"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." These 27 words, which make up the America's obsessionpoliticalrepublicansdemocratsinterpretation of the 2nd amendmentgun rights versus gun control
The civilian militia interpretation
The Second Amendment is archaic. With a powerful army behind us, civilian militias are now considered obsolete. The amendment is simply outdated, however, the rights to bear arms for hunting purposes and sport should not be heavily regulated.
The individual rights interpretation
The right to carry a gun is an individual right. Like the other amendments in the bill of rights, the right to bear arms is a direct freedom given to all American citizens.
The median interpretation
Gun control and gun rights is an individual issue. The Second Amendment should not be interpreted as an individual right, but should also not be considered archaic. State laws and circumstance should dictate gun laws.
The various interpretations of the 2nd amendment are crucial in understanding the stances taken by both the republican and democratic parties. The conservative platform revolves around a smaller government, with less regulation or restrictions for the American citizen. Like the other amendments under the bill of rights, Republicans feel the 2nd amendment stands as a direct individual right for all Americans.
Protecting ones family, property or possessions should not be regulated or prohibited based on the activities of unlawful citizens. Guns are a necessary resource for recreational sports, and self-protection, not inflicting crime on society. Regulating or impeding an individual's right to bear arms is unconstitutional. This sentiment becomes tangible when viewing the gun laws of most red states.
Part of what makes America unique is the breakdown of governing bodies in the country. Although the federal government imposes a set of broad rules governing the purchase and use of guns, the majority of laws are found on a state level. Regions in America generally run or populated by conservatives have adopted extremely casual stances on gun laws. States in the South, Midwest, and great plains commonly require no permit for purchase, license of ownership, or registration of any sort of firearm. Guns are accessible to the average citizen, and the rights associated with use, carrying, and possession are lenient.
The issues revolving around the gun control debate have been fortified through centuries of cultural beliefs. Gun rights are a sensitive topic to many, because of the sentimental nature
States that are commonly considered liberal have a very different stance on gun laws. Unlike republican regions, areas such as the Northeast or West Coast generally have rigid stances towards gun rights. Possessing, purchasing, and carrying a handgun in these areas requires a lengthy application process, background checks, and various permits. Many liberal influenced regions are congested environments.
Hunting grounds are uncommon, and the nostalgic tradition regarding firearms is not present. To many democrats handguns create violence and nothing more. The following legislation passed by the democratic majority will help elaborate on the party's stance towards guns.
Gun Control Act of 1968
passed in response to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. This bill altered federal law to help broadly regulate the firearm industry. It made guns by mail illegal, (Lee Harvey oswald the suspected killer of JFK got his weapon through the mail) and strictly enforced the transfer of firearms across state lines.
Brady Bill of 1993
Instituted mandatory federal background checks on all firearm purchases in the United States. Also, prohibited the transfer or sale of weapons to individuals who are mentally unstable, addicted to drugs, a fugitive, has been discharged from the US army, illegal aliens, court ordered, convicted of domestic violence, or any person who has been convicted of a criminal crime.
Federal Assault Weapons Ban
part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 this provision instituted by Democrats prohibits the sale of assault rifles and certain semi-automatic machine guns to citizens of the United States.
The debate over guns rights is indeed a rich one. Possessing multiple layers, and deep-seeded cultural implications, the sentiments of both sides possess cultural and societal implications. The dichotomy is controversial in nature. Guns kill in urban environments at an alarming pace, yet they provide a nostalgic and recreational use to many living in our heartland.