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Gun Control. Essay

1522 words - 6 pages

On April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado, two students at Columbine High School carried out a murderous rampage that left fifteen dead and millions in shock Exactly one month later, a suicidal fifteen year old from Heritage High, in Conyers, Georgia opened fire into a crowd of fellow students, injuring six. Following this, Orthodox Jews were attacked in Chicago during July, a community center in Los Angeles was hit in August, and there was shooting rampage at a Baptist church in Fort Worth Texas this September (Weiss 1). This Tuesday, in Honolulu, Hawaii - A Xerox Corp. repairman, shot and killed seven of his co-workers in the worst killing rampage in Hawaii's history (Gordon 1). Shockingly, Wednesday morning, a gunman camouflaged in a trench coat and sunglasses burst into a Seattle shipyard and shot four people, killing two (Wolk 1). The list from this year alone goes on and on and the headlines bleed through statistics. By the numbers, violent crime has dropped for the last seven years. But month after month, even week after week, the nation has been assaulted by horrific stories of innocents attacked or slain. This multitude of recent tragedies involving firearms has focused national attention, once more, on the controversial issue of gun control and the Second Amendment, a debate that always stirs up passionate emotions and intense opinions. Because opponents of gun control reject any law that bans or restricts guns in any form as unconstitutional, they ignore all legal history and modern implications surrounding the Second Amendment..The most misunderstood provision contained in the Bill of Rights is this Amendment which states as follows: "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" (Bijlefeld 3). Two interpretations of the Founding Fathers' words exist. Primarily, the belief held by the National Rifle Association and other members of America's gun lobby, that the Second Amendment guarantees every American citizen the right to own any number or kind of firearm. Secondly the conviction of gun control activists, that the Second Amendment was meant to guarantee a collective rather than an individual right to bear arms. So, when the occasion arose that Americans found it necessary to band together to defend their rights, they were constitutionally guaranteed the right to own the firearms they needed for that purpose (Kruschke 4). The latter of the interpretations seems to make the most sense when looked at in the historical context in which it was written. "The purpose of the Second Amendment was to guarantee the States' ability to maintain independent militia composed of state residents available to be called upon to defend the country should it's security have been threatened" (Sugarmann 265). The Founding Fathers reliance on state militias to perform this military task was rooted in their deep distrust of the standing federal army (Sugarmann...

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