gun control Essay

Submitted By aleia11
Words: 1508
Pages: 7

The Founding Fathers fresh off their victory over the British enshrined in the American Bill of Rights the right of its citizens to bear arms. “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.” This right was taken for granted for nearly 150 years until several high profile crimes were committed with “assault style weapons.” Now a passionate debate swirls around the second amendment. The main question is whether the founding fathers intended for the average citizen to be able to own firearms, particularly firearms that historically were the purview of a state’s military. Through historical perspective, social, and economic arguments from both sides we will examine this question thoroughly.
One of the biggest issues in this argument seems to be what is meant by the word “militia”. The drafters of the constitution had experience of the use of something called a standing army to oppress the people. A standing Army “is a tool of government and can be used by a government to enforce its rule in defiance of the wishes of the people.” A standing army is distanced from the people, and doesn’t have connections with the local population. The second amendment drafters had seen the use of a standing army in Europe against their own people when they objected to government indifference or oppression. So they strongly wanted to make sure that there would be no such thing as a standing army in their new country. It would prevent a future government from using such an army to oppress is own people. The defense of the country would be carried out by armed citizens who would form a Militia. And if a government would become oppressive to the people, that militia could provide the means for the people to remove the government and replace it. Regardless of what some argue, the term “militia” does not refer to the National Guard or any military forces. “The meaning of 'Militia' intended by the drafters of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of The United States, and The Bill of Rights, of which the Second Amendment is a part is, literally, THE PEOPLE. The individuals who make up the population of the United States.” However many argue that the second amendment is obsolete in today’s world of standing professional militaries. An armed public as implied in the second amendment is no longer needed in a society with professional military and police forces. In addition, if the essence of the 2nd amendment was to give citizens the right to defend themselves against an oppressive government, one must understand that at that time, the principle weapons were the rifle and musket. So, basically the military and everyday citizen’s weapons were the same. Two hundred years later, proponents of gun control argue that the situation is different; a band of citizens with legal weapons could never stand up to the US military, with or without 'assault weapons'. They argue that if the intent is to be maintained, then the people should have the right to surface-to-air missiles, tanks, and ICBMs. To many, the second amendment is not as relevant in today’s world with the vast military that we have and the creation of deadlier weapons. The thought of people owning chemical weapons or weapons that could take out a large number of people is very scary. Society has changed, and thus they argue that the owning of certain weapons needs to be regulated. Regardless of our Founding Father’s intent, many view gun control as a black and white issue; People are either totally against guns or find it an absolute necessity to have them. Although the constitution ensures us the right to bear arms there are many complex issues surrounding this topic. Today, we take into consideration age, criminal record, and knowledge of firearm safety before allowing the purchase of most fire arms. Even those that disagree with the necessity for the ownership of…