Gun Control is Constitutional
The debate on gun violence and gun control in the United States has stalled over the years. In the wake of increasing mass shootings, gun control has increasingly become a daily public and political agenda in the country. Several issues have emerged including the obligation of the government to protect its citizens from gun violence. The bottom of the matter is the constitutionality of gun control, particularly relating to the Second Amendment which focuses on the right of the individual to acquire and keep arms. The proposed measures on gun control are not intended to take away Americans’ rights to own guns, but rather to curb the extreme risk of unchecked gun ownership, and this is constitutional: PLAGIARIZED SAMPLE-ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Undoubtedly, gun crises in the United States have been rampant. According to statistics cited in a Business Insider report, gun violence has become one of the top causes of death in America. Assaults by firearms reportedly kill as many as 13,000 people in the country, and nearly 100,000 people fall victims to gunshot wounds every year. Besides, the risk of one dying in a mass shooting has increased drastically (Mousher and Gould 1). The gun mishandling incidences are no surprises in a country whose citizens possess 40 percent of all of the guns in the world (Schaeffer 1). It could be said that the rest of the world sees it. The question, then, why has it proved so hard to address a problem that seems so obvious.
The gun control problem is mainly tied to the interpretation of the constitution and more so the Second Amendment, the provision that provides Americans with the right to gun ownership. In its original wording, the second amendment says: “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” as quoted by (Eitches 4). The debate has revolved over the contextual meaning of this passage.
The dissenters of the gun control, who mostly – if not entirely – happen to be the conservatives in the Republican party, have always pointed to this ‘original meaning’ in defense of their stance. The gun law issue is such a huge problem that even the Supreme Court cannot curtail as evidenced by the District of Columbia v. Heller case. A group of libertarian lawyers on behalf of certain plaintiffs challenged the gun regulation laws enacted by the District of Columbia which banned the possession of handguns for all the residents and also required gun owners to keep their firearms in an inoperable condition. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the lawyers, nullifying both restrictions (Lund 1-2). The above case is only one example of how such cases have unfolded, with the courts seemingly taking the easy way out, one that clings to the so-called ‘original’ text of the law. In this regard, gun ownership becomes nearly sacred like the constitution itself: PLAGIARIZED SAMPLE-ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
The Supreme Court stance on the interpretation of the constitution is too simplistic, and it becomes shaky when seriously scrutinized. Many have pointed out how conservatives have selectively deployed constitutional originalism to make arguments in their favor. One of the issues that have emerged in the interrogation of constitutional originalism is the question of context. In other words, Lund (3) argues, the words of the constitution were meant to be relevant to the public audience of the times when they were adopted. The problem is that it is hard to know for sure what aspects of contexts informed the use of words at the time. According to Lund (4), the above problem arises from three challenges. First, the difficulty of finding sufficient objective evidence of how the public audience of the time would have understood the text. Secondly, the challenge of applying the constitutional text in situations that the forefathers could not have foreseen. Lastly, the likeliness that the courts are inevitably expected to make decisions based on wrong interpretations of the Constitution.
All issues pointed above influence the interpretation of the second amendment. One of the possible contextual aspects of the second amendment is that the forefathers intended the constitution for collective and individual rights, but never the latter at the expense of the former. In fact, collective rights take precedence over individual rights (Konig 119). In this regard, the ‘militia’ aspect of the second amendment, Eitches (5) argues, implies more a response to a possible intrusive action by the government as a consequence of standing armies. On another note, according to a Pew Research investigation, 57 percent, majority, of Americans are in favor of stricter gun control laws (Gramlich 1). Secondly, the forefathers could certainly not have foreseen people turning guns on innocent neighbors, children, and worshipers, and using the second amendment to protect themselves. Finally, the failure to address gun ownership controversy created inevitable problems; the Heller case is one example of erroneous decisions.
The Second Amendment provision on gun laws was established by putting into consideration the possibility of future challenges of Constitutional interpretation. As such, the Supreme Court has been allowed the power of the interpretation of the law in cases where challenges have arisen. Moreover, this is why in the article V of the constitution, the forefathers provided for amendments to the Constitution by Congress. The forms and limits of these amendments are certainly issues worthy of debate (Colón-Ríos 576). But, the efforts to amend and interpret gun laws have remained fruitless: PLAGIARIZED SAMPLE-ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Importantly, gun control propositions have kept in line with the original interpretation of the constitution – that should be constitutional even to conservatives, although seemingly not. In this regard, gun control still respects the said right to own guns. However, its primary goal is to ensure that it reduces the risk that gun rights pose upon the rights of others to security and safe living. Instead, gun control focuses on the distinction between the roles of guns, self-defense, and the danger that they pose if weapons, especially certain types of firearms are easily accessible to certain types of individuals including teenagers and those with a history of mental illness or crime (La Valle 2).
Rights to gun ownership are not sacred as posed by pro-gun interest groups, like the National Rifle Association (NRA). The constitution was intended to promote individual rights, but only as a foundation for collective rights, and the statistics show that gun ownership rights have increasingly posed a great danger to the general American public. Similarly, gun control is constitutional. However, the aspect of gun control has been rendered meaningless by the poor interpretation of the constitution. As a result, the sanctity of the law, particularly on the regulation of firearms has continued to be function-less, and to avoid this Gun control is constitutional.
American Bar Association. “Gun violence laws and the second amendment: ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence” Feb. 06, 2015. Web, 27 February 2019
Colón-Ríos, Joel. ‘Introduction: The forms and limits of constitutional amendments.’ “International Journal of Constitutional Law” 13.3(2015): 567-574. Web, 27 February 2019
Eitches, Eliana R. The second amendment right to redefine the meaning of the Constitution: An analysis of the Supreme Court’s entrance into the “Culture War” surrounding gun
control and gun rights and its ramifications. “Constitutional Law Seminar” 2012, Dec. 21. Web, 27 February 2019
Gramlich, John. “7 facts about guns in the US.” Pew Research Center, Dec. 27, 2018. Web, 27 February 2019
Konig, David T. The Second Amendment: A Missing Transatlantic Context for the Historical Meaning of the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms. “Law and History Review” 22.1(2004): 119-159. Web, 27 February 2019
La Valle, James M. ‘“Gun control” vs. “self-protection”: A case against the ideological divide’. “Justice Policy Journal,” (2013): 1-26. Web, 27 February 2019
Lund, Nelson. ‘The second amendment, Heller, and original jurisprudence.’ “UCLA Law Review,” 1(2009): 1-48. Web, 27 February 2019
Mosher, Dave & Gould, Skye. The Odds that a Gun Will Kill the Average American May Surprise You, “Business Insider” Oct. 29, 2018. Web, 27 February 2019
Schaeffer, Carol. US citizens own 40 percent of all guns in the world – more than the next 25 top-ranked countries combined; the study suggests, “Independent” Jun. 19, 2018. Web, 27 February 2019