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Politics And Gun Control Essay

984 words - 4 pages

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, "Amendment II"

Over 200 years ago, when the Founding Fathers drafted the Second Amendment, no one ever questioned the need for private gun ownership. The founders at that time had considered that private firearms were efficient to protecting personal liberty, both as a means of opposing foreign threats and also as a check against excessive government power. “The founders were passionately devoted to the idea that a self-sufficient armed citizenry is the best means of preserving liberty”. (Jost, 2008, pg. 893)
However, In the 1960s after the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, gun control became a major issue of public passion and controversy. Our nation's primary gun law is the 1968 Gun Control Act; it was passed in the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Senator Robert Kennedy. The act could have started shortly after November 22, 1963 when evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy increased public awareness to the relative lack of control over the sale and possession of firearms in America. Indeed, until 1968, handguns, rifles, shotguns, and ammunition were commonly sold over-the-counter and through mail-order catalogs and magazines to just about any adult anywhere in the nation. The Gun Control Act of 1968 - "was enacted for the purpose of keeping firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them because of age, criminal background, or incompetence." ( Jost, 2008, pg. 899)
In 1981, an assassination attempt was made on President Ronald Regan. This incident publicized shootings that would require criminal background checks on people who would want to purchase handguns. After much controversy, the Brady Bill act was signed into law in 1993. This was an act of the United States Congress that, for the first time, instituted federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States. However, the act was found unconstitutional in 1995 by the Arizona District in Mack v. United States. The act was found in violation of the 5th and 10th amendment. Court determined that this act violated Federalism. However, the overall Brady statute was upheld and state and local law enforcement officials remained free to conduct background checks if they so chose.
On May April 2007, a shooting took place at Virginia Tech College. Student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people before committing suicide during this tragic event. Congress passed a law in December 2007 in response to the Virginia Tech shootings by seeking to improve background checks to prevent adjudicated mentally ill persons from purchasing handguns. The bill won support from both the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association.
On June 26, 2008, The Court of Appeals found...

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