Gun Violence In The United States

1388 Words6 Pages
“Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day.”

This essay, inspired by the above words spoken by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union Address on January 28, 2014, will serve as a wakeup call to the American people, in the hope that they will come to their senses and drastically change their countries’ gun laws. Every year approximately 115.000 people in the United States are shot in murders and assault, (attempted) suicides, unintentional shootings or by police intervention, and around one-third of these people die from gun violence (Brady Campaign). This makes gun-related fatalities to be one of the largest non-natural causes of death in the United States. With these statistics
…show more content…
However, in the twentieth century “[c]onstitutional scholars have argued vociferously about whether the comma separating those two parts signifies that the right to keep and bear arms without state interference is confined to the use of such arms in conjunction with one’s duties as part of a government-sanctioned militia or army, or whether there is an individual right to keep and bear arms under any circumstances” (Beeman 63-4). Throughout the years the Supreme Court has made a number of important rulings on the Second Amendment and the individual right to keep and bear arms. The first major court case concerning this issue was United States v. Cruikshank (1875) in which the Supreme Court held that the individual right to keep and bear…show more content…
Heller (2008) this decision was overturned. In this landmark decision the Supreme Court ruled that “[t]he Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home (2-53). With this ruling the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 which required that all firearms be kept be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock” (sec. 702). The Supreme Court held that “[t]he operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms” (District of Columbia v. Heller 2-22). In the 2010 follow-up case McDonald v. Chicago the Supreme Court found that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” granted by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (10-11, 33-34). This meant that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments in the same manner it limits the federal government. Thus, at this moment in time individual Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Nevertheless, the debate on the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms continues unabated, with strong camps both in support and in

More about Gun Violence In The United States

Open Document