The right to bear arms

Aaron Furr, Nick Lacombe and Nick Westmoreland (from left)

Firearms have played a major, albeit controversial role in American history. There are proponents for gun use that cite the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as staunch opposition that advocate the banning of firearms. There are consequences for owning guns that are both positive and negative.

Guns can be used for hunting, recreation and self-defense. Self-defense is an example of a broader range of gun ownership.  People that own guns for self-defense do so to feel safer and to deter crime. When the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, they wanted the citizens to own guns so that America’s militia could supplement the role of the military.  They also wanted citizens to own guns in order to regulate the power of the government over the people.

Through observation, it seems that the majority of our opinions about guns are based on our situation; where we live, what social class we were born into, or how we were raised.  Therefore, it is a far-fetched request for us to come to a single solution about firearms.  Americans tend to use push-and-shove tactics when they disagree on something.  In this case, some love guns, and some hate them. So, how can Americans who own and advocate the use of guns learn to get along with those who discourage gun use and ownership?  The answer to this question isn’t necessarily what either group wants, but a compromise.

The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) is a good example of a reasonable group of people who are working towards a middle ground.  They’re willing to break away from the more radical National Rifle Association in order to ensure that firearm safety is incorporated into our legislature.  Extreme anti-gun groups are equally at fault as the NRA.  In the case of the long-standing Chicago handgun ban, civilians were not allowed their Second Amendment right to bear arms.  According to the United States Constitution, citizens have the right to bear arms.  If every person in the U.S. could agree on a middle ground, gun rights wouldn’t be a topic worth discussing.

There are many different views on gun regulation and there are many groups on both sides of the issue. The answer to these problems boils down to setting aside personal agendas and finding a middle ground.


Editor’s Note: This article is a collaboration between Nick Westmoreland, Nick Lacombe and Aaron Furr for an assignment in their English 202 class, altered for web-readability.