The Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution 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". At the time this amendment was passed, the United States was primarily an agrarian society; guns were a part of the home, a necessity for daily life. The debate over stronger gun laws or gun control as some may see it has been happening for decades. Those for gun control believe it is constitutional, based on the Second Amendment, while those against gun control or stronger laws, feel that based on the Second Amendment it would in fact be the opposite; unconstitutional, a violation of their "right to bear arms".
The question of constitutional or not will forever be an ongoing battle, there is no real right or wrong answer since there is no definitive way of interpreting something written hundreds of years earlier. So maybe the issue should be to find a middle ground, maybe not controlling the gun, but stronger laws to control the bullets. It is a fact that guns do not kill, bullets kill. Â
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Rubber bullets are rubber or rubber-coated projectiles for use in either a riot gun or standard firearms. "Less than lethal devices" that is dangerous enough to pierce skin; however they are non-lethal, when fired at short range. These bullets are small enough to be fired from a pistol or shot gun. Other bullets are made of wood, wax or plastic, rubber bullets cause pain without giving any serious injury. There are rare instances of bone fracture, major injury to internal organ and even death.Â
If there were stronger laws to require bullets and who and how are allowed to have them. This could help to reduce the number of fatalities from gun shots. It is a fact that the military will not use rubber bullets; they would along with police departments have real bullets issued and available to them. While citizens, with the exception of licensed hunters and hunting rifles, would have to have rubber bullets. Hunters must register and only hunting rifles for citizens would be allowed to carry non rubber bullets I limited quantities.
By placing limitations on how much ammo a household could have this would minimize the Columbine and Arizona tragedies. If a person isn't allowed to have an arsenal of weapons and bullets, they would not be able to perform massacres of that type. This is not to say that massacres would no longer happen, but they would be harder to perform, as they are now with guns. California Governor Gray Davis signed two of the toughest gun laws in the country on July 19, 1999 on assault weapons and ammunition magazines a measure to stop gun traffickers by limiting gun buyers to no more than one handgun per month.
There will be those that oppose this suggestion. It is an option that would allow the supporters of gun control to have control, allow those against, to not lose their right to bear arms; they are just limited on the quantity and type of ammunition. The right to bear arms is for the purpose of maintaining an effective state militia our present day National Guard. It is not known the intent of our founding fathers for individual people to own; store, or carry weapons and federal appellate courts have also ruled that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual the right to own or to bear arms. In United States v. Miller (1939) the federal appellate court, ruled that a firearms law is only unconstitutional if it adversely affects a state's ability to maintain and keep a militia (Blek, 1999).
The Brady Campaign raises issues that support the regulation of guns such as gun dealers and law enforcement should keep records of gun sales that can later be used for gun tracing and aid in criminal investigations (The Herald, 2009). This will enable law enforcement to identify people who have bought guns and later became criminals. This would also help investigators follow and apprehend gangs and gun traffickers that buy and sell on the black-market (The Herald, 2009).
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Opposition to gun control is strongly supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) remains strong, maintaining that non-regulated right to bear arms is guaranteed to citizens by the 2nd amendment, in 2008 receiving support in a Supreme Court decision disallowing Washington D.C. to issue a complete ban on handguns. Opposition argue that gun owners use their weapons to deter crime and handguns are commonly used for this purpose; they're law abiding citizens who put greater trust in individualism than in the government to for their safety.
The black market is open to anyone with money no discrimination of age, race, gender, or background. Criminals do not bother to with obeying the law, for a criminal by definition is someone who disobeys laws (Davidson, 1998, p. Â 240). Gun control laws will not pertain to criminals. The only people who are affected by gun control laws are law-abiding citizens who are trying to protect themselves.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Since gun control or regulations are not among the federal government's powers in the body of the Constitution or any Amendments, the only way to increase the government power on gun control would be to amend the Constitution. The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution says people have other rights besides those directly mentioned in the Constitution (Sobran, 1999). Those that oppose gun control believe that the original right of self-defense is among those rights not directly mentioned (Sobran, 1999) and "The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution implies that all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people" (Sobran, 1999). The Tenth Amendment proves that the government does not have the authority to regulate gun ownership, believing such policies will cause honest people to be victimized by violent criminals.
Â Â Â Â Â The NRA does not want government regulations and believe firearms safety training has decreased the number of firearms accidents (The Herald, 2009). The NRA also believes that any type of registration could aid in gun confiscation, something that has occurred in other countries. They also argue that criminals do not register their guns anyway and registering guns will just cause a big bureaucracy (The Herald Dispatch, 2009).Â
Every day in the United States children under the age of 18 are killed in gun or firearm incidents and many more are wounded. Motor vehicle accidents take a higher number of our children's lives, ages ten - nineteen, than gunshot wounds Durston (2007). In 1998, handguns were used in 9,390 murders in the United States compared to that of Germany with 213 murdered, Canada with 106, Great Britain with 30, Japan with 15 and New Zealand with 2. Each day people use guns to commit heinous crimes against others. Each day people use guns to save lives. Many believe that guns are the cause of the crime in our country, and if we were to ban or eliminate guns crime would decrease or diminish. There are those that believe having guns freely available and encouraging more to carry them would then force criminals to think twice before committing a crime.
Gun violence in the United States is on the rise. "Every year, approximately thirty thousand U.S. civilians are killed by guns" (Durston, 2007, para. 5). In the United States, there are more people killed in a year, by guns, than people killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (Durston, 2007). More people die from gun violence every two years than the number of soldiers killed during the entire eleven year Vietnam War (Durston, 2007).Â The last few years have shown an increase in crimes related to guns, such as homicides, robbery, and other gun crimes. While the number of firearms in the U.S. has increased since 1993, the instance of serious violent crimes has decreased.
The fact is that people are going to have firearms legally or illegally. It is a fact that people will commit crimes with guns and people will prevent crimes with guns. Since we live in a country built on democracy, we have options and choices. We may choose to support firearms, or choose to oppose them, either way crimes are committed every day with a firearm, and without firearms. We have to devise a middle ground between strong gun control laws, and gun owners' rights. There has to be some sort of regulation, there should not be a complete ban, I think that where we are in society today, we could not completely ban them. It would open us up to other Countries possibly weakening us.
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But reasonable regulations including laws that control the types of firearms purchased the quantities and the qualifications of those who may purchase and own a firearm. We have some policies on Federal background checks, state background checks, waiting periods, and registration are regulations that are reasonable and allow for individual gun ownership in place. These could probably stand to be reviewed and find the loop holes. Those against gun control need to realize that reasonable regulations are not going to lead to a total ban and confiscation of firearms (Rostron, 2006).Â
Reasonable regulations could turn out to be a medium for both sides of the gun control debate.Â