Is it really needed?
The Second Amendment
"...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The Controversy: What Each Side Has to Say
The Ones Who Oppose Gun Control:
Generally, conservatives (who are usually Republicans), oppose gun control legistations. They believe that the passage of current, and past gun control laws has not made a difference in gun related violence, much less been reduced. Instead, they feel that the criminals who used guns illegally should be targeted and punished more severely. A quote that is often used is, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." People re the ones to make decisions to use guns in order to harm other people; guns just happened to be the instrument they decided to use when committing their crimes. The association that fights to keep gun control laws at a minimum is the NRA- the National Rifle Association.
The Ones For Gun Control:
Those who support gun control laws tend to be liberal (usually Democratic) because they believe that gun control is a serious problem. They state that gun control needs to impose much more strict regulations on the purchase, and ownership of guns. They're obviously for Gun Control, the HGC goes after more gun control legislation; Sara Brady is a major leader in this group
There are various cases that each side of the argument will use to try to sway favor to their opinion.
Before the tragic Virginia Tech took first place as America's worst shooting, one took place at a place called Luby's Cafeteria which was in Texas during the year of 1991. There were twenty-three deaths while another twenty were wounded. Until April of 2007, no worse shooting had taken place than that.
Upon the date of April 2007, thirty-three were shot dead in Virginia Tech by fellow class mates. The shooter was a young man of the age twenty-three who happened to be of South Korean descent. He had been raised, but not born, in the United States. Because of his age, he could legally buy a gun.
In fact, there was a time when cheap, mail order guns were availible as a 'Saturday Night Special'.
These happenings have led people to fear what could be done with a gun, especially if sales remained so unchecked.
A Recent Tragedy:
In Aurora, Colorado in the month of July, at a movie theatre where the newest Batman movie was released, 12 people were killed and yet another 58 were wounded. A man dressed in a gas mask and full body armor was the culprit that killed those people that day. He was a twenty four year old neurosicence graduate, James E. Holmes. He had thrown a "smoke bomb" before he began shooting his, what people claimes, semi-automatic rifle and shot gun.It was too late for the people in the theatre when they finally realized that it wasn't just some thrill connected with the movie.
John F. Kennedy, president during 1963 was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Sirhan Sirhan shot and killed Robert F. Kennedy in1968, who was a senator at the time. Martin Luther King Jr, a vivil rights activists leader in 1968, was assassinated by James Earl Ray. A president candidate, George Wallace, was killed in 1972. L. Fromme killed yet another president in 1975, Gerald Ford. John Lennon, a member of The Beatles, was assassinated by Mark David Chapman. John Hinckley Jr killed Ronald Reagan in 1981 as president.
Obviously citizens are not the only ones targeted. Idols and political leaders are targetede just as much.
The Federal Laws:
The first law that passed was the 1934 National Fire Arms Act which banned "gangster" type of guns. "Gangster" like guns would be machine guns and sawed off shot guns. The second law that was created was the 1938 Federal Fire Arms Act- those who wished to sell guns had to be licensed, as well as to be able to import and manufacture guns. The 1968 Gun Control Act followed which restricted where guns could be carried. They could no longer be brought into federal buildings or in schools. It also states that convicted felons could not carry guns.
The Brady Bill, passed in 1993, placed even further restrictions on guns. There was now a five day waiting period in order to purchase "handguns". It was also created in order to direct local law enfocement officers in each states to do a background check on the buyer for any criminal record. The constituitionality of that was questioned since the federal goverment could not control state law enforcement- that was up to the states.
The Crime Bill of 1994 banned the manufacture, transfer or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons- in other words, military styled. Large capacity magazines were also banned. The sunset provision of this bill stated that it would expire in ten years unless it was renewed by congress- this was allowed to expire by a Reublican government.
Lastly, the second Brady Bill was passed in 1998. All gun buyers, and not just handgun buyers, had to complete federal applications as well as submit a background check. The background check was supplied by the new FBI computerized system.
The court case that brought about the question 'could the federal government force local law enforcement to perform background ceck' was Printz vs. U.S. in 1997. Jay Printz, at the time, was a Montana Sheriff and he challenged the government on the background checks. The supreme court agreed with Printz in that the federal government could not force him to perform Brady Bill checks. The Brady Bill was then, as a consequence, was undone in states that refused to do the checks, Following this, the FBI background checks was computerized.
In 2008, the court case Heller vs U.S took place.Dick Heller, who was a security guard, felt that his constitutional right was being denied; and so he challenged the DC law that said it was illegal to own a handgun. There was a close 5-4 vote that went in his favour. The right to bear arms is an individual right and that the ownership of handguns was also an individual right [it was declared as seperate from forming a militia].
What Do I Think?
Though I do not deny that tragedies happen that involve guns, I do not feel it should infringe the right to own guns. I oppose gun control laws. It is the person who uses that gun that should be punished, not all those who own guns. Guns are only an object that are neutral until someone with either a good or bad intention pick it up. There are law-abiding people that own guns and who are responsible with them. They might use the guns for a sport like hunting or to protect themselves from those with an evil intent that hold guns. If there are laws placed to make it harder for law-abiding people to have guns, they might not have one if a dangerous situation arises because criminals will always find a way to aquire things illegally that normal citizens would not do.
Everyone has the right to protect theselves and if that is taken away by too-strict gun control laws then more innocent lives may be lost. People have been able to protect the ones they loves by having a gun to scare off or wound would be murderers.