Gun Control Legislation
One of the most controversial aspects in modern American culture is that of guns and gun control. Even mentioning the words “gun control legislation” in some areas ignites fierce debate on either side of the issue. Despite its abnormally high homicide by firearm rates, the United States continues to support a very broad definition of the Second Amendment. Given its frontier history, the issue of guns in American society has been woven into the very fabric of the nation.
The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights reads, entirely: “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.” There are many who believe that this prohibits the government (on any level) from passing any type of gun control legislation. In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld in District of Columbia v. Heller the individual right to keep arms for self-defense. This was a landmark ruling in favor of the pro-gun side of the issue.
Supporters of gun control legislation argue that the Second Amendment is not an unlimited license to own as many guns as one wants, and that stricter control on the sale and ownership of guns, especially handguns and automatic weapons, would significantly reduce the high rates of homicide experienced across the United States. Given the strong feelings on both sides of the issue, gun control legislation is unlikely to fade as a divisive issue in America.