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The Battle Between Gun Control and Gun Rights Essay

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The debate over the right to bear arms according to the Second Amendment has been a hotly contested issue for many years in American history. The matter has been one of the most controversial issues in the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first; disputed between politicians on the liberal and conservative side along with issues such as abortion, capital punishment, and gay marriage. The Supreme Court has officially defined the controversial Second Amendment by stating that states have the right to maintain a militia separate from a federally controlled army (Gale Encyclopedia, pg. 155-162). However, “Courts have consistently held that the state and federal governments may lawfully regulate the sale, transfer, receipt, possession, and use of certain categories of firearms, as well as mandate who may and may not own a gun (Gale Encyclopedia, pg. 155-162).” Therefore, the issue is one that is extremely hard to clarify. Which side is right?
An estimated 30,000 people are killed each year by guns in the United States alone according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Gun Control, Funk & Wagnall’s). Though there have been some restrictions and laws placed, both the conservative and liberal sides are not pleased with either the lack of action or the fact that there has been too much action that has taken place. “About 38% of U.S. households and 26% of individuals owned at least one gun, with about half of the individuals having 4 or more guns, according to a 2004 survey by the Harvard School of Public Health (Gun Control, Funk & Wagnall’s).” Both sides turn to the one document centered on the argument for evidence to support their side: the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment states that: “...


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...t our beliefs. Though there may be a right and wrong view, perhaps Americans should be thankful when we are arguing our viewpoints that we live in a place where we can actually do so.



Works Cited

Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law. Ed. Shirelle Phelps. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2003. p155-162.
“Gun Control." Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 11 Oct. 2011.
Spitzer, Robert J. The Right to Bear Arms: Rights and Liberties under the Law. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001. Print.
"The Right to Bear Arms." UMKC School of Law. Web. 16 Oct. 2011.
Tushnet, Mark. "Interpreting the Right to Bear Arms---Gun Regulation and Constitutional Law." The New England Journal of Medicine. 3 Apr. 2008. Web. 15 Oct. 2011.
Tushnet, Mark V. Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
U.S. Constitution. Amend. II.


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