Guns do however, put a psychological spin on crime in some homes. With the current knowledge at hand, criminals are aware that many American homes contain firearms. This knowledge creates a deterrent to most criminals who seek to break into a residence (Davidson). How does American society compare to those societies in which guns are illegal? Take England for example. Guns, mainly shotguns and rifles, are bought and sold in Great Britain primarily for hunting purposes. Other than that, handguns are hard to find in the United Kingdom. Very few police carry guns, though it is believed by most that no English police officers carry guns.
The crime statistics of England in relation to the population is significantly lower than that of the United States. Granted, crime still occurs, and a few brave criminals choose to use guns in their crimes in England. But the level of the fear of being shot or involved in some sort of gun related crime is higher in the United States than is in Great Britain. The subject of guns in America and gun control laws is a very controversial one. We as a society must take into effect that guns for the most part are more harmful to America than helpful, but the right to own a firearm was one of the many liberties our nation was founded under.
The second Amendment of the Constitution does state that Americans have the right to bear arms. But like so much of the rest of the Constitution, this amendment is always in question legally and politically. It states that 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. Firearm activists, like the NRA (National Rifle Association), argue that the amendment is simply stated, and that all Americans should be able to buy and possess guns.
Gun control activists, argue that the Constitution says that people may own guns for the purpose of creating a militia. It is the state who decides the gun laws and not the federal government (Sugarmann). A court case in 1886, Presser vs. Illinois, ruled that the second Amendment was created as a check on the power of the federal government, and in no way did it limit a states ability to regulate firearms (Larson). The fact still remains that any US citizen, with the exception of convicted felons and those deemed unfit to carry a weapon, may purchase a firearm.
The question now is to what limit may the government regulate the ownership of firearms by citizens? Many things are being done to prevent crime and injury related to guns. The majority of the public support any action taken that requires licensing for handguns. The catch is that programs of this sort cost money, taxpayer money. If costs for licensing programs are relatively high, public opinion will drop, and the program becomes a bad idea. There is very little support for a total ban on private ownership of handguns, but more would favor a ban on military style weapons.