The Bill of Rights and Gun Control Essay Example
Gun control has evolved into one of the most controversial topics in today’s political discussions. This controversiality stems from the increase in violent attacks using guns as well as the lingering thought that society does not need guns anymore because of the way society has morally advanced over the past hundred years. With these points in mind, it leads politicians as well as the public wondering how to end gun violence without impeding the rights of the people while still making a dent in the issue. According to Source E, gun control has recently gained traction in American society and exists as a possible option to curve the gun violence epidemic to save lives. In order to effectively achieve that feat, society must analyze the situation and determine what issues take precedence when creating gun legislation.
Confusion around The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights, one of the most popular affirmative and negative arguments when it comes to gun control, dictates how the government operates but often creates confusion due to the wording used. In source B, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” has seamlessly afforded the right to bear arms within the United States but needs thoughtful consideration when creating new firearm laws. The right, expressly described in the Second Amendment, creates a point of conflict because the Amendment states the militia as well as the people having the right to bear arms, but the question of what constitutes a militia and who makes up the people described by the Second Amendment, come into play when setting limits to the law. In the 1700’s the militia consisted of the people and of of necessity, had to supply their own equipment and regulate their own activities. However, today the militia does not consist of people from the general public which leads some people to infer the Second Amendment does not apply to the general public.
Today, the militia consists of the National Guard or a similar military reserve organization with the government supplying the equipment and regulating the activities carried out by those groups. This terminology creates the confusion as the lines between militias, national guard programs, and people become blurred when deliberating the topic of gun control. Another topic of importance to consider, the court cases related to the Second Amendment. Source D explains this practice, citing expert and legal opinions regarding the language used in the second amendment and that most recent court cases regarding this topic, deconstruct the Bill of Rights to gain a better understanding of the topic. The Bill of Rights, the foundation for the how the United States government needs to run and govern it’s people, needs consideration from lawmakers because any new legislation brought up will have to have it’s constitutionality brought up before considered as a law of the United States. The Tenth Amendment, also found in Source B, generates disagreements about the rights of the people, more specifically the states. Although not directly related to firearms, the Tenth Amendment must receive consideration when creating new firearms laws.
The tenth amendment says “any powers not delegated to the government is reserved to the states or the people.” The wording of this amendment cultivates confusion because of the lack of detail and restrictions. The Second Amendment, included in the Bill of Rights as a God given right, means in the opinion of some people that the federal government has no right to regulate or control firearms because the founding fathers gave no explicit right to do so to the government. This means that individual states, not the federal government has the right to restrict firearms and laws because the federal government has already reached the extent of their Constitutional power. However, this policy has the potential to create safety issues because of the lack of a homogenous set of rules governing firearms for all states. Yet, even though the legalities of gun control create confusion due to the wording of the core documents governing the United States, it still requires consideration because of the vagueness and questionable constitutionality regarding this topic.
The safety of society
Second, the safety of society needs consideration when making decisions regarding gun control. The safety of society requires attention because the government as well as the citizens of the government have a job to create and maintain a peaceful and orderly way of life for themselves and their neighbors. This unspoken rule becomes evident in our society because we have services like police and fire departments, as well as government created programs like the draft in a time of war. These services, meant for protection from foreign and domestic threats, the duty of managing those services fall into select citizens’ hands that step up to the plate and help their community, but in a time of grave danger, those services multiply due to an increase in needs and average citizens will have to meet the moral duty and work outside of their comfort zones.
This unsaid rule also gets applied to the laws in society, speed limits, alcohol laws, and other laws limiting what people can and cannot do even if they are capable of safely handling more responsibility than the legal limit. It would only make sense that if gun control makes society safer, te politicians would analyze the situation and determine what measures should take place without impeding the rights of the people. Source F states that more gun control equals less gun violence and source H claims that a loophole in the current legislation presently creates an increase in the potential for dangerous situations involving firearms. In contrast, source J claims higher gun ownership results in fewer mass shootings. On the surface, it sounds like finding a solution to the problem would never happen due to the extreme contradictions of the two studies.
Also, considering safety seems like a misuse of time because both options cancel each other out when taken for face value, but the sources point to a clear indication that safety plays an important role in creating new gun legislation. With a more in depth investigation, the sources complement each other affirming that the gun control debate regarding how people sell and store firearms rather than who can own a firearm must happen. Deconstructing the source and the information contained in the source creates a better informed decision and a better solution for all the parties involved. In the case of these sources, once deconstructed one can pull the conclusion found above. Safety, the number one priority when it comes to gun control, trumps all other considerations because of the moral duty mentioned earlier. Because of the societal evolution that has happened over the past hundred years, people have started to turn away from the traditional survival lifestyle as humans have progressed into a more sedentary style of life.
With an increase of concentrated populations, housing firearms within the home in close proximity to others has increased the dangers associated with firearms. Because of this, politicians must consider the facts to make the best educated decision. Gun control regarding how to sell and store guns would help solve the gun violence problem because it would stop children and people from handling guns when they have not had the proper training or qualifications to handle guns. Gun control regarding the sale of guns would stop unauthorized people from buying guns which creates a safer society. Enacting those gun control measures would preserve the right of the people to bear arms because it would protect gun owners’ credibility with guns by decreasing the number of incidents that happen with illegal gun owners. This solution would not only theoretically increase firearm acceptance, it would only punish or prohibit illegal activities, while giving legal activities the chance to still thrive despite an increase in gun control.
Lastly, politicians must consider what people want. Politicians must listen to the people that elected them into office if they want to successful ratings. If the politicians elected to office do not listen to the people they will likely not get the chance to serve another term again. After all the United States, arguably one of the most successful countries in the world, has a democratic political system meaning the government and it’s laws embody the wants of the it’s citizens. If the government does not follow the model clearly outlined in the government’s core documents, and they deliberately disregard the people’s voice regardless of political want, the concept of the United States would topple over. According to Source G, nearly twenty percent of Americans want the Second Amendment repealed at a national level.
This want to have the Second Amendment repealed, has come from the increase in gun violence as seen with the recent school shootings and massacres. Each time another episode of gun violence occurs in the United States, each time another innocent life gets taken, and each opportunity to create a safer society passes by, emotions become more raw and more people push for gun law reformation. As seen in Source C, people’s perception of firearms has declined with more people protesting with the message of “protecting people, not guns.” If people’s perceptions of firearms keep changing that twenty percent of people wanting to repeal the Second Amendment might change into thirty, forty, or fifty percent. If this trend keeps increasing, it would be likely that total gun control would be on the voting ballot, or at least a topic during a congressional session.
In conclusion, the Bill of Rights, the safety of the people, and the wants of the people are most important when considering gun control legislation. Doing this insures the political integrity of the United States government by ensuring the lawmakers stay true to the values that are governing them as representatives. It ensures that citizens will be safer in their communities, and it ensures the want of the people is followed by allowing the democratic process to operate unobstructed.