The Gun Control Debate – Are The Arguments Valid?

If you reduce the gun control debate to an argument between Republicans and Democrats, and ignore the nuances then it seems to become very simple. Democrats are by and large of the opinion that gun ownership and use should be more rigorously controlled than it is today – Republicans on the other hand seem to believe that unfettered ownership of firearms is desirable.

Often the argument devolves into a discussion of the second amendment of the constitution of the United States of America which guarantees the right of every American to ‘keep and bear arms'(based partly on English common law).

To simplify this provision it was probably formulated due to the political realities of 1791 when it was promulgated. This constitutional guarantee may have been an effort to ensure that no foreign or domestic political entity could threaten the new found liberty of the United States and would allow militia to assemble – properly armed to protect that freedom.

However, gun control advocates (often Democrat) believe that the inescapable fact is that we no longer live in 1791 – no foreign or domestic power would curtail the rights of the American populace. It is also important to realize that the right to bear arms is not absolute. The constitution does allow for the control of the ownership and use of firearms.

On the other hand the Republican Party representatives and the incredibly powerful National Rifle Association believe in virtually unfettered access to firearms based on their reading of the second amendment.

This topic has been especially important in the political debate of this year’s presential election. You can review this more here:

The fact of the matter is that both arguments have standing in American law – it is almost impossible to separate the two sides according to legal precedent.

However – the increasing number of deaths in the United States caused by firearms allows those in favor of greater control to assume the moral high ground. This is a battle that will involve the American legal and constitutional system for the foreseeable future. The outcome is undecided at present.