‘Keep and bear arms’ is a law legalizing people to possess personal weapons. This right was derived from the English law during the American Revolution. Drafted in 1791, the law is still protected in the Second Amendment in the United States constitution. It states; “A well regulated militia, being necessary the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” (Halbrook 23) The controversy: In the twentieth century, the ‘keeps and bear arms’ law, became controversial.
Formerly according to constitutional commentator’s views, the right was fundamental cornerstone of liberty which was not supposed to be a compromise to free people. In the 19th century, the initial aim of the law was to the achievement of American independence. In the second amendment, the law is only in an attempt to secure that previous existing right. The law has faced some challenges leading to emerging of various debates on gun control. From these debates, two interpretations have emerged which are controversial; whether the law intention is on the government or private ownership. (Bodenhamer, J. D & Ely, J.
W 2008: 88-90) The controversial interpretations perhaps simplified are “states’ rights” or “individual rights” thesis, protecting the government to maintain formal and organized militia or private ownership transportation and possession respectively. (Comell University Law School. ) Present facts and the consequences of the issue: Over the years in many states where the law was still in place, it faced some numerous prohibitions out of the impacts from the public owning fire arms. In Virginia, the law had existed from the 17th century. However in the 1960s assassination and urban rates became high (halbook, S.
P 1989: 118) The District of Columbia’s hand burned possession of handguns. This was as a result of increased crime rates ranging up to 10,000 homicides annually and increased urge for individual ownership for self defense resulting to almost a half of the country’s’ family owning fire arms. (Bodenhomes, T. D & Ely, W. J 2008:88) According to a National center for Heath statistic 2003, fire arms related suicides are on increase in the United States society. The possession of guns has increased frequency of suicide attempts, violence and injuries (National Academy Press 2008: 53-71)
Most of criminal activities are initiated by the public owning fire arms. These are robbery, carjacking, drug smuggling, bank and other institutions robbery and other social related criminal activities. Issue support: While the effects of possessing fire arms may be considered to be a root cause to vices, we need to look at the effect of deterrent and defense. The presence of a gun may defend against criminals. They may get scared reducing the chances to commit a crime. Household related violence may be at minimal with the presence of a gun. Rape and sexual assaults again can be reduced as the rapists will fear they might be shot.
Previous statistics have shown that defense gun use (DGU) have reduced crimes rates and impacts. In majority of criminal attempted cases, victims are certain that they might have been killed, or the criminals would have succeeded if they did not use a fire arm defensively (National Academy Press 2008: 102-109) Opinion and resolution: The United States has around 20,000 gun control acts laws in its states and local levels. However, these laws have not been successful in filing the loopholes the law violators use as well as giving a clear gun control strategy. (Levinson, D 2002: 810)
Despite this, ‘Keep and bear arms’ should be allowed to the citizens of the United States. The second amendment needs to be reviewed and interpreted correctively to avoid the controversy arising from it. With the rise of society based crimes, the possession of a gun can highly reduce this. There is a need to come up with strict procedures in acquiring a gun by an individual. He/she should be able to clearly explain why she might need the fire arm. This will avoid situation where some possess a gun with an aim to carry out a criminal activity. Gun related illegal activities should be treated with a lot of seriousness.
Withdraw of gun permit in such cases is a solution. Firearms dealers and manufacturers should be regulated by the states government. All purchases should be reported to an authority put in place. This will result to a closely monitored fire arm acquisition. The government should also come up with a particular classification of a firearm legal to public ownership; destructive weapons like machine guns, short guns, and destructive devices should be restricted to the public. A pistol could be a more reliable and sufficient gun to legalize to the public. Fire arms prevention programs should be put in place.
These should target at reducing fire arms injuries, educate the youth, pressuring government action towards firearms related violence etc. The law enforcers on the other hand should do their part in putting the law violators into justice. Conclusion: Generally, if the citizens themselves would take it as their responsibility not to abuse possession of firearms, then there would be no harm having them. Let’s have the media, the government and non government organizations, the law enforcers, parents and the public at large campaigning against misuse of fire arms. Work cited:
Cornel University Law School, the United States constitution: bill of rights. Retrieved on Monday, October 27, 2008 from http://www. law. cornell. edu/constitution/constitution. billofrights. html Bodenhomes, T. D & Ely, W. J, the Bill of Rights in Modern America: Indiana University Press, 2008 Halbrook, P. S. A Right to Bear Arms: State and Federal Bills of Rights and Constitutional Guarantees: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1989 National Academy of Science, National Academy Press: Washington, DC, 2008 Retrieved on Monday, October 27, 2008 from www. nap. edu/catalog/10881. html Levinson, D. Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment: SAGE, 2002