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2nd Amendment

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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

ignorance of children. Children are more capable of finding guns than they

are given credit for. "Children under the age of 15 suffer approximately

one-third of the deaths caused by guns in the ho me" (Cruit, 18).

Even if a child is well behaved and listens when they are told not to touch

a gun, they may still cecum to peer pressure and let their friends play

with a gun. Not only is a gun dangerous to children, but the ammunition is

as well. A child could be seriously hurt by an exploding bullet which can

be set off by being hit by a rock, a nail, or being thrown into the

fireplace. Children are unpredictable and they do not know the effect of a

gun on themselves or their friends.

Having a gun in the house can also be dangerous because of

temperament, rage, and impulse because murder is usually a crime of passion.

"If you or someone in your family has a hot temper that leads to rather

violent reactions, you should not keep a gun around" (Cruit, 23). Guns are

an easy solution to problems in and enraged person's mind. They are quick

and clean and most of all impersonal. Enraged people are impulsive and

handguns make impulsive actions deadly. "In and all-too-typical case: A

retired railroad worker in San Francisco who bought a gun to protect

against muggers used it in 1982 to kill a neighbor in an argument over a

parking space" (Isaacson, 163).

A gun makes suicide easy and instantaneous. Thousands of people a

year commit suicide because of hopelessness and depression. "Although

there's no way of knowing if all these people would have taken their lives

by other means if a gun had been unavailable, it is reasonable to assume

that some of them would not have done so" (Cruit, 17). According to Julian

S. Hatcher, in Firearms Investigation, Identification, and Evidence, most

people would not actually commit suicide if their were no guns available.

He states "The chance of suicide if no firearm is present is relatively

remote" (Hatcher, 284). Many people who take pills or slit their wrists

think better of it before it is too late and ask for help.

Alcohol and drugs play a big role in the misuse of firearms.

People who have substance abuse problems may play and joke around with a

firearm, creating a hazardous situation. "Fifty-two percent of all

murderers act under the influence of liquor or drugs" (Cruit, 17).

Drinking or doing drugs mix no better with guns than they do with driving

cars. The real danger is that most people with substance problems do not

admit to it and there for do not make a responsible decision with relation

to their problem, when deciding to own a gun or not.

There are other ways to protect yourself that having a gun. Some

of these ways are having fortified outer as well as inner doors, a good

burglar alarm, and a good neighborhood watch organization. Doors need to

be made of strong, solid wood and any windows in them should be out of

reach of the inner locks incase they are broken. "If you have one or more

windows in your door, examine the possibility of breaking one of them from

the outside, reaching in, and unlocking the latch" (Cox, 13). With and

alarm system one can deter a criminal because most will leave at the sound

of an alarm to avoid getting caught. The police can also be alerted with

some systems so a burglar will probably go to another, less troublesome

house. "Now there are all kinds of options available, including automatic

dialing machines to alert a central monitoring station or the police" (Cox,

70). Neighborhood watch is a very effective means of security. In

neighborhood watch people are designated to watch the neighborhood at

different times to make sure its secure. When suspicious things happen,

these people call the police or a civilian base station, "In all

communities, the single most effective aid to deterring crime is the

neighborhood civilian patrol organization" (Mc Gurn, 33). Anti gun

activists believe that it is not necessary to have guns in the hone when

there are various ways to protect yourself without them.

The Constitution says that citizens have the right to bear arms in

the second amendment. Like most of the amendments, the second is written

very broadly so that it can be interpreted in different ways to fit the

changing times. To be able to protect oneself is the most basic right of

individualism and the right to bear arms is a guarantee of individual

freedom. "It protects a basic liberty, one which as a last resort can help

us protect all other rights from those who would oppress us" (Isaacson,

164). One of the main reasons why we have the second amendment is so we

can fight an oppressive government and keep our personal freedoms. "The

right of a citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the

palladium of the liberties of a republic, since it offers a strong moral

check against the usurping and arbitrary powers of rulers" (Isaacson, 165).

Though guns increase the severity of the crimes committed, the

problem is VXK there. One needs to be able to react to an attack with the

same amount of ux: that one is being attacked with. If the person who is

acting violently towards another person has a gun, and the second person

does not, he or she will not be able to defend themselves because a gun is

a long range weapon that cannot be fought against. One can relate this

situation to the differences between the attacking U.S. Military and the

Army of Iraq, who in comparison, were virtually defenseless. A rational

person would want to have their own army as powerful as the opposing one.

