Debating the “Mighty Constitutional Opposites”
Take Action!—Debating the Gun Issue
Your generation will continue to debate the questions of whether to ban private ownership of guns, and whether and how to regulate their use. Here are some ways you can examine the issue.
- Reread the text of the Second Amendment. How do you interpret what the amendment says? Why can it be interpreted in more than one way? How are both gun control proponents and opponents able to use the Second Amendment as support for their arguments?
- Make a chart in which you list arguments for gun control on one side and arguments against gun control on the other. Which side do you think has the stronger position? Why? Use the chart to help you formulate your opinion on the gun control issue.
- Hot issues at the center of the gun control debate include whether trigger locks should be mandated by law, if smart gun technology is a viable tool in reducing gun violence, and whether tougher gun show rules would reduce street crime. Read about each of these on SpeakOut.com ( trigger locks, mandatory smart gun technology, stricter rules at gun shows ), and come to your own conclusion. Use the links under “perspectives,” “features,” and “organizations” to help inform your decision.
- Read “Facts about Gun Violence” on the American Bar Association Coordinating Committee on Gun Violence Web site, the Million Mom March “Fact Sheet about Guns and Gun Deaths in America” ( www.millionmommarch.org -- click on “learn more” and navigate to the fact sheet). Afterward, examine each statistic and determine the degree of impact trigger locks, mandatory smart gun technology, and stricter gun show rules would make. Would the implementation of these measures and policies decrease gun violence significantly? Or, as some argue, is the only answer to making a real impact banning guns altogether?
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