Claire Gamble
Claire Gamble

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.

 

Opponents of gun control laws generally believe that restrictions on gun ownership is in direct violation of personal liberties and are instruments of oppression used by totalitarian governments. I believe citizens of the United States should be allowed to posses a firearm because of basic fundamental rights.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme court handed down a landmark decision, expressly holding that the second amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms.” A main point of gun enthusiasts can be summarized in Thomas Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” by a quote from Cesare Beccaria that states “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; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Also, the argument that is possessed is that the phrase, “keep and bear” means that individuals have the right to not only possess the weapon, but carry it in the event of confrontation. The Second Amendment was meant to give everyone the right to “keep and bear arms,” but also to include the militia because an army is needed to defend the country.

People in the United States do not, however, have unlimited access to guns. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (or NICS) was put in place to require that federally licensed dealers run background checks on prospective gun buyers. There are no restrictions on private dealers, unless the state has placed them.

Neither right is allowed to be infringed on because the Constitution is the highest law of the land. Believing that it is a right to own guns have multiple reasons such as fundamental rights and the wording “keep and bear” in the Constitution. Since there has been no amendment made to object to these rights, they therefore must be acknowledged.