Gun Control In America

By Ethan Hay

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 US Constitution, 2nd Amendment, passed by Congress September 25th, 1789. Ratified December 15th, 1791.

One of the most contentious issues of modern American politics is that of the right to bear arms, or as it is both constitutionally and popularly referred to as the Second amendment. The issue has created a chasm between those arguing for stricter laws and regulation, called gun control, and those opposed to most of said attempts, referred to as gun rights. And while this debate has been occurring since the 1800’s, the earliest recorded legislation to push for gun control was done in 1813 by the Kentucky state legislature, which banned people from carrying concealed weapons in the state, it has only increased in intensity and scrutiny since the first nationally passed gun control bill, the 1934 National Firearms Act, which places a tax on both the manufacturing and transfer of firearms. Due to social media’s creation, allowing for the popularization and live capture of tragedies, as well as the mainstream media’s, and politician’s manipulation of said tragedies to actively push for gun control, the calls for gun control are louder than ever before. 

The current President, Joe Biden, uses events such as the horrendous Parkland shooting, which occurred on February 14th, 2018, resulting in the death of seventeen people, of which fourteen were students, to push for and pressure congress to write new gun control measures, particularly emphasizing on ‘requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets,’ all the while saying that his ‘administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence,’ ignoring the fact that the top three cities in America with the highest death rates as of 2019, 

  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. St. Louis, Missouri
  3. Memphis,Tenesee

are all run by democratic politicians from the Presidents party. He has also called for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act of 2005, which protects gun manufacturers and dealers from being held legally accountable for crimes committed by individuals using their product.

The National Rifle Association, one of the largest gun rights organizations in the US has been in existence since 1871 and has long been an advocate for legal gun ownership, has coming out strongly against the proposed measures that the President has put forward saying that universal ‘requiring “universal” background checks wouldn’t reduce crime, but it would make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners,’ and that a ban of  ‘“assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” would eliminate some of the most popular firearms that law-abiding Americans choose to defend themselves and their families,’ even though those types of weapons are rarely used to commit crimes. Furthermore, there has been an increase in gun ownership by an estimated five million people, and gun sales spiked exponentially due to the racial unrest, and riots that took place for most of the year, and an estimated 2.2 million guns were bought in January of 2021 alone. As a result, it is safe to assume that such attempts to strip people of their Second Amendment rights will be met by stiff resistance. 

President Biden has long been an opponent of gun ownership, stressing his role on his presidential campaign website of his role behind several major gun control legislations, one of which was the 1994 ten year assault weapon and high capacity magazine ban. The President and many of his party are also spurred on to push for more gun control measures due to demand from gun control advocacy groups such as March for our Lives, and Mom’s Demand Action, to name a few organizations, have seen their cause supported strongly by Democrat politicians. And now, the Democrats, have control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the Presidency, and as a new radical generation of politicians, namely the Justice Democrats, take control of the party, it is safe to assume that they will act.