The Battle Between Gun Control and Gun Rights Essay

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The debate over the right to bear arms according to the Second Amendment has been a hotly contested issue for many years in American history. The matter has been one of the most controversial issues in the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first; disputed between politicians on the liberal and conservative side along with issues such as abortion, capital punishment, and gay marriage. The Supreme Court has officially defined the controversial Second Amendment by stating that states have the right to maintain a militia separate from a federally controlled army (Gale Encyclopedia, pg. 155-162). However, “Courts have consistently held that the state and federal governments may lawfully regulate the sale, transfer,…show more content…
Const., amend. II).” There have been two main arguments that have stemmed from the different interpretations of the national document. “One argument supported that the Second Amendment supported an individual or personal right to have firearms, in particular for self-defense, separate and apart from citizen service in government militia. The second argument was that the amendment created a citizen “right of revolution” or “insurrection”, meaning that citizens had a right to engage in armed revolt against their government if they felt that the government was behaving in an unjust manner (Spitzer, The Right to Bear Arms).” Both of these views have been at the heart of the controversy of gun control. Some could say that it really depends on whom you talk to of how the Second Amendment applies to the current battle over gun control in today’s society. For example, gun rights advocates like the NRA (National Rifle Association) interpret the Amendment to ensure the right of individuals to possess and carry firearms (A Right to Bear Arms?, UMKC School of Law). Gun control advocates such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence state that the term “militia” is used elsewhere in the Constitution, and it always refers to the state-organized militia (Tushnet, Interpreting). They believe that the Second Amendment is specifically slated towards the state-organized militia. The Amendment means that the Congress cannot disarm the

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