Two Sides of the Same Country – Issue #3


“Gun..bullets – smith & wesson 460 magnum” by gre.ceres is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Gun control is one of the most heated debates in our country today. Most people are aware of the arguments both Democrats and Republicans give on why they do or do not want gun control, but there is a deeper history behind this debate that everyone might not be aware of. 

While Democrats wish for more gun control because of all the school shootings and violence that occurs in America, Republicans put emphasis that gun control is against their second Amendment rights. The Second Amendment states that everyone has the right to bear arms, so it would make sense that Republicans would feel that trying to control that right is an attack on their freedom. This amendment has been established since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791, but the argument that it was established to protect people’s gun rights was only accepted in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller. In this case, it was established that the second amendment does guarantee people the right to possess firearms even for usually unlawful purposes like self-defense in the case of a home break-in. This was followed by the McDonald v. City of Chicago case of 2010, which selectively incorporated the 2nd amendment into all state governments.

Although this case set a precedent for future cases about gun control, Democrats still push for more gun control and claim that this argument isn’t valid because it was not the original purpose of the amendment. While this may be true, the Constitution was made to be able to change and adjust over time as society evolves. Also, throughout our history, our Supreme Court has been made to be the people that interpret the Constitution and make decisions based on what they see written on and in-between the lines.  

Even as all these arguments seem logical, Democrats still push for gun regulation because as guns have evolved into machines that can take away too many lives at one time, the mental health in our teens seems to be on a downward spiral. The combination of both these issues has caused an increase in school shootings and the deaths that occur in school shootings. 

So as Republicans want to defend their rights and Democrats want to protect their children, there is no clear direction in how the country will deal with these two conflicting desires.