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Gun Control Legislation
The Gun Control Debate & Gun Control Legislation
With reference to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to the lawful possession of firearms to private citizens as well as with reference to law & economic journals, the paper will explore the gun control debate and the network of related issues. People who are not in favor of the use of guns and favor austere gun control legislation often argue that guns do not kill people; people kill people. People who are law abiding and moral have guns because it is their right; people who are of weak character and lack ethics have guns because it is their right. Gun possession is a fact of life making gun control legislation and regulation an absolute necessity; it is not the job of the law to judge a citizen's character, but rather it is the job of the law to erect a standard by which citizens must acquire and possess their firearms lawfully.
Gun control has been a prominent issue in the United States of America for as long as there has been an United States of America. Gun control is any policy, activity, or law with the intention of restriction upon the sale, use, possession, and production of guns by non-military private citizens. (Krouse, 2012) The debate regarding gun control and gun control legislation is often heated and the argumentation varies depending on the country, as this is an issue that permeates global cultures. Gun control laws and other forms of legislation are different from country to country as well. Some countries, such as the United States of America, have relatively lax gun control laws and legislation compared to other countries whose legislation is of the utmost restriction and severity.
The second amendment of the United States Constitution, as part of the Bill of Rights states "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." According to the Constitution, the security of a free state, of every state, is partially contingent on private citizens to possess guns.
Gun rights advocates have placed greater stress on the latter part of the Amendment, which asserts the right of the people to keep and bear arms. For supporters of this individual rights view, the right to bear arms is comparable to freedom of the press, and the Constitution provides the same level of protection for guns as it does for words. For the most ardent supporters of this view, the Constitution protects the right of individuals to have firearms for self-protection, hunting, or to wage revolution against the government itself. (Correll & DeDino, A Well Regulated Right, 2004)
Certainly a militia is different from a national military, and the Constitution was written during a point in history where there was a very real threat of invasion. Proponents for guns will argue that 21st century America is in the same condition, citing the terrorist attacks of Oklahoma City, Columbine, and New York City as modern examples. Terrorism, both international and domestic forms, is very much a part of the reality for many citizens around the world, and the United States is no exception.
In response to increased fears and increasing numbers & types of guns, the government has passed such gun control legislation as The National Firearms Act (NFA), The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. (Krouse, 2012) Advocates for gun possession additionally counterargue that gun control legislation does not directly affect crime and homicide rates, crimes that advocates for strict gun control legislation say the legislation decreases and provides protection. Supporters of firearms argue that the legislation (some at least) is a social nuisance that does more harm than good.
If these laws have no effect one way or the other on crime rates, then they should be scrapped because of their other costs, which are strictly positive: they interfere with free choice, they impose punishment and deterrence costs without justification, and they consume public resources for no public benefit…[the main] critique of gun control, which is that lawful defensive users will be disarmed before nonlawful users, thus producing a net increase in crime. (Parker, Guns, Crime, & Academics, 2001)
Gun possession is a part of the American tradition and the…[continue]
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