Second Amendment Compromise

During the latest round of gun violence, my attention pivoted towards practical ways to reduce gun violence in America. The very wording of the Second Amendment lies at the heart of this issue: 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. Until the Heller decision in 2008, the Supreme Court viewed gun ownership as a collective right–that is, a right that can be framed by governments to suit specific needs, like promoting the existence of local militias or constabulary forces. It focused on the first clause of the amendment. Heller, however, determined that the Second Amendment guarantees individual rights to gun ownership. It drew attention to the declarative section of the amendment.

My attempt to find a middle path between these two kinds of interpretation involves a marriage between regulation and ownership. I know farmers with wild boar problems who make legitimate use of AR-15s with suppressors. I also know that weapons like these do more damage to human flesh than anything the framers of the Constitution could have imagined. Rather than taking all such weapons from the hands of their owners, it seems reasonable to require education and licensure as a stipulation for purchasing in addition to background checks.

Earning a license to bear a weapon does not infringe ownership any more than requiring a license to drive a car does. For weapons, I can envision a system where some weapons require more training than others. Enforcement would require officials of the state to ask those who handle weapons to show their licenses, just as they do for traffic stops. Legal precedent can be found for this. Although Heller created a precedent for virtually unrestricted gun ownership, it does allow for states to use background checks.

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Second Amendment Compromise

  1. Blake Cheater says:

    Gun violence has been a very heated topic of discussion in the U.S. for quite some time. Some say ban them all, others take a more moderate approach with increased background checks and certifications. The answer is not clear, and cannot be determined without extensive research of the facts and compromise on both sides. Let’s say guns were banned. What would happen? Not every citizen would turn them in, that’s for sure, and there would be a new black market for completely unregulated guns. But if banning guns somehow worked, and they were no more in the American household, what would society look like?
    Take a look at Hong Kong today. Open your history textbook to 1989. Read some George Orwell. It is clear that oppressive dictatorships work best when people are uneducated on the facts and defenseless. That being said, America has checks and balances, and ways to ensure a government like China’s will not replace the one we have. However, no one can predict the future.
    The most logical and probable outcome is an increased background/mental health check as well as some sort of licensure system for all guns. The best way for that to happen is to make your voice known. Write your congressmen, stage a rally for what you believe in, and don’t sit idly by. Conflicting ideas make people think.

  2. Josh Bates says:

    Gun violence and the discussion of gun control that comes along with it has always been a very difficult question for me to answer and give a concrete opinion upon. This mostly due to the fact that I, nor my family owns any guns and therefore, I do not have much knowledge upon gun laws and the restrictions that go along with owning a gun. With that said, this also means that I do not thoroughly understand the passion that some people can have for gun ownership, gun modification, and hunting. The experiences that I have had with guns have been enjoyable, yet few and far between. In many ways, I am not qualified to give an opinion upon gun control, for I suffer from a obtuse lack of personal experience. Other the other hand, I do have friends that have owned guns at an illegal age, family that have engaged in the illegal, and frankly dangerous, modification of guns, and adult figures that have participated in the illegal selling of high powered firearms. While none of these instances have been followed by any ill intentions, it shows that the laws surrounding guns are very loosely danced around by many, especially here in the South. This may seem like a small issue because for example, 74% of school shooting were done with legally obtained guns, but it is not necessarily just the other 26% that I am bringing into question. Instead it is the desensitization of guns in American that we could find at the source of many of our problems. I know that where I am from it is not uncommon for a six-year-old boy’s birthday present to be his very first .22 rifle. A quick google search can even yield many of these guns specifically marketed for kids, but if these children are 10 years away from being deemed legally developed enough to drive a vehicle, then what makes people think that they are ready to handle a deadly firearm? It is that kind of familiarity to guns that cause many Americans to not care about gun laws. I believe that the punishment for breaking gun laws should be increased in severity, not that breaking these laws usually yields in harsh consequences, but to scare gun owners into following these law and in the process, maybe make Americans see guns for as dangerous as they are.

  3. Not A. Ravenclaw says:

    As discussed in UE1, there are times when compromise cannot be reached. However, I do believe that there is a reasonable compromise that can be achieved for this scenario.
    If you think about it, banning guns will get us nowhere, because as Blake Cheater mentioned, “there would be a black market for completely unregulated guns.” This would rise to be another problem itself as suppliers, distributors, and customers would have to be tracked down and further prosecuted.
    I do not believe guns should be banned. However, if there were stricter regulations, the possibility of gun-related incidents (such as school shootings, mass shootings, etc.) would decrease. By making the licensing process more thorough and also implementing a background check and mental state check, we could regulate gun ownership more productively.
    I know very little on this topic; I could not tell you which firearm does what or which would cause the most damage to someone. However, I do know that if we find a logical way to regulate gun ownership, we can easily come to a middle for the current situation.