Home owned guns are not only dangerous to society, as gun control

activists say, the actually can contribute the safety of the society. In

Hatchers book he tells of a situation in a small South Carolina town. some

outside labor organizers threatened to take over private property. The

next morning a group of local farmers arrived in town with their shotguns.

They were not for either side but private property was sacred to them and

the organizers left hurriedly. "It is remarkable today that those regions

where the family shotgun stands in the corner of the living room or over

the mantel in the style of our ancestors, are almost completely free of

organized crime. Neither tyranny or crime flourishes where citizens both

own and can use weapons" (Hatcher, 332-333).

The problem with the curiosity of children can be easily avoided.

All an adult gun owner needs to do is find a way in which they can hide gun

and stay one step ahead of the child. "You must stay well ahead of your

children. Don't wait until your kids have grown enough to be able to get

to the gun before you move it, you should revise your safety precautions

well in advance of that time. To do otherwise would invite disaster"

(Cruit, 20). Trigger locks and drawer locks with well hidden keys make the

problem of children trivial.

According to gun control activists, there are better ways to

protect oneself from intruders than firearms. If a person really wants to

get into a home a door is not going to stop them. "One basic fact that you

should be aware of, whether you have a gun or not, is that an intruder,

whether a burglar, rapist, drug addict, or psycho, can get into your home

if he wants to badly enough" (Cruit, 15). No matter how strong a door is,

a man with a crowbar can still get in. No matter how much noise a person

makes breaking down a door or setting off an alarm, they will still have

enough time to get to the homeowner before the police get there. Even when

the police are called immediately the y still take time to get there and

sometimes the do not come at all. "Once a criminal is inside your home, he

needs very little time to rape or to kill" (Cruit, 16). If the citizens

are disarmed, what are they to do about a maniac who plans to hurt them and

will not be stopped by a door or and alarm.

The neighborhood watch, though very effective, does not always work.

Most civilians who watch the neighborhoods are asleep when the majority of

crimes happen, in the middle of the night. Looking at a statement made by

McGurn in The Womans Bible for Survival in a Violent Society, "People

become mobilized, they do the job and when the problem subsides, so do

they" (Mc Gurn, 33), it can be seen that after a problem has ended people

stop paying attention. At this time a person could break into a house

unnoticed by neighbors. Now that nobody is watching, the door has been

broken down and a person is inside the house, the homeowner is left to

defend themselves. One big advantage of a gun is that it is a long range

weapon which means long range defence. This means one does not have to get

too close to and assailant when stopping them. "Stay at least eight feet

away, and make sure that no one gets anywhere near him or between the two

of you" (Cruit, 141). With a gun one is safe to sit and wait for the

police, making the criminal stay in one place, without having to touch them

and endanger oneself in the process.

Although guns are very dangerous and are used in all sorts of

criminal activity, they are already out there and the benefits of having

them outweigh the drawbacks. U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms so

that the most basic rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

can be preserved with force if necessary. Protecting ourselves form others

with deadly force preserves our right to life. Protecting ourselves from

the oppression of a government, with weapons that can threaten it,

preserves our tight to liberty. The preservation of both these rights

contributes directly to the pursuit of happiness because a human being

cannot be happy without life and liberty.…...

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2nd Amendment

...controversial is the second amendment to the constitution and its importance. The Second Amendment states that, “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The interpretation of the “right of the people” shows that it protects the individual rights of the citizens to own guns. The second amendment is widely considered to be the most important amendment in the constitution for several reasons. It bestows the citizens with protection, defense, and it establishes greater hegemony for the nation as a whole. The second amendment grants protection to all law biding citizens. It protects them from criminals and even from the government. Owning a gun allows citizens to protect their property and themselves. For example, if a criminal knew for a fact that a certain house or a certain neighborhood had guns then he would surely think twice before breaking in or vandalizing their property. The second amendment gives the citizens protection with guns and therefore it discourages criminals from attacking the innocent. According to firearms expert Neil Schulman, firearms are the most effective way to protect your home from common criminals. As long as you learn how to use guns safely and take precautions to keep them out of the irresponsible hands of criminals, then the guns makes your home safer and could potentially save your life and that of your loved ones. The second amendment also offers......

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