The Use Of The Second Amendment In The American Home

2324 words - 9 pages

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,...

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