  4. Chandler Bryant says:

    Gun control is a very complex topic with many heated passions all feeding into the argument.
    On one side you have to understand the sentiment coming from people advocating for less gun regulations. They believe it is very important to have an armed population to rise up against tyrannical governments. This was the original purpose of the portion of the second amendment that deals with guns. However, the modern gun is incredibly different than the one that existed when the second amendment was adopted. An 18th century musket took much longer to reload and fire than modern weapons. ( To say that the we are talking about the same guns as the founding fathers would be ridiculous.
    However, there is an argument for guns as a tool for self-defense or hunting. It can make one feel more safe in their own home knowing that they can defend it from intruders. I believe we don’t, however, need military grade weapons to accomplish this. I can’t think of a situation where it is necessary for an individual to own a killing machine that can spit out 150 rounds in one minute – however fun it may be.(

    • Ethan Hill says:

      Although I can understand where your viewpoint is coming from, there is one major flaw with it. In your description of the Second Amendment, you said “However, the modern gun is incredibly different than the one that existed when the second amendment was adopted.” This argument is highly invalid as to say that the Founding Fathers did not expect the US to technologically innovate and develop new weapons and that they expected the US to remain on the technological level of muskets is, well, stupid. Another instance to support my case is that when drafting the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson suggested that it automatically expire every 19 years and be rewritten to fit the changing world. The rest of the writers destroyed this idea and it was not even considered. The Founding Fathers obviously knew that the world would advance and that this 2nd amendment should stay regardless.

  5. Skylar Nichols says:

    Despite guns being something that I have grown up around, I know very little about them. While I have gone hunting, I didn’t shoot anything and I don’t know how to aim all that well. However, most of the people from my hometown are well educated on the subject. I have meet many people who have gun collections, which is a bit excessive and unnecessary on my opinion. Most households had guns and most families went hunting. So the topic of gun control is very touchy back home. Most of the people in my hometown, and probably most of Mississippi, would like to keep there guns, and some will go as far to say that they do not want any gun control. Personally, I feel that there should be a compromise made. It is not possible for there to be complete gun control, and even if that did happen I doubt it would be very successful. The major arguments are that guns are for self-defense or used for animal population control through hunting, even to control wild boar as you mentioned. While I can agree that both of these arguments are rational, you do not need to have zero regulations on guns to have them. I believe that we should have stricter regulations on guns and somehow meet in the middle of this argument. It seems that sometimes people forget that guns are dangerous weapons. Shootings and gun related incidents are common, honestly too common, so why not try to change that.

  6. Vincent Chung says:

    Gun control is a very controversial topic, especially in the United States. Gun violence is obviously very tragic, but banning guns and restricting them from the public will not solve the problem. People with psychotic intent to murder WILL find a way to murder. Timothy James McVeigh was a terrorist that made a fertilizer bomb that killed 168 people and injured over 680 others. Although a gruesome crime, banning fertilizer will not make the public a safer environment. Even though this isn’t a perfect comparison, it highlights the fact that in a world where people want to hurt others, it’s just going to happen. There are other effective ways to prevent gun crime, such as restricting people on any watch list, the mentally ill or people with a violent criminal background.

  7. Tejus Kotikalapudi says:

    Being from a school like Oak Grove, I have learned that gun ownership is something that is ingrained in the culture of most people. My family does not own any guns but during hunting season it’s nearly impossible for me not to find a picture of a friend with a buck and either a hunting rifle or, sometimes, a semi-automatic rifle. I have been to a gun range once and to be honest, guns are freaking awesome. This being said, however, there should be more regulations and background checks for people that want to purchase a gun. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people so when a person wants to purchase a weapon, we need to make sure that that person will not use it in a way that will hurt anyone else. The background check should involve a small psychological check-up and a background check.

