Right to Bear Arms: Gun Control in the United States
The Gun Control Debate in the United States and the Second Amendment
Recently the United States has seen a series high profile shootings. The gun control debate and the right to bear arms is always a divisive topic in the United States. The statistics on gun violence in the United States are staggering, especially when compared with any other developed country. However, the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
The Second Amendment reads that: 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.
Is the Second Amendment outdated because it only anticipated simple weaponry and low population densities? Or is the right to bear arms still a valuable protection of the citizenry against an overbearing federal government? What would the founding fathers thing about modern weapons such as assault rifles? Is the intent of the founding fathers even relevant in the discussion of gun control if the constitution is a living document intended to adapt to modern times?
The Gun Control Debate
Gun violence in the United States
The issue of gun control is an interesting debate. Everyone has different opinions about how to tackle gun violence in the United States. Some people believe that gun violence is due to there being too few guns, and other people believe it is because there are too many guns.
This page is meant to explore some of these controversial issues, and encourage discussion about different potential solutions to the issue of gun violence in the United States.
Gun Violence - Preventing Gun Violence in the United States
What is the best way to prevent gun violence incidents in the United States?
Stronger gun control to keep guns out of the hands of these violent offenders
Shooting in Aurora, Colorado
July 20, 2012
On July 20, 2012 a gunman opened fire on a crowded movie theater, during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on opening night. The theater was packed, and the gunman premeditated the attack to coincide with gunfire in the movie.
The gunman is believed to have purchased a ticket and entered the theater with the rest of the patrons. He then propped an emergency exit door open, retrieved his weaponry from his vehicle in the parking lot, and re-entered the theater with his arsenal and full body armor. Due to his outfit, and the timing in the movie, many of the moviegoers thought it was an advertising stunt or a prank.
During the course of the shooting, 12 people were killed, and 58 others were injured.
The suspected gunman does not appear to have any previous criminal record, and is often described as being shy. There was no apparent reason why any gun shop would have thought to deny him purchasing guns or ammunition. He was a quiet graduate student in a Phd program.
During the attack, he wore full body armor and a gas mask, which he apparently purchased legally. His clothing included hair that was dyed orange like a character in the movie, and bullet resistant leggings, a throat guard, tactical gloves, a groin guard, a special vest, and a ballistic helmet.
In conducting his attack, he had with him a very large supply of weapons. These included a gas canister, which made it difficult for people in the theater to breathe and see what was going on during the attack. Additionally he had with him a 12 gauge tactical shotgun, semi-automatic rifle with a 100 round drum magazine, and a Glock 22. Extensive amounts of ammunition were later found at the scene.
The shooter also booby-trapped his apartment, in an attempt to make it lethal to emergency responders who may enter it. Prior to anything happening, he informed the police about the situation, and officials were able to arrange having it safely taken care of.
The weapons, protective gear, and ammunition is all believed to have been purchased legally.
For Further Reading
Gun Control Talk
If you can't protect yourself with talk, you won't be alive to protect yourself with guns.
-Arthur Boyd, Prominent Artist
Purchasing ammunition online
Should Americans be allowed to purchase ammunition online?
Gun Control Talk
I strongly believe that the Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess and use guns for purposes of both hunting and self-defense.
-Cass Sunstein, Constitutional Law Scholar and Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for Obama
The Second Amendment - What is your take on the Second Amendment?
The Second Amendment of the Constitution:
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.
Do you think that the right to bear arms refers to.....
a well regulated militia
Shooting at Columbine High School, Colorado
April 20, 1999
On April 20, 1999 two gunmen executed an attack on Columbine High School. They accumulated numerous weapons and built bombs in their parent's homes prior to the attack, with instructions that they found on the internet.
The gunmen were two students at the school, named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and both had some criminal history. They were known as the trench coat mafia, because they liked to wear that style of coat to school, and used them to conceal their weapons during the attack.
The shooters set up homemade bombs in the school, which the intended to go off and funnel people away from the explosion into the line of fire. However, the bombs did not detonate correctly.
The shooters began walking through the school shooting their guns. They were also throwing pipe-bombs, but those did not go off.
The gunmen eventually went to the library, where many students were hiding and taking cover. They began shooting at people who were taking cover in the library, apparently targeting popular athletes.
After the shootings in the library, the attack culminated with the synchronized suicide of the gunmen who both shot themselves.
In total 12 students and teachers were murdered, in addition to the two gunmen who committed suicide. An additional 24 students were injured in the shooting.
Gun Control Talk
If you are a gun manufacturer, the product you make is not subject to safety regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Toy guns are subject to safety regulation; water pistols are, but not real guns.
-Michael D. Barnes, former member of Congress
Should regulations at gun shows be stronger?
How Important is Preventing Gun Violence? - Preventing gun violence in the United States
Which is more important?
Preventing gun violence is more important
Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.
Joseph Stalin, Former Premier of the USSR
Guns and Youth - Minimum age of gun usage
What is the minimum age someone should be allowed to use a gun (including hunting)?
Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.
-Heinrich Himmler, Nazi Party Military Commander
Conceal Carry Licenses - Regulation of concealed carry licenses
Should people be allowed to carry a concealed weapon without having a license?
No, concealed carry licenses are important to preserve public safety
I've got guns now. It's kind of gross.
-Emily Blunt, Actress
What do you think of gun owners?
They are asserting their right to protect themselves from criminals and people or governments infringing on their rights
I wish that there were more stringent laws to make guns sold anywhere that they're legal harder to get.
-Rosie O'Donnell, Television Personality
Using guns for protection
Individuals should be allowed to use guns to protect....
Gun control means being able to hit your target. If I have a 'hot button' issue, this is definitely it. Don't even think about taking my guns. My rights are not negotiable, and I am totally unwilling to compromise when it comes to the Second Amendment.
-Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee in 2004
Do you support prohibiting guns in school zones?
No, prohibiting guns in school zones prevents law abiding people from protecting themselves
Guns are evil! And very little good comes from the availability of a bullet designed to kill human beings!
-Mackenzie Astin, Actor
Regulation of guns
How much regulation is the right amount?
A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.
-Mario Puzo, Author of The Godfather
Guns in Churches - Preventing carrying guns in churches
Should people be prevented from carrying guns in churches?
Yes, if it is clearly posted
Feeling of Security
In which situation would you feel safer?
Somewhere where everyone could carry guns
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
-William S. Burroughs, Author
Gun ownership should be limited to just shotguns
Yes, because sporting, hunting, and home defense can be done with a shotgun
America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
-Hunter S. Thompson, Author
Use of other weapons
Will stricter gun control lead to criminals just using other weapons?
Storing guns in the home
What if all law abiding citizens were allowed to own guns as long as they are stored in a licensed gun storage facility?