The Use of The Second Amendment In The Home


Michael Lanni
English 1
The Use of The Second Amendment In The Home

The United States Constitution says that U.S. Citizens have the right to bear arms. Even though this guarantee was written with no constraints, there are now laws that limit certain aspects of gun ownership. The reasons for gun control fall under the flag of public safety. Though there are many safety reasons why private ownership of firearms should be banned, these arguments are outweighed not only by the need for protection, but because the limitation of ownership rights could become dangerous to personal freedom.
When the U.S. Constitution was written, some delegates thought Militia was military forces because the Federal Government had its own army to protect the people. The second amendment was made in response to the fear of being helpless before a standing professional army. "Aristotle said that decisions of a leader \'backed by a standing army\' would be different from those made by a leader \'awed by the fear of an armed people\'" (The Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, 28). Elbridge Gerry, a delagate to the Constitutional convention from Massachusetts, was an activist for the right of the Militia to bear arms. When asked what use a Militia has, he responded: "What sir, is the use of a Militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty" (The Commission of the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, 26). On December 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, making it, with the second amendment, part of the constitution (The Commission for the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, 5).
The Constitution does not guarantee gun ownership for just any reason. The second amendment makes it clear that only a well regulated Militia needs arms. "As recently as 1980 the Supreme Court noted that \'The second amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated Militia\'"(Isaacson, 163). The meaning of the second amendment, as interpreted by pro-gun control supporters, was to enable citizens to protect themselves from and oppressive government, not to allow anyone the power to shoot another human being.
The main reason for gun control boils down to the want for personal and public safety. One upsetting fact about guns is they increase the severity of a crime. "With guns, unlike knives or hands, rage and recklessness are likely to be translated cleanly and quickly into death" (Isaacson, 162). Another upsetting fact is that hand guns are people killers, that is their only use. "With fewer handguns, there are fewer chances to use them. It is as simple as that" (Isaacson, 162). People with guns are more likely to take a life that with upclose and personal weapons like the knife or the fist.
Gun control activists believe that a ban on hand guns would gradually deplete the number of handguns in circulation. This would slowly take care of the cheep Saturday Night Specials, which hold no use to police or sports men, because they only last about 10 years. Little pistols are not needed by ordinary people and can easily be concealed be street criminals. "One in every nine Americans has already been threatened or shot by someone wielding a hand gun"(Isaacson, 162). This statistic shows the effect of the availability of handguns on America. The handgun is not needed except when a person wants to hide a weapon. For home defense, the shotgun is more effective with its wide blasting stopping power, while a handgun has to be aimed exactly on target.
A big problem with keeping guns in the house is the curiosity and ignorance of children. Children are more capable of finding guns than they are given credit for. "Children under the age of 15 suffer approximately one-third of the deaths caused by guns in the ho me" (Cruit, 18). Even if a child is well behaved and listens when they are told not to touch a gun, they may still cecum to peer pressure and let their friends play with a gun. Not only is a gun dangerous to children, but the ammunition is as well. A child could be seriously