  8. Samantha Broussard says:

    Gun violence is a very pressing topic in todays society. I personally believe that we are way too strongly opinionated on this to ever reach a compromise, however I do think there are some precautions that should be taken in order for an individual to have the possession of a firearm.
    Firstly, you need to be over a certain age. Even though being eighteen considers one to be a legal adult, I don’t think that is an appropriate age to begin to legally own a firearm for yourself. Maybe to have the age be 21, but you can begin to apply when you turn 18. You should have a license similar to that of a drivers and have to take gun safety courses along with knowledge of other neccessary safety precautions in order to keep yourself and everyone around you in the least amount of danger possible. I also think that there should be a major psychological check-up and medical examinations to make sure that you are in the right headspace to purchase these weapons.
    Again, I’m not too sure of the policies that are currently in place, but I do know that America is not doing too well on this issue and there needs to be something done in the near future.

  9. Jesse Tran says:

    Finding a solution for gun violence has been a controversial topic for decades. Enforce stricter gun laws to limit easy access to weapons, require more extensive background checks for customers, and begin a license system for weapon-possession have been one of the numerous ideas to minimize the potential of this violence. While I believe people should have the ability to own guns for self-defense or hunting, we need to focus on regulating the obtainment of guns by more extensive background checks and a license system. Although these may help to reduce gun violence, we need to also recognize that a person that wants to kill will find a way to kill. Whether this is by purchasing weapons off a black market or stealing it from a family or friend, they will likely not be stopped. Reinforcing rules and establishing restrictions may help to lessen gun violence; however, I believe there is not much that can be done to make everyone satisfied. People say this or that as obvious answers to the problems, yet it is a far more complicated issue to tackle. There are countless factors to keep in mind that I am not even aware of, and I strongly believe that this will not come to a resolution especially any time soon.

  10. Alden Wiygul says:

    I think the key to the issue is the emphasis on gun control. Banning guns all together would do more harm than good in the short run even if it may have long term benefits. America is not like other countries that have successfully banned guns because we have been dependent on them for so long. We should, however, create stricter restrictions on what guns are allowed to be sold and who they get sold to. Hunting guns and small handheld personal protection guns are one thing, but allowing someone to buy a gun that shoots multiple bullets a minute is irresponsible and unneeded. Also, by creating more restrictions based on mental health we could limit the number of suicides or homicides by gun and place more concern on mental health in America.

  11. Trevor Allen says:

    I think the problem is deeper than whether or not we should posses firearms. The problem goes down to the desire to be safe. In short, everyone wants to be safe or have a safe space, but guns split this demographic almost in half. Guns allow for a sense of safety from others, and some of the people who are in ownership of guns use them strictly for protection from others. At the same time, the possession of said firearms threatens the perceived safety of others. This topic is extremely complicated because the existence of citizens with firearms threatens one side, and the withdraw of possession threatens the other side.

    Personally, I am not threatened by either. It would be nice to say we live in a world where the government can be trusted, people don’t commit crimes, and there is no market for weapons, but that just isn’t the reality that we live in and I am okay with that. The most middle-ground option that I think we have is to restrict the acquisition of firearms through some filter so people with ill-intentions aren’t as likely to acquire the weapon without going through a significant amount of time and energy. This will most definitely make the pro-gun party mad, but they wouldn’t be restricted from actually buying or selling the weapons. This might not be the best option though, and there may be a better solution that helps both sides. Only time will tell, though, and I hope that this issue will be resolved soon because the U.S. has better things to worry about worldwide.

  12. Ethan Hill says:

    Gun laws are a big topic in society today especially with the mass shootings and such. I’ll try not to get to deep in this topic though I love discussing it so find me in person if you have a question. My view: Everyone has the right to own a weapon save the mentally ill and those with a violent criminal background. It is our right. The Founding Fathers determined that and were right in every way. Gun violence. People often flash the number of gun deaths around like a trick from a magicians hat without showing the underlying details. 39,773 dead, yet 23,854 were suicides. I see those advocating for gun violence all the time yet those same people arent checking on their friends making sure they’re okay. With almost 3/5 of these deaths being suicides, it seems mental health is the bigger issue. Are you seriously telling me that you are more worried about which of the ways a person chooses to kill themselves is the most effective instead of the fact that that person needs help. This is a lot longer than I thought so talk to me in person if youd like to discuss this or reply to me back.

