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53. Protest the Extremist’s War on Gun Reform

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Do America’s cities have the right to ban handguns? WE SAY YES

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. —Second Amendment

The debate over the Second Amendment and gun rights in the United States was reignited when a federal appeals court struck down one of the toughest gun control laws in the country. In March, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a 30- year old law that forbids almost all DC residents from owning handguns. The law was challenged by six Washington, DC, residents who said they wanted to keep guns in their homes to protect themselves against crime. The court’s ruling is being appealed.

At issue is the meaning of the Second Amendment. Opponents of gun control maintain that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to have firearms. Gun control supporters say the amendment embodies only a collective right of the states to maintain militias. Advocates of gun control say that easy access to firearms increases gun violence and therefore restriction of gun ownership will save lives. Opponents of gun control say that such restriction violates an individual liberty guaranteed by the Constitution and cite the need for armed self-defense.

OUR VIEW: America’s cities have the right to ban handguns.
• Over the years, the federal courts have been nearly unanimous that the Second Amendment protects only the collective right of the states to maintain militias, and not an individual’s right to own guns; the DC ruling is an exception to the rule.
•Tougher laws restricting gun ownership are needed to curb rising rates of gun-related violence in the nation’s cities.
• Free access to handguns encourages people to take the law into their own hands and promotes vigilantism.

OUR VIEW: Ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds.
THEIR VIEW: An AR-15 rifle shoots the same bullets as a small game-hunting rifle. Both guns fire one bullet at a time, and with the same velocity. The guns merely look different on the outside. AR-15s may resemble military weapons but they aren’t the same weapons used by soldiers.

OUR VIEW: Require national registration of guns.
THEIR VIEW: The Honolulu Chief of Pollice said that his officers spent about 50,000 hours each year on registering and licensing guns. This time is being taken away from traditional, time-tested law enforcement activities. Canada and other parts of the U.S. haven’t had any better luck. TV shows depict gun registration as an effective crime-fighting tool, but this isn’t how things work in real life.

OUR VIEW. Institute universal background checks and close gun show and secondhand sales loopholes.
THEIR VIEW: Background checks on private transfers of guns is the first policy gun control advocates call for after each mass public shooting. But such background checks would not have prevented a single mass public shooting in this century.In addition, over the years from 2000 to 2015, states that had universal background checks had twice the rate of mass public shootings as those that didn’t have that law.

OUR VIEW: Raise the firearm purchase age to 21.
THEIR VIEW: Research shows that having a gun is by far the most effective way for young women to defend themselves…There is no evidence that these bans had their intended effect…Armed school staff would be a final line of defense against school shooters. Importantly, they would also be a deterrent. They wouldn’t stop every school shooting, but they would most certainly save lives.

LIMITED QUOTES FROM : John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for FoxNews.com.

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