Good Gun Control Essay Example
The right to bear arms is protected by the US Constitution, Second Amendment which states, "As for the security of a free State is needed a well regulated militia, people have a right to bear guns and this right can not be violated." It is required to note that the right to bear arms was originally associated with the activities of militia. This militia in each of the former British North American colonies, which won the metropolis in the war for independence, and eventually formed the United States, consisted of all adult males, who, if necessary, could defend their colony, and later their state, by weapons, which they owned. After independence, the existence in each state of militia was one of the key attributes of the original state structure of the United States of America: a state has no army, safety was supported by police of the individual states, and thus, states emphasized their independence in a connection with not strong common federal government.
The existence of weak federal government generated many difficulties, so in 1787 Convention was convened for the development of the Constitution aimed at strengthening the central government and the solution of these problems. During the work of the Convention opponents of centralization proved to be active and organized in order to overcome their resistance and to adopt the Constitution, it was required to take a number of amendments protecting individual rights and thus become additional safeguards to prevent possible as a result of the centralization despotic usurpation of power.
Thus, the Second Amendment guaranteed not only that any US citizen can own a gun to protect his nation from outside dangers, but also the fact that the same weapons could be used to defend freedom in the country, if any ruler tries to destroy the democratic US regime. This internal political aspect of the Second Amendment historically gave it a special significance and largely explains the difficulties, which opponents of the free firearm possession in the United States of America have today. During the existence of the Constitution the US courts, including the Supreme repeatedly examined cases involving the influence of the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has confirmed several times that the right enshrined by Second Amendment is individual, that is, all residents of the USA, with a small number of exceptions (ex-offenders, mentally disturbed citizens, etc.) have this right. (Greg Stohr 5-12)
In the 20th century the character of the debates around the Second Amendment changed: experts, public figures and politicians became less discuss the role of the amendment in the protection of the US from external enemies and possible internal tyrants, the main controversy was developed over the fact how important this amendment is to civil security and order . People who oppose free possession of weapons indicate that as a result of the Second Amendment criminals receive more access to weapons and, therefore, become more unsafe. They believe that the Second Amendment in Constitution provides each resident the chance to arm themselves against criminals, and also acts as a deterrent for potential offenders who fear an armed resistance from potential victims.
Special incandescence this discussion reached during the second half of the eighties - early nineties of the twentieth century, when a permanent and a sharp rise of crimes in the United States, especially those related to the selling and make use of drugs, and murders became both for those who support and oppose Second Amendment the reason in maintaining of their positions. However, in the mid-nineties, there was a decrease in the crime rate throughout the US, and at the moment the debates once again are held around the political aspects of the Second Amendment.
The United States currently experience a series of crises in different areas, in the economic, fiscal, immigration and foreign policy, so the weakening of attention to the problems of the Second Amendment, on the one hand, is obvious. However on the other hand, it is obvious that ignoring the problems concerning the accessibility of weaponry in the US is explained by lack of American politicians’ solutions to these problems. Second Amendment supporters argue that it is impossible to calculate how many victims is the result of general availability of weapons in the US, on the contrary, they point out that the crime situation in many areas of the country is forcing Americans to purchase weapons; this right is guaranteed by the Constitution. For reference, it should be noted that the firearm is the most common means for suicide in the United States. If we talk about the fatal accidents, then, for example, in 2009 as a result of traffic accidents were killed 33 8086 people, but this number of fatalities does not become a pretext for the campaign to ban vehicles. By these and other similar data the Second Amendment supporters can always fend off arguments about dangerous consequences of the right to free gun ownership.
Not only the police concerned about the acquisition of weapons, at least, a few years ago, many sociologists and criminologists were wondering whether gun control will reduce the level of crime. Opponents of these restrictions often pay attention primarily to the fact that so many firearms are in the hands of people that control over it will be ineffective. In the hands of individuals is more than 100 million weapons and that in nearly half of American homes is stored at least one rifle or pistol. With such a huge reserve of weapons is too late to struggle. With this armory can be done any criminal intentions deliberately conceived, at least until the beginning of the next century.
The greatest number of weapons in American homes is used legally - of course, the percentage of the use of weapons for hunting and sports, as well as for self-defense is very high. Residents of the United States seem to be particularly interested in security, which (they believe) their weapons provide. People using weapons mainly as a hobby tend to believe that their homes are better protected thanks to the weapon that is available to them. When limiting the availability of weapons, according to the argument, applied by the opponents of gun control, serious obstacles for hunters and sportsmen are created as well as it concerns the ability of people to defend themselves.
