The Right To Keep And Bear Arms
Thursday, 19 August, 1996
Rights, Article II).
white, pro or con. Rather, it encompasses many shades of gray. At the one end of
the spectrum you have the National Rifle Association (NRA) which currently views
Constitution (”What is the NRA” 1). At the other end of the spectrum you have
seek to make most firearms accessible only to law enforcement and the military
Association, who seek compromise regarding our rights (Lissabet, “Return” 2).
In “The ACLU on Gun Control”, the national ACLU policy is neutrality (1).
All factions in this debate have some merit, some more than others. All use a
mixture of facts, figures, and emotions to express their views. I will be
The NRA is perhaps the most well known of the participants. They were formed
after the Civil War, in 1871, as an organization dedicated to the rifle
marksmanship. Following World War II, many returning veterans joined the ranks
mission was changed to that of a sportsman’s organization. This did not last
even supported by the NRA’s leaders. Within the NRA however, there was a growing
faction that opposed gun control in any form. This faction was set up as the
subordinate committee, Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). This faction
gained support and power and in 1977 gained control of the NRA. They have held
that power ever since.
Today’s NRA works to foster support for the shooting sports, to promote firearms
infringement (”What is the NRA” 1). They take a very hard line in their
protection of Second Amendment rights. They believe that the right to keep and
infringe that right.
The AFA was founded in 1993. It seeks to protect the constitutional right to
bear arms while supporting fair and reasonable gun controls. They seek to
preserve the sportsman’s arms, rifles and shotguns, at the cost of the
recreational shooters arms, handguns (Lissabet, “Return” 3). This approach is
presented as a compromise to safeguard Second Amendment rights. They espouse to
support the Second Amendment, they also support the implementation of stricter
gun controls (Lissabet, “Anti-Federalism” 4). The AFA counts among its
membership many ex-NRA members. Some of these include the board members who were
forced out of the NRA in 1977.
The CSGV was founded in 1974. Its mission was to fight what they saw as a
_the orderly elimination of the private sale of handguns and assault weapons in
the United States. CSGV seeks to ban handguns and assault weapons from
reasonable exceptions made for police, military, security personnel, gun clubs
where guns are secured on club premises, gun dealers trading in antique and
collectable firearms kept and sold in inoperable condition. (”CSGV” 1). They
also seek to make the acquisition of the firearms that are still legal very
difficult. They seek to do this through limiting dealer licenses, restrictive
gun owner fees and regulations. Many other gun control measures are supported
and supported by the CSGV. They feel that the Second Amendment is a collective
right, to be held by the government and law enforcement agencies.
These three factions all manipulate the figures to show support for their views,
would be better served by supporting some measures of gun control such as the
infringe on any ones right to keep and bear arms. By supporting this and other
reasonable measures, they will disarm the anti-gun lobby’s arguments against
firearms. The CSGV would get better results if they stopped attacking a citizens
rights and started working to combat the real problem, the criminal who uses
firearms. Despite all the numbers the CSGV uses to make the spectre of firearms
violence seem overwhelming, firearms in and of themselves are not dangerous, it
is the person who possesses the firearm that is dangerous (The Facts of Gun
Gun controls do not control the criminal, they only keep the law abiding citizen
from protecting themselves. In a recent study, the Illinois Council Against
of the highest violent crime rates in the nation. Conversely, the states with
Lissabet, Ernest. “Anti-Federalism and the Second Amendment.” American Firearms
Association WWW Site: http://www.firearms.org/afa/federal.html.
Lissabet, Ernest. “The Return of the Old Guard.” American Firearms Association
WWW Site: http://www.firearms.org/afa/return.html.
“The ACLU on Gun Control.” ACLU WWW Site:
“The Facts of Gun Violence_” Coalition to Stop Gun Violence WWW Site:
“What is the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence?” Coalition to Stop Gun Violence WWW