Guns have been part of American society for a long time. They have been used for various purposes as part of sports and some use them for hunting. However, in the last few decades there have been so many questions raised on whether guns should be left out to the access of everybody or whether there should be control of their possession. It is notable that United States experiences about 35000 deaths every year and about half the families in America own at least one gun (Magoon 5).
Gun Control Problem
The second amendment is part of the founding documents of the United States constitution. The ratification of this law was aimed at denying the citizens the right of being in possession of guns. The resultant of this led to presence of culture wars between the supporters of gun control and the individuals who were against it. Since the 19th century, the federal laws have always impinged on the right of citizens or ability to own weapons.
The ratification of the fourteen amendments in 1868 required the state and local authority to follow the fundamental bill of rights. However, the decades after the civil war, the Supreme Court did not mention whether the second amendment restricts the actions of the states or local authorities. The high court address on the second amendment after the fourteenth amendment was in place brought a contradiction to the fourteenth amendment ratifiers as they resolved that the second amendment did not constrict state actions.
Until the National firearms act of 1934, there were no federal acts that affected the right to keep or bear guns (Doherty xxii). The past 50 years have seen a substantial number of laws aimed at restricting the use of guns in federal, state, and local levels. A movement by the name gun-control movement has been launched with a sole aim of controlling possession of guns, as they view them as instruments of crime rather than a part of cultural heritage and a vital tool of human right for self-defense.
The issue also caught the attention of the state houses and the congress due to the increase of crime in 1960’s. However, in the case of United States vs. Heller, the high court made a ruling that favored the people who were in support of having guns. It was at this point that the complexity of the matter was noted as no one knew how the decision by the High court would impact the decision to restrict availability of guns to the citizens.
However, it was in another case law that the federal case of appeal in the case of United States vs. Emerson that the Court of Appeal determined that the second amendment indeed protected the right to keep and bear arms. Though the Supreme Court was clear, other lower courts have made decisions contrary to this in regard to the second amendment (Doherty xxii).
The decision on Emerson case brought an infuriation to the people who opposed the move to have guns in possession of the people. The outcome of this was the case by a group of lawyers led by Levy that was opposed to the second amendment ruling. The case that was filled in 2003 had an initial victory with partial defeat, and finally a loss. The result was not a surprising one since the culture of having guns among the American public has always been there from the time the constitutions was drafted.
Through the years, there have always been various campaigners of laws that should be put in place to control guns. The proponents of gun control have always insisted on having background check for the people who are in possession of guns. One of the campaigners, Sarah Brady was even quoted campaigning for extension of ban on selling riffles to other people except the police in 2004 (Gold 10).
The arguments for against ownership of guns find their bases of arguments on the statistics regarding the number of firearms violence experience in United States each and every day. According to Crooker, the number of deaths experienced in 1990’s shown that about 30000 people die every year due to gun shots and about half of these deaths are due to suicide. The cost of gunshot is not just emotional but has also an economic effect. The cost of treating a gunshot wound is very expensive, and it ranges $150000 to $200000.
The problems do not end there as they extend also to domestic violence. A study carried out in1994 showed that the 68% of the domestic violence homicide were caused due to having firearms. Another study also showed that a home with a gun also has five times greater likely hood to experience incidences of violence than a gun free home (Crooker 4).
On the other hand, proponents of having guns available to the citizens find their bases of argument in the fact that there exists a right of self-defense, and the need to over throw a tyrannical government as well as defend the nation in case of a foreign invasion. The right of self-defense is also argued that the right to self-defense should rest on the society and not a single individual. The issue of self-defense is both practical and moral.
The practical arguments rest on whether one should be prepared to injure or kill in order to protect one self. It is therefore wise for one to avoid having the firearm if he is not able to defend himself with it in case of an attack, as the attacker may take it from him. On moral arguments, it is deemed that the moral objection of violence is recognized by the government. Issues of self-defense are arguable to the circumstances that existed when instances of injury or death occurred (Wilson 21).
The question of being in possession of guns is a right granted in the constitution among the American people. The fact that there are various reasons that have led to issues of whether there needs to be gun control need to be substantially addressed. Since it might be hard to get the guns from the people, there is need to ensure that the guns are only held by responsible citizens.
Crooker, Constance Emerson. “Gun control and gun rights.” Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
Doherty, Brian. “Gun control on trial: inside the Supreme Court battle over the Second Amendment.” Washington: Cato Institute, 2008. Print.
Gold, Susan Dudley. “Gun Control.” New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2004. Print.
Magoon, Kekla. “Gun Control.” Minnesota: ABDO , 2007. Print.
Wilson, Harry L. “Guns, gun control, and elections: the politics and policy of firearms.” Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Print.