Lexi Myers
Lexi Myers

The AP Government students of Van Wert High School will be submitting a weekly editorial to inform the public on a variety of issues. They have been encouraged to research, take a position, and defend their reasoning for having such thoughts. The purpose of these editorials is to provide awareness and knowledge for the community and to be thought provoking. The views expressed in these editorials do not represent Van Wert High School, and are written solely by the student author.

One of the most hotly debated current issues in America is that of gun control. The debate over the Second Amendment is ongoing, with no foreseeable compromise. Currently, the system of the National Instant Criminal Background Check is in place at all federally licensed dealers. Any other restrictions are put in place by the state.


The Second Amendment states that 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.” Those in favor of gun control state that the founders meant for this amendment to apply guns strictly to militia usage. However, gun enthusiasts argue that the statement “right of the people” cannot be misinterpreted.

In 2008 the Supreme Court decided in favor of the latter’s opinion in the landmark decision of District of Columbia v. Heller, stating: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Another point for gun proponents is summarized in a quote from philosopher Cesare Beccaria, long before the current gun control debate: “laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.”

In a perfect world, stricter gun control laws could conceivably lessen or abolish homicides. Unfortunately, those who commit homicide care nothing for the laws meant to restrict them, and could still possibly obtain a gun if they felt the need. If they could not, other weapons are always available (knives, blunt objects, bare hands, etc.) The Second Amendment is clearly meant to protect individuals’ rights to keep and bear arms.