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What Role Should The Government Play in Gun Control? Essay

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What Role Should The Government Play in Gun Control?

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.

     Gun control is a real issue with Americans today. Many people have different opinions about how to handle our growing dilemma concerning guns. There are those who believe we should ban guns altogether and those who believe we should not ban or restrict the people's right to own guns at all. Both sides have valid arguments, but neither side seems to know how to compromise because of their very different opinions. I personally believe guns should be banned. However, those against gun control have very good arguments.
     The Second Amendment was written because of the colonists' fear of an all-powerful central government taking over, but there are many interpretations of how the Second Amendment reads. The court has never found the Second Amendment to clash with the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process clause which states that, "No state shall...deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" (McClenaghan 522). This gave each state the right to set up their own rules and regulations, which I believe, is one reason why we have the problems that we do.
     There have been four major cases heard by the Supreme Court which found that the fire-arm control laws are constitutional; United States v. Cruikshank (1986), Presser v. Illinois (1886), Miller v. Texas (1894), and the United States v. Miller (1939) (Strahinich 41). United States v. Miller was the most important. It supported a section of the National Firearms Act of 1934, basically stating that it is a crime to ship sawed off shotguns, machine guns, or silencers across state lines unless registered with the Treasury Department (McClenaghan 522).
     The United States already has more than twenty thousand gun laws, but they do not seem to be making an impact. The first American gun control laws were written before the Revolutionary War. The most effective and more recent laws have been the Gun Control Act of 1986 and the Brady Law. The Gun Control Act of 1986 has a lot of impact on our rights concerning firearms today. It requires federal licensing and inspection of dealers with new and stricter guidelines. It restricted the sale of ammunition and firearms betwe...


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...on of law enforcement officials and military. We might not be able to stop all of this gun violence but at least we can close loopholes that control the sale and distribution of guns in America. Next to automobiles, guns are the second most deadly consumer product on the market. There are over two hundred million guns in circulation today, compared to the mere fifty four million in 1950 (Roleff 142).


Works Cited

Dolan, Edward, Margaret Scariano. Guns in the United States. New York, New York: Moffa Press, Incorporated, 1994. pp.. 29-30, 55.

Lott, J.R. More Guns Less Crime. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press,      1998. pp.. 1-2.

McClenaghan, William. American Government. Needham, Massachusetts:      Prentice Hall, 1993. pp.. 489, 522.

Netzley, P.D. Issues in Crime. Sandiego, California: Lucent Books Inc., 2000. pp.. 32

Roleff, T.L. ed. Gun Control, Opposing Viewpoints. Sandiego, California:      Greenhaven Press Inc., 1997. pp.. 22-23, 25, 45, 47, 65-67, 76, 85, 117, 142.

Strahinich, Helen. Guns in America. United States: Walker Publishing Company,      1992. pp.. 41, 48, 51.

http://www.alphadogweb.com/firearms/gun_control_is_a_nice_phrase.htm


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