Bearing Arms

“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.”
Many people would instantly recognize that the quote above is the Second Amendment to the Constitution written by the founding fathers of the United States. When it was first written, it was an important way to ensure that the newly formed central government did not overpower its people and provided the basic human right that every free man was able to own a firearm of his own for basic protection. Over the years there have been many different interpretations and views of the Second Amendment. Gun-prohibitionists would say that the Second Amendment only guarantees this right to bear arms to the State, not to the people. The opposing side (the gun supporter; ex: the National Rifle Association, NRA) sees the right to bear arms as an individual right to all persons of the state, not just the government itself.
“Gun control” means different things to different people. For example, it is against the law for a minor to buy guns and this is because experience has shown that people under a certain age tend to show less maturity and have a lack of judgment, therefore “gun control” is in place. On the other hand, groups such as the Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) see “gun control” as a total gun prohibition that should apply to everyone except for the government‘s military. They believe that the Second Amendment should be enforced as it is written in plain context. Gun supporters feel that the founding fathers could not possibly predict the effects of the modern weaponry used today and that the Second Amendment should apply to everyone, especially with today’s crime rates.
One policy that is being debated is whether the government should better regulate handguns and other firearms. Such regulations could include making it harder for dangerous people to purchase guns, improving the safety of guns, regulating the sale of guns at gun shows, etc. The U.S has over 20,000 gun control laws that regulate the legal ownership of over 240 million firearms. Ohio seems to only regulate against the sale or transfer of guns to minors. Gun supporters fear that too many gun regulations could make it nearly impossible to buy guns, infringing on their rights made possible by the Second Amendment. They also believe that if people who abide by the laws own guns, they will be safer against criminals. However, the gun prohibitionists argue that the more guns on the streets, the more deaths and injuries caused by guns.
Conflict theorists would agree more with the gun supporters in a sense that the changed interpretation of the Second Amendment to attempt to make the right to bear arms shift to the people, and not just the government, is a way for them to try to overthrow the ruling class and get their equality. Functionalists could also agree with the gun supporters because law abiders with guns carried to protect themselves could help to “keep the machine running” by helping to keep criminals in line and scared, in a way. However they could also agree with the gun prohibitionists in the sense that the right to bear arms should only be used by the government because they are the ones who have the job of serving justice, not the people.

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