Gun Control Pros and Cons in the United States

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The debate over gun control has been raging through the American political systems for years. On one side, there is the National Rifle Association (NRA) and 2nd Amendment-citing citizens who use their firearms for hunting and self-defense. On the other, there is Handgun Control Inc. (HCI) and followers of the Brady Campaign who want to ban guns on the basis that they are dangerous. Both sides have strong arguments, anchored in historical precedent and statistical analysis. Anti-gun control lobbyists’ arguments include the guarantee of the 2nd Amendment, the definition of “militia” as any adult male, self-defense, the relative uselessness of permits and regulations, and court cases in favor of firearm possession. Pro-gun control activists…show more content…
At the time of the Bill of Rights’ ratification, the United States had only just broken free of the Articles of Confederacy, a document intended to create a loose union with the individual states holding all the power. In order to garner more support for the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment was added in to protect the states’ rights to their own armed forces—a right which is of little importance in the 21st century. Because of the strength of these arguments, pro-gun control advocates point to the historical context in which the 2nd Amendment was written in order to justify stricter laws.
Expanding upon the wording in the 2nd Amendment, anti-gun control proponents argue that the definition of “militia” is not limited to an armed force under direct control of the state or federal government. Charles Heston, president of the NRA, cites US Code Title 10, Section 311, stating that the recognized legal definition of militia is that “the ‘militia’ is made up of two complementary bodies: the ‘organized militia,’ which is the National Guard; and the ‘unorganized militia,’ which is every male citizen between ages 17 and 45” (Heston). Under this expanded definition of militia, every legal male of the accepted age has the right to bear arms under United States law. Some gun rights advocates further expand this right to be
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