The Commonwealth Comment

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gun Control: A Constitutional Debate

Another Opinion Piece!

In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, a debate has sprung up over gun control in the United States. Does the 2nd Amendment really mean that every American has the right to carry a weapon?

Let's take a look at the wording of the amendment in question. "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."

Now, this is tricky. It clearly says that the right of the "People to bear arms shall not be infringed." People who are pro gun control tend to believe that the term "regulated militia" doesn't mean every citizen.

These are no longer the days of Massachusetts Minutemen and the American Revolution. The US doesn't rely on militias anymore. Now there are the Armed Forces, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement. These are now the militias that ensure the security of our "free state".

Republican Senator and presidential candidate John McCain said in response to gun control after the VT shootings

"I strongly support the Second Amendment and I believe the Second Amendment ought to be preserved - which means no gun control."

While this may be music to the ears of NRA members, it is nails on a chalkboard to those who are affected by massacres in offices, campuses, and on the streets.

We need stricter gun laws in the United States. We let this supposed Constitutional right run rampant. According to the Gun Control Network, "In 1999, there were 28,874 gun-related deaths in the United States - over 80 deaths every day."

Some people will argue that countries in Europe are smaller and can't compare to the US in size and population, therefore naturally have a lesser rate of gun related deaths. The fact is that gun control has resulted in fewer gun related deaths in European countries like England. The outside world associated the United States with guns! What a reputation to have, and unfortunately live up to.

It's sad that it takes a mass killing for some people to wake up and realize that guns are dangerous weapons that shouldn't be in the hands of some people

Sorry Jim Bob, but you don't need an AK-47 to go hunting or to protect yourself from robbers.


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