Government limitation of the purchase and ownership of firearms
The 2nd Amendment:
"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."
There are two different stances (usually separated by political party) when it comes to the interpretation of this amendment!
The Democratic Stance
National Gun Control Inc. :
Support gun control.
Sarah Brady ( who's husband victim of shot to the head aimed at President Ronald Reagan) a BIG leader to this incorporation.
The Republican Stance
- OPPOSE laws to regulate guns.
- The passage of gun laws has NOT reduced gun violence.
- The government needs to vigorously enforce and punish criminals who use guns illegally
- Oppose gun control: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."
NRA (National Rifle Association):
Pressures the government not to pass control laws, often with money.
Supreme Court Cases Regarding Gun Control:
Presser v. Illinois (1886): ruled that the states had the right to strictly regulate private military groups and associations. It also reaffirmed that the Second Amendment acts as a limitation upon the federal government and not the states. However Presser also stated that setting the Second Amendment aside, the states could not prohibit the "people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security..." (http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndsup.html)
Heller vs. District of Colombia (2008): Dick Heller, a security guard, challeneged D.C. law that it was illegal to own a handgun because he felt that his constitutional right was being denied. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Heller in a 5-4 vote, deciding that "The right to bear arms is an individual right and ownership of handguns is an individual right (seperate from forming a militia)".
U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876): involved members of the Ku Klux Klan depriving black victims of their basic rights such as freedom of assembly and to bear arms. The court decided that neither the First nor Second Amendments applied to the states, but were limitations on Congress. Thus the federal government had no power to correct these violations, rather the citizens had to rely on the police
power of the states for their protection from private individuals.
"This case is often misunderstood or quoted out of context by claiming Cruikshank held the Second Amendment does not grant a right to keep and bear arms. However, the court also said this about the First Amendment. The court explained that these rights weren't granted or created by the
Constitution, they existed prior to the Constitution." (http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndsup.html)
?????What do I think?????
On the issue of gun control, it's very hard for me to stick with just one side because I have connections to both stances.
In the case FOR gun control, I agree that there should be some regulation of guns, and some rules about where people can use them. I would not feel very comfortable if fellow students at the college I'm planning to attend were allowed to carry guns. I understand that most people that carry firearms are carrying them for self-defense, I just don't think a college or university is the right setting for firearms.
In the case AGAINST gun control, I agree that there are lots of responsable gun owners who follow the rules and safety regulations. Because of where I live, I am readily aware that many people enjoy the sport of hunting. Also, some people really just want to own a gun to defend themselves -- the guns give them a sense of security.
I have to form my opinion on a case by case basis because on this issue I am mostly moderate.