While gun laws have changed repeatedly throughout the years, the safety of the United States citizens has continued to be in danger ever since guns have been allowed in the United States, in 1619. When we take a step back and look at the history of gun control, it began with the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment provides U.S. citizens the right to bear arms.
Ratified in December 1791, the amendment says: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. The Second Amendment was proposed by James Madison to give power to State Militias otherwise known as today’s National Guard. It was a good way to compromise federalists and anti-federalists. Having just used guns and other arms to ward off the English, the amendment was originally created to give citizens the opportunity to fight back against a tyrannical federal government. Americans often disagree about the meaning and or the interpretation of the amendment.
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Some people believe the amendment means it provides for collective rights, while others find that that it provides individual rights. Those who take the collective side think the amendment gives each state the right to maintain and train formal militia units that can provide protection against an oppressive federal government. They argue the “well regulated militia” clause clearly means the right to bear arms should only be given to these organized groups. They believe this allows for only those in the official militia to carry guns legally, and say the federal government cannot abolish state militias. Some people believe, to protect themselves in the face of danger, the amendment gives every citizen the right to own guns, without any federal regulations. It is thought that the amendment militia clause was never meant to restrict each citizen’s rights to bear arms.
Gun Law proposals face a major uphill battle in Congress for many reasons. For one, leadership in both chambers must support it. For any debate to seriously take place in Congress, it must first have the blessing of the top two Republican leaders:. For example, during the time of the Florida shooting in 2018, the leaders were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. They essentially control floor action and decide which bills get votes. But so far, they have yet to signal how they’ll address this issue.
The Democratic party doesn’t have as much control over action on the Senate floor and the House, although they will be major factors in just how unified their party will be on the issue, as long as they stay together. Democrats have the loudest voice on being pro-gun control, but not all members of the party in Congress want to address it.
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