Gun Control Should the U.S. government ban the possession of handguns for normal citizens?
Public Opinion is mixed! 32% say “YES… ban hanguns” 68 % say “NO… they should stay legal”
Background Information When, Where and How did this become an issue?
Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment: 1791 • Declares “a well-regulated militia” as "being necessary to the security of a free State" and prohibits infringement of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." • Purpose of Amendment is so that the people can protect themselves from the government (after British rule, Americans were suspicious of governments with too much power)
2nd Amendment is MISUNDERSTOOD • Does it guarantee people the right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves against criminals?
District of ColumbiaFirearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 • Restricted residents, except active and retired law enforcement officers, from owning handguns.
Parker Vs. District of Columbia 2007 • Claims the 1975 law is unconstitutional “That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad).” • SUPREME COURT has agreed to hear this case!
Other Recent Events • April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech shooting… 33 dead • February 14, 2008 Northern Illinois Shooting… 5 dead
Two Sides of the DEBATE Ban Handguns VS. Keep Handguns Legal
Ban Handguns • There will be fewer deaths as a result of handguns.
Ban Handguns The 2nd amendment limits the “right to bear arms” to a “well-regulated militia”
Do NOT Ban Handguns • A Handgun ban will not result in lower homicide or violent crime rates
Do NOT Ban Handguns • 2nd Amendment guarantees the “right to bear arms” against a tyrannical government and for self defense/protection