Another argument that is often used by people who oppose gun control is particularly important in this context. Unavailability of firearms just causes people, who want to commit murder, look for a replacement. Few murders committed as a result of the shot could have been avoided simply because a firearm would not have been readily available at the time, to achieve his goal the offender would have chosen any other weapon. If the majority of homicides are committed with firearms, it happens because the killer just prefers this type of weapon in comparison with others, and nothing more. This statement is consistent with the well-known argument of the National Rifle Association "Guns do not take life of humanity. People murder each other". (David Coates 465 – 467)
At the same time every year in the United States is becoming increasingly evident another problem associated with the right to free gun ownership. Constantly grows the number of victims of mass shootings when, most of the time, psychologically ill criminals shoot accidental victims in crowded places. Mass shootings are evidence of exceptional danger to public safety of the right to free possession of weapons: although the car is a dangerous device, especially if it is steered by incompetent, unhealthy or drunken people, it is clear that it can not be applied such as the criminals use firearms during the mass shootings. US security agencies are facing the need to solve complex problems: as a result of the Second Amendment actually at any moment, in any location, any resident is able to shoot on the others. Not surprisingly, that the US law enforcement agencies can not cope with such a huge task of providing security - the police can hardly prevent such incidents if the right to free gun ownership is actual. To date, there is not even the centralized statistics of mass shootings in the United States. If we analyze the particularly high-profile cases about which explain in detail the American media, we can note that executors of these offenses have similar attributes. Usually these criminals have serious psychological disorders and commit crimes at institutions that become for them the embodiment of their life difficulties. In recent years, places of mass shootings became educational institutions, the testing center for drug addiction, center for assistance to immigrants, that is, objects of social infrastructure, often having works with the categories of citizens who have problems in their relationship with society and the state. (John Avlon 45-54)
In many senses typical and tragic became a mass shooting which was in state Arizona in January 2011. In January 8 twenty-two years old Jared Loughner opened fire during a meeting of the member of House of Representatives of the US Congress Gabrielle Giffords with voters in a supermarket in Tucson. Six citizens, together with a judge of the District Court, died and fourteen people, among which was also Giffords, were wounded. Initially, it is necessary to draw attention that Loughner had serious problems in his social adaptation, apparently, alcohol and drug abuse and personal problems became the result of the progress of psychological disease. Loughner was excluded from school, was constantly fired from his job, his friends, relatives and coworkers had the problems in communicating with him. Loughner has failed to go to college and join the national Army. Regardless of the evident psychological problems and the negative results of the examination of army recruits, Loughner managed to get not only the gun, but the clip of the increased volume for this gun that led to so many victims of his crimes. Analyzing Loughner’s offense, it is necessary to consider that the condition in politics of the USA today is extremely confrontational, and therefore to his actions initially attempted to give a political character. Some commentators actually accused in complicity in the mass execution of political opponents. Journalists and even some politicians of "left" liberal views sympathetic to the Democratic Party recalled that Gifford, belonging to the Democrats, had been the target of attacks by the Republicans. However, it soon became apparent that such crime versions are not enough justified.
Whatever were Loughner’s state and potential reasons of his offense, it is clear that if the aggressor does not have the means for its commission, shooting would not have happened. At the same time the cause is not even in the existence in the United States of the right to bear arms - in the case of Loughner questions arise concerning the implementation of this law. First, even the most enthusiastic followers of the Second Amendment will agree that there should be some limit in the number of those who can bear arms, for instance, it is obvious that it is not possible to provide guns to teenagers, criminals, and people with mental illness. In Loughner’s case any safety measures aimed at control of who gets the weapon did not work. Secondly, even if you do not call into question the right to bear arms, the question arises, what weapons may have Americans. Arizona is recognized as the state which has liberal laws relating to arms trafficking. Although supporters of restrictions on the right of gun ownership are higher among Democrats, Giffords, being a Democrat, supported the Second Amendment. For Loughner it was not too difficult to purchase in Arizona holder to increase the number of patrons, which led to a greater number of victims in commitment of his offense - instead of the standard holder containing 17 patrons Loughner used increased with 33 patrons.
