the second amendment places no limitation on what type of arms a citizen has a right to (Evans, 2013), while the other faction states that the second amendment only protects guns that are common in ordinary use, and as such, machine guns do not fall into that classification (Blackman, 2012).

This is why the issue of gun control is such a hot topic; both arguments are completely valid ones. The second amendment was referring to the guns that people had in their possessions, those that they used in the wars, those that they used to shoot meat for their families, and those that they used to protect their families. These guns, these rifles, these pistols, many of which were passed down throughout the years; they were not fancy killing machines, they were simply devices used to protect, to hunt, and to use in defense of their nation. While it is true that the weapons used in defense of the nation have changed and now include items like the M-16A2 assault rifle (Powers, 2013), the weapons that were referred to back when the constitution was written were those that were used for the means stated previously, but more importantly, the weapons taken up in defense of the nation were not provided by the military; they were supplied by the individuals who went out in defense of their land, and as such, they did not include items that would not otherwise be common use items; it is not an unlimited free pass for any and all firearms (Winkler, 2013).

The opposite argument, stating that regardless of intent, the second amendment does not specifically place a ban on any gun, and as such, there should be no limitations on guns, and the very attempt to do so is done as a means of controlling the population, done for to their detriment, not for their benefit (A Human Right, 2012). This argument is equally valid, to a degree. It is true that the second amendment places no true restriction on what guns should or should not be allowed in private ownership, but the key to this argument is that there was intent, and that is something that must be taken into consideration when looking at something that was written so long ago.

From silver screen legend, and former National Rifle Association’s Charleton Heston (only a former member as a result of his passing in 2008) to current darling of the silver screen, Jim Carrey, there are those who firmly believe each side. Charleton Heston advised “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” (Brandstetter, 2008) while Jim Carrey went so far as to mock him in a parody video stating that Charleton Heston couldn’t make it to heaven because the angels couldn’t pry his gun away (Monde, 2013).

Gun control laws are here to stay, in one form or another, and of the many different states in the nation; the variety of different gun control laws they have present, regardless of a person’s stance on the matter, serve to provide a measure of protection for the citizens of the state without infringing unjustly upon the rights of the people as granted by the constitution itself.

  • Blackman, Josh. “Machine Guns and the Second Amendment.” Josh Blackman. Josh Blackman, 2012. Web. 13 May 2013. .
  • Brandstetter, J. “Charlton Heston; From My Cold Dead Hands. Long Version.” YouTube. YouTube, 26 Apr. 2008. Web. 14 May 2013. .
  • Evans, Mark B. “UPDATED: Why Treat Machine Gun Ownership Differently than Other Guns, Arms Are Arms under the 2nd Amendment.” The Voice of Tuscon. Tuscon Citizen, 8 Jan. 2013. Web. 13 May 2013. .
  • A Human Right. “What Is Gun Control?” What Is Gun Control? A Human Right, 2012. Web. 13 May 2013. .
  • Monde, Chiderah. “Jim Carrey Releases ‘Cold Dead Hand’ Music Video Mocking Gun Rights Advocates like Charlton Heston.” NY Daily News. New York Daily News, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 May 2013. .
  • Powers, Rod. “Military Weapons.” US Military., 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 13 May 2013. .
  • Winkler, Adam. “The Second Amendment Is All for Gun Control.” The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 17 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 May 2013. .

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