    • MP 2019 says:

      Three-quarters of all U.S. murders in 2017 – 14,542 out of 19,510 – involved a firearm( Pew Research Center). Obviously gun violence is still a problem. (Also, nobody advocates for gun violence. People may advocate for gun control or stopping gun violence.) And yes I do care what way somebody decides to take their life because 90% of people who attempt suicide without a gun survive. Only 5% of people who attempt suicide use a gun, but because guns are unusually lethal, 50% of deaths are caused by firearms.(gifford’

  13. Trey says:

    Gun violence is a big problem that needs to be solved. However, I don’t agree that controlling the guns themselves is the best solution, I refer to the quote “guns don’t kill people; people kill people” because behind every gun is someone to pull the trigger. So instead of focusing on controlling the guns what we should do is work on the mental health of US citizens so that less are tempted to use guns inappropriately.

  14. Bryant Perkins says:

    I agree that the ownership of guns should be more regulated but I don’t think that is the sole solution. Requiring a license to drive does not stop someone from stealing a car and driving full speed through the local playground. Even being a licensed driver doesn’t stop you from drifting through the front doors of a packed nursing home. Instead of increasing education and training, focus should be put on the people most likely to use the guns for malicious intent – the mentally unstable. In order to prevent school shootings, improvements should be made on the counseling system in schools. I have had many counselors after switching from school to school and I can confidently say they’ve suck. They are not usually the people I would think to converse with at a time of emotional distress. Although a good talk isn’t guaranteed to stop a shooting, the increase of awareness will get people the help they need before an atrocity occurs. In the case of the shooters that are not in the situation of the boar infested farmers (needing the gun for protection), they don’t need a gun – period. Having guns for fun and using them for entertainment purposes is what creates the lack of seriousness when approaching this topic. Guns are not a game. Especially nowadays when bullets break bones at 2,000 feet per second. They only need to given circumstantially. Lastly, the law needs to be changed to match this mentality. Expecting no repercussion after giving everyone the right to deadly weapons is not smart. Americans – no, humans can’t be trusted to make logical decisions all the time.

  15. Ebenezer Scrooge says:

    I don’t think gun ownership should be regulated this way. owning and operating a car is a privilege, while being able to own a right is a right. If we violate the second amendment we also admit that any other right granted by an amendment can be restricted or removed. Some restrictions are I agree can be reasonable. Some people have told me that they want even more, but to me where we are doesn’t feel too bad. People have told me that they want more screening or background check, but when asked about what these test would entail they either can’t answer or describe a process similar to what’s in place.

  16. Conner Davis says:

    Guns are long ranged weapons that allow people to hit their target with high accuracy and precision. Due to this, some people believe that guns should be controlled, and that only the military, police, and government officials should have access to guns. This belief is flawed in a number of ways. First off, wether ordinary people have easy access to guns or not, criminals will still have access to guns, and ordinary people not being able to defend themselves as easily only makes it easier on the criminals. Second off, people have to have a fair amount of training to be able to consistently hit their target from a non-pointblank distance, meaning that not just any person can just pick up a gun and become a mass murderer. Third off, people can use guns to defend themselves from wildlife, as it is a common occurrence in some places for dangerous wildlife to stroll into people’s backyard. Therefore, people are wrong about gun control being a good idea.

  17. Stack Jandard says:

    Gun control is a hard topic to get to a definite answer on. Yes, guns were invented to kill, be it for hunting animals or humans. However, they were made as a tool to augment a person’s ability to do so. The thought and action of pulling the trigger while aiming at another person falls entirely under the thoughts and consciousness of the gun owner.

    Looking at crime statistics, over 60% of gun related deaths are suicide, with 35% being homicides. Both of these raise the issue of mental health. Regulations should definitely be put in place to make sure the mentally unwell do not have access to such tools. The regulations should not be focused directly onto rifles however.

    Statistics show around 67% of homicides involve guns, yet 47% of all homicides involve handguns. The other 20% involve shotguns, rifles, and other firearms. Everyone talks about ARs in the case of shootings, but overall the majority of crimes are committed by easily accessible handguns of all things.

    Mental checks are a definite must in order for gun ownership. The problem is how much power are we willing to hand over to the government. Most people don’t have confidence in the government, and with the protests in Hong King going on, people have become even more worried of what to do in the case of a tyrannical government. At the the very least, people should be required to be confirmed mentally sound and pass background checks to buy guns.

    The Relationship between Firearm Ownership and Violent Crime

  18. Andrew says:

    I believe Blake makes a great point in his quote which states that,” Gun violence has been a very heated topic of discussion in the U.S. for quite some time. Some say ban them all, others take a more moderate approach with increased background checks and certifications. The answer is not clear, and cannot be determined without extensive research of the facts and compromise on both sides”. Because both sides of the picture matter, and if we followed either side, the future would be uncertain indeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *