Gun Control Debate

Imagine an Intruder entering your residence, picking the lock and invading your families’ personal and private place, your home.

Now, remember that your father has a rifle locked away in a case in the back of the bedroom closet. You barely hear him as he removes the firearm from its resting place and loads a cartridge until to action, perhaps it’s your imagination. Yet, you can hear the intruder passing through the house as the eerie silence of time speeding by launches your senses Into a fit of terror.Across the hall you hear your father slip out of the bedroom and pass our door. Flicking on the light he shouts at the intruder, “Get out of my house! ” The intruder fires a handgun he had concealed and your father fires back. There he is, the man that invaded your home and endangered your family, wounded on the kitchen floor. The police arrive, having been called by your mother, and handcuff your father. He spends the next six years in prison for owning a firearm in an area where it’s prohibited without a license (Adams, M).

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Is this Just? Is this the society we have created?The fundamental right to protect yourself, your family and your property ended because of an unconstitutional regulation forbidding the possession of firearms in one’s own home. The Second Amendment provides for the protection of the people of the United States and their rights, be they basic human rights or rights as citizens of a profoundly thinking country. It Is through the Second Amendment that the founding fathers acknowledged the pre-existing right to protect ourselves, In so doing, guaranteeing American citizens the right to “bear arms”.The Second Amendment text states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a ere State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed (Jefferson)” The argument over the second amendment Is basic and complex at the same time.

Most of the controversy Is over the vagueness of the terms used and a misunderstanding of what is being protected in the clause. The facts up until the monumental District of Columbia v. Heeler ruling were that the Second Amendment did not protect the general citizen against the Illegal seizure of firearms or the restrictions put forth.Many gun control advocates used statistics to show that guns were the leading source of death 1 OFF that these firearms would not fall into the hands of persons that may use them to some ill effect. The assault on proponents of the Second Amendment has been instant in the years prior to the Heeler case. In a letter to Handgun Control, Inc. Members in April 1996, Congressman Charles Schemer wrote: As surely as you’re reading this letter, right now, somewhere in America an innocent child is bleeding to death on a “safe” suburban sidewalk, caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting.

Somewhere in America a police officer is about to be gunned down in the line of duty. This is merely one of the examples where the twisting of words by those in support of supreme gun control is used to support a cause that violates the rights of the citizens they represent. In William Weir’s book, A Well Regulated Militia: The Battle Over Gun Control, he counters Schemer’s argument, stating: Innocent children rarely get gunned down in drive-by shootings in safe suburban neighborhoods, even without a “crossfire. Those who do make the national news. That reflects not only the scarcity of such shootings in “nice” residential areas, but the prevalent indifference to the deaths of kids in poor urban neighborhoods.

(Weir 1 15)” It is this gross exaggeration of facts that leads many to believe those in opposition to the second amendment. The general misleading of American citizens has been common place to pep them from challenging the government in any fashion. Even if the rights of all individuals is infringed like in the District of Columbia v.Heeler case. In the District of Columbia v.

Heeler case, Dick Anthony Heeler was a special police officer who had applied to register a handgun he wanted to keep in his home for protection of himself and his family. In the District of Columbia handgun possession was banned without a registration and license. Furthermore all firearms that were owned legally needed to be kept unloaded and disassemble or locked with a trigger-lock rendering them useless for home protection.

When Healer’s registration application was denied, he filed a suit against the District of Columbia on Second Amendment grounds. He “sought an injunction against enforcement of the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement prohibiting the carrying of a firearm in the home without a license, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of functional firearms within the home”. When the District court dismissed Healer’s lawsuit, Heeler brought the suit to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.The Court of Appeals ruled that Healer’s complaint in seeking the right to render a firearm parable and carry it in his home only when necessary for self-defense, and held that the total ban on handguns violated the individual right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment. This case created great controversy and was taken further in petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the case. The Supreme Court, not having ruled on the rights pertaining to the Second Amendment in over sixty-five years, granted certiorari.The issue the Supreme Court was going to be faced with was simple and yet complex; what rights are protected by the Second Amendment? This fundamental question has fueled the fires of discourse for decades. To reach a proper ruling, the Supreme Court was going to have to delve into the realm of the interpretation of Constitutional vernacular, something the Justices of the past had seemed reluctant to do.

Justice Scalia, in his lengthy dissertation of the case, brought to the forefront the argument of many in support of the Second Amendment rights.It is in his analysis of have a clearer understanding of the actual right protected in the Second Amendment. Scalia references the prefatory clause, which has been the bringer of grief for both sides of gun control, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” merely announces a purpose. It does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. ” The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The militia consisted of all males capable of acting together for the common defense during the time the Second Amendment was written. The Antifundamentalist feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable citizen militias, thereby enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The Antifundamentalist therefore sought to preserve the citizens’ militia by denying Congress the power to abridge the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. This interpretation is confirmed by arms- bearing rights adopted in state constitutions immediately preceding and following the Second Amendment.Furthermore, the drafting history reveals three proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms.

Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts, and legislators from ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s, and Justice Cilia’s, interpretation. No precedent forecloses this interpretation. United States v.

Miller limits the type of weapons to which the right applies to those in common use for lawful purposes, but does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes.In Cilia’s case write up, he maintains that the Second Amendment right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon in any fashion and for any purpose. He states that the Supreme Court upholds certain gun control legislation. This legislation would include prohibitions or licensing for concealed weapons and the possession of firearms by convicted felons and the mentally ill.

Scalia acknowledges the need for laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in “sensitive places” such as schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.While these regulations still do not entirely satisfy the more fanatical firearm and Second Amendment advocates, the Heeler case is considered a major win in the eyes of those pro-second Amendment. The historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons supports the holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement in the Heeler case, as applied to self-defense, violate the Second Amendment.

The total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of arms that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. This prohibition would fail constitutional comparison under any standard of scrutiny. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the souls lawful purpose of self-defense and is therefore unconstitutional.The Court assumes that a license will satisfy Healer’s prayer for relief and therefore does not address the constitutionality of the licensing requirement. Assuming Heeler is not otherwise disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District of Columbia must home. The argument presented by the dissenting Justices and the District of Columbia is understandable. The vagueness in the writing of the Constitution doesn’t make the understanding of the writing any easier to fully understand.

Justice Stevens argued that the Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people to maintain a well regulated militia. It was a response to the concern that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to state sovereignty. Neither the text of the Second Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidence the slightest interest by the Framers in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms.Justice Stevens goes to expand further, stating that: There is no indication that the Framers intended to enshrine the common law right of self-defense in the Constitution. The view in Miller that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for certain military purposes, but does not curtail the Legislature’s power to regulate the nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons, is both the most natural reading of the Amendment’s text and the interpretation most faithful to the history of its adoption.

The majority fails to identify any new evidence supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to limit the power of Congress to regulate civilian uses of weapons. Now, this is understandable if one were to overlook the rest of the Constitution and disregard the vernacular of the mime. It is also understandable that Justice Stevens presumes that the militia clause is exclusionary, it’s an easy mistake, after all, Justice Stevens is human.However, one must pay attention to our history and realize what our founding fathers went through to protect our country, to earn their freedoms and rights the freedoms and rights that many American citizens take for granted now. The founding fathers of the United States knew what it was to have an oppressive government, they knew what it felt like to have that government meddle in their lives, to reject any protection of Asia human rights and disregard any claim to proper retribution.

One must also look to the other writings of the framers of the Constitution, especially focusing on the historic relevance of Virginians Declaration of Rights.Many of the founders that leaned to the Anti- federalist side were afraid that a standing national army and too strong central government would infringe on the rights of states and the thus the rights of those dwelling within those states. In Robert Splitter’s book, The Politics of Gun Control, he brings the case and concerns of Patrick Henry, a representative to light (Spirits 25). He states that Virginia set an example for others states when the Virginia convention passed wording modeled after Virginians own Declaration of Rights of 1776.The wording ratified at the Virginia convention was: That the people have the right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all cases the military should e under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.

It was the pressure for limited federal government that motivated Congress to add the Bill of Rights, which was heavily modeled after Virginians 1776 Declaration of Rights. Massachusetts militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty..

. Whenever government mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. Spirits 27) Or as Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who give freedom in return for safety will have nor deserve either. ” It is the belief of many that the dissenting Justices are afraid of giving too much power to the people, the way the founders had intended.

If the people have enough power to think for themselves and not fall to the aid of the government every time they stumble, then they lose control over the minds of man. The constituents of the politically elected have slowly had their rights infringed for ages. As long as we allow this to continue, we should expect nothing better than Mr..Wells 1984.

The Second Amendment is at the core of this need. The longer the American people are held hostage, without the basic right to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property, the easier it will be for the government to destroy the rights of us all. With the epic Heeler decision, a step closer to the re-establishment of an America the founders would recognize has been taken. In moving forward, we all must pledge to uphold the rights of man, the rights of our country men and the vision the founders had for us, their great great grandchildren.