The people of the United States of America are given special rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution - The Supreme Law of the Land. The Second Amendment of the Constitution declares, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." People may have this right, however advocates of gun control believe guns are too risky.
Opponents of gun control claim guns have protected them in a self-defense situation. Gun control is defined as government limitaion of the purchase and ownership of firearms by the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Opponents of gun control argue that the right to bear arms is guaranteed to all citizens by the Second Amendment. Owners of handguns and other firearms debate that weapons have protected them and their loved ones from the harm of criminals. Moreover, the National Rifle Association (NRA) argues that although owning a gun requires a license, criminals are still able to get their hands on firearms. In other words, just because a great number of people own guns legally for private use, this does not stop criminals from obtaining guns. Second, the proponents of gun gun control say self defense is not a good enough reason for not regulating firearms. Studies on gun control have shown that family members were more likely to be wounded or even killed by other family members than by a potential attacker or intruder. In addition, gun control advocates point out the fact that the firearms owned by licensed people are more likely to cause them harm than protection. The two sides have found themselves in a heated debate over this issue. However, public opinion tends to lean strongly towards gun control. According to the Sociofile Gun Control article, "their survey shows that about 20% of the United States households own guns for protection against crime, although the public generally favors either current or more restrictive measures to control guns." As with any controversial public policy issue, there are many factors to consider when making decisions. Among those that we will look at are the media, public opinion, and the Constitution and the courts.
II. The Media
The media today has played a major role in the issue of guns and violence. The media has been blamed for the increased availability and use of guns and other weapons. The two major forms of media, the entertainment and the news media, have been involved differently in this issue. Entertainment media is one form of media which is accused of promoting the use of guns. The entertainment media includes films, television programs, and books. Gun violence is very popular in entertainment. For example, here is a passage from a "James Bond" novel which shows how guns are used in the media. "007 went to sleep with a .38 Colt Police Positive under his pillow. Later, the British Secret Service agent carefully nestled his .25 Beretta with a skeleton stock under a...