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Gun Politics

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Gun Politics

Ignacio Cardenas


May 2nd, 2005

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Gun Politics

The term Gun politics deals with the views among different people in different countries about what amount of control should be enforced upon the ownership and use of firearms by civilians, and how much this affects crime and the relation between oneself and the state (Gun Politics). Today, gun politics all over the world have been recognized as a socio-political issue, as more and more people take sides on the debate. As far as approaches go, there are people who support gun control, or greater restrictions on firearm ownership, and people who support gun rights, or the maintenance or extending of private ownership of firearms (Gun Politics).

Debates over gun ownership date back to ancient times (Gun Control 154). In the past, political theorists viewed gun ownership as a symbol of freedom and an element of the popular government (Gun Control 154). Since the beginning of mankind, the ability to posses a gun has been a way to protect your freedom. Federalists (forces in favor of the ratification of the

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Constitution) think that if you are able to have a gun, you may have a gun (Gun control 155).

How does the Constitution come into the issue? Gun politics revolve around the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It states: "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" (Amendments). The Second Amendment's "right to self-protection and defense of liberty was intended to protect the people from government powers" (SAF). The meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment has been an issue of controversy (Gun Control 155), because while one side states "that only 'well regulated militia' have the right to keep and bear arms", the opposing side argues that "the phrase 'the people' uncontroversially applies to individuals rather than an organized collective" (Gun Politics). U.S. Bishops have long spoken out against gun-related violence (Gun Control). As far as laws go, there are many of them. They vary from state to state, but there are also "federal laws that apply to all of us" (SAF).

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These include which guns are legal for purchase and the rights for people to sell or buy them. "According to gun authority Bruce B. Biggs, there are roughly twenty thousand gun control-laws in the United States" (SAF).

Gun control supporters say that the Second Amendment protects the states' rights to arm their forces, including the National Guard (Gun Control 155). This view on gun politics is challenged by the opposing side, where gun right supporters believe "that the Second Amendment right to self-protection and defense of liberty should be granted to all those eligible including everyone of legal age, and those who are not violent criminals" (SAF). In summary, gun control supporters believe primarily that there is no right to bear firearms, that gun control reduces crime, that protection against crime is a task of the government, and that guns are more dangerous to the owners instead of the intended targets (Gun Politics). On the other hand, gun rights supporters believe primarily that the Second Amendment grants the right to bear firearms, that more guns reduce crime, that

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bearing arms makes one safer, just like police, and that gun ownership protects citizens from the excesses of government (Gun Politics).

In our government, Republicans have never really supported gun control and administration strictly (Gun Control). "Politicians are divided in ways that often reflect the urban and rural composition of Legislatures." Although bills regarding gun politics vary in each state, they are all similar in that they allow "law-abiding, mentally competent adults who pass background checks and undergo firearms training to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons" (Jones). Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin don't allow concealed weapons (Jones). All other 54 states allow concealed weapons, but only after application and proof (Jones).

Unfortunately, gun bans in the recent past have been based on appearance and not the guns themselves (LaPierre). An example of this is the 1994 ban of semiautomatic weapons, in which case the mass media perpetuated that all semi's where banned, when

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in reality some weapons with certain "cosmetic" features were banned, while others without them were not (LaPierre). "That's gun prohibition based on appearance alone" (LaPierre). This



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