In the wake of the tragic shooting spree that took place last Saturday in Tucson, Arizona which left six dead and 14 others wounded , including United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the debate over gun control and the Second Amendment has resurfaced nationwide as well as here in California.
The Second Amendment which states, “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” has many meanings within the pro-gun and anti-guns rights advocates. Many of those who are against any gun rights control simply interpret the meaning to be that the 2nd Amendment grants its citizens the rights to bear arms while those who advocate for stricter gun control laws defend that the 2nd Amendment does not stipulate that it is an Americans right to own every type of firearm that are available through modern technology.
Some of the major disputes in recent days have been dealing with the ability to access or to purchase high capacity gun magazines and over concealed weapons permits.
United States Representative Carolyn McCarthy has drafted a bill which would on a Federal level ban large ammunition magazines like the one police have said that the suspected shooter, Jared Loughner used in Saturdays shooting. The proposed bill which would not deny a citizen the right to own a gun, but would limit the amount of ammunition the magazine clip could contain decreasing the number from 30 down to 10. The proposed bill would be a partial reinstatement of the Federal laws dealing with gun control and safety laws which had previously been in effect up until 2004.
Here in California the events of last Saturday have brought up the questions over our State’s laws dealing with concealed weapons permits.
In the last election, Sacramento County’s newly elected Sherriff Scott Jones ran on a platform advocating the people’s rights to apply for concealed and carry permits and has said that despite of the recent shootings he intends to keep his support for such permits as he believes that California already has some of the most strictest gun laws and regulations in the country. Since December, Sacramento has seen an increase in applications for concealed weapons but Sherriff Jones has yet to approve any requests.
California’s US Senator Barbara Boxer believes that the type of regulations that are enforced here in California regarding gun laws needs to be expanded and brought through on a Federal level. Earlier this week Senator Boxer called for tougher federal gun laws that included both a ban on high capacity magazine clips and stricter regulation for concealed weapons permits.
One thing that can be agreed upon when it comes to the gun control debate is that it is filled with difficult challenges and all those involved in the discussion are well aware of that fact. In order to pass anything dealing with altering America’s gun laws on a state or federal level, America needs a clearer understanding of what the Second Amendment actually means. It may state that Americans have the right to bear arms but where does that end? Should an American be able to own tanks or nuclear weapons? It may be unthinkable to believe that any respectable or responsible American would even consider owning such weapons but our Founding Fathers may have thought it unconceivable to have the type of weaponry we have in our day and age, ones that can shoot 30 rounds of ammunition within seconds.