It is apparent that the gun ownership right needs to have rational constraints to make sure that it does not jeopardize the protection of other freedoms, especially, right to existence and security. In front of US lawmakers of all levels there is a difficult task to find a balance between the observance of the Second Amendment and the defense of public security and order. It is well, that Loughner could not, even if he had the money, legally purchase a tank or a nuclear bomb, but his story confirms that restrictions on the free sale of guns and holders in increased volume have very serious reasons. (Eugene Robinson 4 – 18)
The issue to tighten control over the circulation of weapons in the US continues to remain on the periphery of public debate and the political process. Certainly, there are organized and quite active groups of those who want to restrict the right bear arms, for example, in large cities, on the eastern and western coasts of the US, where liberal and "left" sentiments are spread, where proponents of restrictions prevail. For example, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, supporting the view that exists in his electorate, has strongly advocated for the limited circulation of weapons, but at the level of the federal government, most congressmen do not risk to make limiting Second Amendment initiatives. Even President Obama, who has considerable powers, as well as a serious political capital, tries to avoid confrontation with the National Rifle Association. At the same time new information continues to emerge about the serious problems associated with the existence in the United States of the right to gun ownership. Special journalist investigations are frequent. For example, in late 2010, in the newspaper "Washington Post" was written about what great difficulties faces the Federal Bureau on control of turnover of alcohol, tobacco and weapons when trying to eliminate the numerous violations in the activities of arms dealers. According to the investigation of the newspaper, it is clear that the powers and resources of the Bureau are so limited, and regulatory standards are so imperfect that violating various norms sellers of weapons can easily renew their license, that is, to avoid the most severe punishment available in the arsenal of the Bureau. (David S. Fallis 3-10)
In general, assessing the situation in the United States with the implementation of the right to gun ownership, it can be argued that, on the one hand, supporters of unconditional compliance of the right have a considerable number of arguments in support of this right. Nevertheless, on the other hand, in the consequence of Second Amendment the US authorities at all levels have to regulate complex issues, and when they can not cope with the solution of this problem, it leads mainly to the harmful outcomes for enforcement of law and public safety, often violating undoubted and universal right to existence and individual safety. This circumstance puts the desirability of maintaining of the Second Amendment to the American Constitution under serious doubt. In this case, it seems unlikely that the effect of this amendment in the foreseeable future will be limited - the active position and campaign contributions from the gun lobby, as well as close to the religious veneration of the Constitution in the United States eliminate whichever changes. In addition, a big amount and severity of the problems faced by America today make unlikely even the beginning of a severe debate of potential approaches to avoid the pessimistic outcomes of the action of the Second Amendment.
It seems that one of the things which contribute to the increasing number of gun fires in public places in the United States is a sharp confrontation that is present nowadays in the American social and political life. Climate in the political sphere is such that very soon it will be impossible to see honest and smart persons who will want holding elected office. In this climate, as shown by the events surrounding the attempt to regulate right to gun ownership in the United States, there are hardly possible compromise solutions on the issue of realistic constraints on the fulfillment of the Second Amendment. Disagreement in the social order expands to the political structures, and members of Republican and Democratic parties can not even start a conversation that can solve issues which have the United States. (Peter Wallsten 8-15)
In March 13, 2011, President Obama in a small article of newspaper "Arizona Daily Star" very cautiously proposed to reduce the level of disagreement over the Second Amendment. But even cautious and considered position of President did not find understanding in the gun lobby - NRA responded negatively on the administration's proposal to meet to discuss possible measures aimed at reducing the number of victims of firearms. However, some of the proposed measures NRA before that supported. On the other hand, the "Left" Obama supporters continue to criticize the President for failure to fulfill campaign promises aimed at a more careful regulation of arms trafficking, although in reality the position of the gun lobby is so powerful that even if President Obama tried resolutely to meet his promises, he could not have overcome the resistance of the Republican-controlled Congress. (Jackie Calmes 7- 18)
Greg Stohr. Supreme Court Dared to Uphold Handgun Ban by Man Who Has None. 2008. Print.
John Avlon. Worse Than the War. 2009. Print.
Eugene Robinson. Guns and responsibility. 2011. Print.
David S. Fallis. Gun dealers often stay in business with new licenses after ATF shuts them down. 2010. Print.
David Coates. The Oxford Companion to American Politics.
Peter Wallsten. In the wake of tragedy, an outspoken sheriff steps into the spotlight. 2011. Print.
Jackie Calmes. N.R.A. Declines to Meet with Obama on Gun Policy. 2011. Print.
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