Some individuals look at the ownership of guns as a blight on society while they also argue the Second Amendment is outdated; however, it is not gun ownership that hurts our society. It is a lack of respect for Law by criminals, who abuse weapons, and overreactions to those crimes, which undermine our legal protections, that cause our society harm. On the other hand, it is certainly not in government’s interest to standby while individuals abuse the rights guaranteed by the Constitutional as government is duty bound to protect its citizens by limiting the rights of certain individuals.
The Second Amendment guarantees all American citizens the right to own and bare arms while it forbids Congress from passing any laws that “infringe” upon those rights. The word infringe is very significant here as it indicates that there are rights which cannot be denied to any individual; however, it does not indicate that the Second Amendment guarantees an “absolute” freedom to own and bare arms. Like all other rights guaranteed to the US citizen by the Constitution, these rights have boundaries and are inapplicable under circumstances where our behavior infringes upon the rights of another or endangers the safety and security of our society. This means that our legislators, with our approval, must determine what our rights to own and bare arms exactly are.
Furthermore, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that absolutely none of our rights can be taken away without due process ensuring legislation, which restricts our rights, must be limited to individuals who have undergone prosecution for criminal offenses. Moreover, if the Second Amendment’s guarantee, that the people’s rights shall not be infringed upon, should somehow be interpreted as only applying to members of a State militia, the broader intent of the Fourteenth Amendment should also protects the individual’s right to bare arms. The Bill of Rights focused a great deal on protecting the rights and powers of the State and local governments from the Federal Government while the Fourteenth Amendment expanded those protections to individuals as US citizens.
It is, therefore, reasonable to argue that the rights of the Second Amendment, which may have been guaranteed to the States, must also apply to individuals. Because the Fourteenth Amendment places all citizens and residents of every State under the protection of the Federal Government as U.S. citizens, any right the States may have to provide their residences with the privilege to keep and bare arms for the maintenance of a militia becomes a right to keep and bare arms that must be equally guaranteed and protected by the Federal Constitution for all citizens, which government cannot infringe upon, only regulate.
Even though the Constitution does guarantee the right to possess arms, there are people who would use or are more likely to use a weapon against another person for reasons other than self defense while there are also certain weapons that are far too dangerous to be out in general circulation, so it is imperative that only law abiding citizens have access to these weapons. Therefore, gun registration and permits are a means of preventing those who should not have guns from having them. However, there are arguments that criminals can get guns if they really want to, which is true, but this certainly helps limit the flow of weapons to these people while protecting the greater responsibility of government to uphold the Constitution. Moreover, when police uncover unregistered weapons, they can take them off the streets without taking away the weapons of the law abiding citizens.
Furthermore, laws, which require the proper storage and securing of arms, prevent criminals from obtaining weapons through theft. There are questions as to whether or not gun locks infringe upon the ability of the carrier to readily use the weapon and, thus, bare the arm, but when the weapon is out of the hands of the owner such laws only require the owner to be conscious of where the weapon is and what it is doing. Laws, which require registration, permits, and proper, storage are Constitutional so long as they do not limit the ownership of weapons by those individuals who legally maintain all of their Second Amendment rights.
Moreover, restriction of gun circulation is necessary as there is a public interest in restricting the flow of weapons. One argument that is often used by gun activists is that almost any object can be used as a weapon, which is true, but psychological research has demonstrated that perceived weapons, i.e. guns and knifes, influence the behavior of an individual, such that, it can turn a nonviolent response into a violent one. Essentially, if a gun is available, a person not only has the ability to use a gun, but is more likely to use it to commit a violent act. That point aside, I would like to think a baseball bat is easier to defend against than a pistol or shotgun.
On the other hand, what would make a gun control law unconstitutional would be for them to rescind or limit the Second Amendment. This means our government, with or without the support of the people, cannot deny an eligible person the right to own a weapon. Any restrictions that impede the ability to own or purchase weapons must provide an available and reasonably obtainable permit to allow for the ownership of such weapons. Furthermore, ideas such a gun taxes, hand gun registration bans, and other restriction, which either disenfranchise the poor or target a specific weapon class without providing exception for ownership, are unconstitutional. A gun tax is analogous to a poll tax for blacks and a hand gun registration ban is analogous to banning newspapers in cities for fear of riots. Furthermore, government imposing any legislation, which puts a financial burden on the ownership of a weapon, other than the initial purchase price, directly impedes the rights of the poor to own weapons; therefore, in the case of laws which require fees for permits or restriction, the government needs to provide such services to the poor free of charge or at a reasonable discount.
Frankly, I believe in the Second Amendment but I also understand that the Constitution does not protect those who would abuse weapons and endanger our society. Therefore, as long as gun control upholds the burdens of the Constitution, such that, it restricts, not necessarily prohibits, the ownership and the unlawful use of weapons by citizens, without regard to social economic class, I cautiously see the benefit in control gun.
On the other hand, the Second Amendment is not outdated as our Nation continues to have criminal elements, which weapons can help safeguard law abiding citizens against, while voluntary gun ownership continues to exist within our borders. Above all, no law or additional Constitutional amendment can supersede the protections, which the Second Amendment provides, while no individuals have the right to deny a citizen of the United States any of their guaranteed rights and freedoms. In defining our Constitutional rights, government must strive to balance its duty to protect its citizens with its responsibility to uphold the rights and freedoms of those citizens.