02 November 1996
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.
Amendment II, Bill of Rights
Constitution of the U.S.
The Second Amendment has been a major issue in American politics since
1876. In question is the intent of this Amendment. Was it meant to insure that
people in general have arms for personal service, or was it intended to insure
arms for military service? The nation's powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle
Association, holds that it means the right to keep and bear arms -any arms.
This privileged right is given to those 60-65 million people who choose to own
guns. The NRA also believes that human character defects cannot be changed by a
simple regulation of guns. They argue that problems with firearm ownership
cannot be, in any way, associated with criminal violence. The lobbyist give
credibility to this statement by adding that criminal violence continues to
increase in cities like New York and Washington DC, even though gun control
statutes were put into affect. They point out that gun laws would not have
stopped most addicted killers. According to the NRA, anti-crime measures are
the way to conquer urban violence, not anti-gun measures. The hope of most
members in the association is to educate people about guns. The association is
willing to reveal proper usage of guns to non-gun owners. They feel that this
training could help reduce some of the tragedies involving guns.
The issue of gun control has become a dividing line in America. To gun
control activists, the issue is about crime and the regulation of the weapons
used to commit these crimes. In their opinion, law abiding citizens should have
no need for guns. In this respect, the big controversy seems shallow . However,
to the NRA population, a much deeper issue is in question, the issue is freedom.
The members believe that the Second Amendment is crucial to the maintenance's of
the democratic process. From their point of view, people who advocate gun
control are ready to disregard a constitutional right. They believe that, if
the Second Amendment is abridged, the First Amendment will be the next to go.
The Executive Branch of the Federal Government is in a high-profile
position on the issue of gun control. During this current Presidential election