Argumentative Essay On Gun Control

745 Words3 Pages
The gun control debate has been one of the centerpieces of American political discourse for the last several decades. On one side are those who firmly believe that the widespread availability of guns makes America more dangerous, and that stricter scrutiny should be applied both to who can own guns and what guns people can own. On the other side are those who believe that not only would increased firearms regulation be a violation of constitutional rights, but that it would have little to no effect on violence in America. Beneath this fiery, sometimes irrational debate are two core concepts of US political theory: constitutional interpretation and federalism. At the center of the gun and ammunition control fight in the United States is the interpretation of the second amendment. The amendment states, in its entirety, 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” (US Const. amend. II). While the document was ratified in December of 1791, its wording has divided scholars into two main camps for centuries. The first interpretation is generally called the collective rights theory and claims that citizens are not guaranteed the individual right to possess firearms and that the second amendment is simply protecting a state’s right to self-defense. In United States v. Miller (1938), the Hughes Court ruled in favor of the collective rights view and said that Congress could

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