Fundamental Right to Bear Arms

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Introduction

The right to own guns is a very complicated and grave matter. Nevertheless, arms are quite factually a matter of life and death. America has a very serious problem of arms, with rates of gun associated accidents, murders, violence and suicide far beyond those of industrialized countries in numbers. However, the right to bear arms has been part of the American history and culture. This is a fundamental right that guarantees residents the right to protect their loved ones, themselves, and their homes.

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Part of the subject regarding the argument between opponents and advocates of control of guns is the status and nature of the right to bear arms. Opponents of gun control are inclined to see the right to bear arms as in a way, fundamental, while proponents are inclined to see the right to bear arms as not being fundamental. What is at stake in this argument about the fundamental status of the right to bear arms is the simplicity with which restrictions can be validated. Compared to non-fundamental rights, fundamental rights are less susceptible to regulations. If people are able to prove that a right is fundamental they will have ascertained that restrictions on that right can be defensible only by very convincing and strong reasons.

Therefore, one specifically strong though certainly not the only way to debate against the restrictions of ownership of guns is to demonstrate that the right to bear arms is fundamental (Holbrook 1). I believe that advocates of guns control suppose that only limited types of guns may be owned by specific citizens like the mentally stable adults who are not a criminal; under certain situations such as the citizen having a license of ownership, registered weapon, and the resident is prohibited from carrying the weapon to specific settings. Those who oppose gun ownership to become a fundamental right are opposed to a majority of such regulations.

Fundamental rights to bear arms

A fundamental right is a non-derivative right that protects a fundamental interest. However, not all interests people individually cherish are fundamental. Fundamental interests are special because they are integrally related to the individual’s opportunity of living of a good life in spite of his/her specific desires, interests, and beliefs. Those opposed to fundamental right to bear arms believe that the United States has changed considerably since the founding fathers wrote the constitution. Opponents to this right state that common security and safety of all citizens is more important compared to the right of one individual which is not essential (Cynthia 5).

They indicate that the only method of controlling the gun related crimes in the country is by creating laws that ban or limit the use and ownership of arms. Both the proponents and opponents of gun control use these arguments to make American citizens aware of the function of arms in the society. They also use such arguments to lobby law makers of the state and federal governments to influence them to vote against or for a particular law.

There are various arguments against arms control. The second amendment of the American constitution gives each citizen of the state the right to keep and bear guns. This amendment indicates that police cannot be everywhere at the same time. By the time they reach the scene of a crime, the damage will have been done. Criminals are scared of guns. Statistics have indicated that criminals are not likely to assault, rob, attack, rape, or break into a house of a person they suspect owns a gun.

Protecting oneself, one’s property, and family is the duty and right of each United States citizen. Currently, American citizens have a right to bear arms without being associated with a militia. However, such people have to follow government regulations. In a majority of states, people must obtain a permit to buy and carry guns. A background check must be done to ensure that the person is a responsible citizen.

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Typically a person cannot obtain an arm if he/she is found guilty of an offense, has been found guilty or convicted of domestic violence, is n escape or fugitive from the law, uses illegal drugs, has history of mental sickness or has been admitted to a mental hospital, is a cleared immigrant or not a legal American citizen, has a restraining order against him, has been released from the military service under dishonorable circumstances. The federal firearms regulations state that it is illegal for any person under eighteen years of age to have a gun. A parent may however buy a gun for a minor but only for restricted uses such as hunting, farming, and ranching.

Opponents state that gun control has not done anything to reduce cases of crime. They have stated many circumstances whereby cities and states passed laws limiting the buying or ownership of certain types of guns only to find out that crimes related to guns have increased (Cynthia 3). They believe the solution to gun related crimes is not restricting firearms but toughening laws of crimes and increasing terms of prisons for convicted felons. According to opponents, the problem does not lie with the guns but with people who do not know how to operate the guns.

People who support the control of guns have stated that the situation of the use of guns has become worse in America. The increase in the number of shootings in homes, offices, and schools all over the nation has mobilized many people who believe that something has to be done. Their solution to the problem is more of gun control. Gun control can be interpreted to mean many things. It may mean necessitating people to register their guns during purchase in order to make them easy to trace them.

In 2005, according to the United States bureau persons aged between 17 and 19 were 4.3% of the total United States population but accounted for 11.2% of those killed by gun homicides. The second amendment does not give individual citizens the absolute right to keep and bear arms. Throughout the history of America, federal courts, supreme courts, and the state courts have ruled that the state and federal governments have the right to restrict the ownership and use of firearms for private purposes.

The constitution provides very clearly the right of every American citizen to bear arms. Even though there are cases where the ownership of guns may pose danger, lead to crimes or cause harm to innocent persons, the fear of the occurrence of such cases must not change the effect that the constitution has on the operations of the country. The right to bear arms is a significant hallmark to the rights provided to all citizens. Nevertheless, the time the bill of rights was written the violence caused by guns was not as high as it is today. Few decades ago, guns were used for hunting than for self-defense (Rohner 1). Since all citizens are protected by the bill of rights and ownership of guns has been protected by law as fundamental right, then all citizens should exercise their right but with consideration of the rights of other citizens like the right to life.

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“What is at stake in the dispute concerning the fundamental or non-fundamental status of the right to bear arms is the ease with which restrictions may be justified” (Cynthia 2). It is a fundamental right to bear arms because rates of insecurity in the world and most especially in the United States have alarmingly gone up. The right to bear arms allows people to protect themselves, their loved ones as well as their property. I believe that registering guns will play a big role in reducing crimes because it will be easier to trace the owner in case their firearms is involved in a criminal activity. Security is increased and at the same time insecurity in reduced making the nation a better place to live in.

Conclusion

People must have the ability to protect their properties as well as themselves as part of their rights to life. For instance, individuals should have the right to defend themselves in case of an attack or emergency. In such a situation, anything goes because that is the choice of the attacker. The right to bear arms should be sustained for these reasons but in a regulated manner. Nevertheless, people who purchase firearms have background checks done on them to ascertain their legibility to carry a gun.

Works Cited

Cynthia, Stark. “Fundamental rights and the right to bear arms”. Criminal ethics justice. 10:13 (2012): 3 – 6.

Holbrook, Stephen. “The right to keep and bear arms under the second and fourteenth amendments: the framers intend and Supreme Court jurisprudence”. Journal on firearms policy. 5 (1993): 7 – 28. Web.

Rohner, Ralph. “The right to bear arms: A phenomenon of constitutional history”. Catholic university of America law review. 16 (1966): 53. Web.

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