106 Gun control and the statistics | Gun Control In America After Mass Gun Shooting Attacks | Mass shootings reignite and gun-control debate in United Sta
One view is that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” is an individual right, not to be infringed upon by government regulation. Many advocates of this view stand in opposition to any laws that would impact the ability to buy, carry, or accessorize any and all firearms.
Gun control advocates, by contrast, emphasize the first clause of the Second Amendment, which is said to imply that gun rights are meant to be “well regulated” by local, state, and federal legislative bodies. Those who argue in favor of stronger gun control laws may push for more extensive background checks, restrictions on who can buy a gun, restrictions on the kinds of guns that can be purchased, or even a total prohibition on the sale and purchase of firearms in the U.S.
Today, the debate centers on the permeation of gun violence in the United States, particularly in light of the rising frequency of mass and school shootings as well as issues relating to the sale of assault rifles, background checks for gun buyers, and the connection between gun violence and mental illness.
Gun politics is an area of American politics defined by two primary opposing ideologies about civilian gun ownership. People who advocate for gun control support increasing regulations related to gun ownership; people who advocate for gun rights support decreasing regulations related to gun ownership. These groups often disagree on the interpretation of laws and court cases related to firearms as well as about the effects of firearms regulation on crime and public safety.:7 It is estimated that U.S. civilians own 393 million firearms, and that 35% to 42% of the households in the country have at least one gun. The U.S. has the highest estimated number of guns per capita, at 120.5 guns for every 100 people.
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "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."
Debates regarding firearm availability and gun violence in the United States have been characterized by concerns about the right to bear arms, such as found in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the responsibility of the United States government to serve the needs of its citizens and to prevent crime and deaths. Firearms regulation supporters say that indiscriminate or unrestricted gun rights inhibit the government from fulfilling that responsibility, and causes a safety concern.:1–3 Gun rights supporters promote firearms for self-defense – including security against tyranny, as well as hunting and sporting activities.:96 Firearms regulation advocates state that restricting and tracking gun access would result in safer communities, while gun rights advocates state that increased firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens reduces crime and assert that criminals have always had easy access to firearms.
Gun legislation, or non-legislation, in the United States, is augmented by judicial interpretations of the Constitution. In 1791, the United States adopted the Second Amendment, and in 1868 adopted the Fourteenth Amendment. The effect of those two amendments on gun politics was the subject of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2008 (In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the second amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home. In so doing, it endorsed the so-called “individual-right” theory of the Second Amendment’s meaning and rejected a rival interpretation, the “collective-right” theory, according to which the amendment protects a collective right of states to maintain militias or an individual right to keep and bear arms in connection with service in a militia.
By: Usama Riaz (51.10)
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Location: United States