Purple Public - The Political Voice For Moderate Americans

Guns in America - Rights vs. Reality

December 15, 1791

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified:

"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."

Fast-Forward to Modern Day America

There are currently over 250,000,000+ million privately-owned firearms in America.

Americans are the most heavily armed people, per capita, in the world.

number of Americans shot yearly

Gun Murders in America

gun violence statistics in America

Source Cited: Brady Campaign

So what are the average gun murders per year in other countries?

gun violence statistics by country

gun murders in America by state - 2012

3 Sides to the Gun Rights Debate in America

Guns for Everyone

Guns Regulated

Ban on All Guns

These people believe that the Second Amendment gives all Americans the right to keep and bear arms of any type without exceptions or limitations.

These people believe that the Second Amendment gives responsible Americans the right to keep and bear arms, but in a highly regulated manner.

These people believe that the Second Amendment was actually meant to maintain a well armed militia to fend off foreign invaders, and was never meant to be extended to every average citizen.

Where does the Supreme Court Stand

There have been two recent landmark Supreme Court decisions, related to the Second Amendment, in recent years:

1. June 26, 2008: Heller v. District of Columbia

- The Supreme Court, with a 5-4 decision, said in a nutshell that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected to actual service in a militia.

2. June 28, 2010: McDonald v. Chicago

- This case challenged aspects of Chicago's gun registration law. The Supreme Court, in another 5-4 decision, said that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the "Due Process Clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.

The "Due Process Clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. In this case the right to keep and bear arms.

As you can see the Supreme Court is just as divided as the rest of America, when it comes to the actual interpretation of the Second Amendment.

So where does this leave America? The status quo? Probably so...

So What is Our Viewpoint

First lets set the record straight on some basic American history:

First of all, most of the Founding Fathers were actually against the idea of having large standing armies in times of peace. Therefore, having a "well regulated" militia, as stated in the Second Amendment, was the simplest way to ensure they could call men to arms if they were needed.

Secondly, the entire population of America in 1791 was only around 4 million people. New York City only had a population of about 50,000 residents in 1791.

This means that most cities and towns in 1791, were very thinly populated and most residents knew one another. Therefore, your fellow neighbors having guns was really NOT a big deal.

However, we now need to examine what America looks like now in 2013:

(1.) America now has the most expensive and widespread standing army in the world. Which is something most of the Founding Fathers would be appalled about by the way, but that is a subject for another time.

(2.) America has national guard troops in every state, which are simply the modern day version of the militia from 1791.

(3.) America now has a population of over 310 million people. New York City alone has a population of over 8 million people, twice that of the entire American population in 1791.

If Thomas Jefferson could take a stroll through Central Park today, do you still believe he would think it was a good idea to give guns to 8 million New Yorkers, most of whom are complete strangers to one another?

The above three points alone raise some serious questions about the actual relevency of the Second Amendment in 2013.

Is an untrained civilian with 10 assault rifles in his basement and 1000's of rounds of ammunition really part of a "well regulated" militia in 2013? Our guess is the Founding Fathers would say NO, he is not.

However, recent Supreme Court decisions, listed above, have stated that "the right to keep and bear arms" is NOT neccessarily related to actually serving in a "well regulated" militia.

In our honest opinion though, a majority of the Founding Fathers actually did only intended to give "the right to keep and bear arms" to those who were actually part of the "well-regulated" militia, and they did NOT intend to be pass that right on to every American citizen.

Therefore, we feel the Supreme Court has basically rewritten the actual intent of the Second Amendment to fit the majorities political beliefs.

Let us explain why:

If the Founding Fathers really did intend to give every American citizen "the right to keep and bear arms" then they would have written the Second Amendment differently.

Actual Second Amendment

"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 Alternative Example

(If the Founding Fathers Actually Intended to Give All Citizens the Right to Keep and Bear Arms)

"Being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The fact that the Founding Fathers explicitly added the words "A well regulated militia" to the Second Amendment says a lot about what their intentions were.

Our bottom line:

We do believe that every American citizen should have the right to protect themselves and their family within their home.

However, we simply do NOT believe that average UNTRAINED citizens should be allowed to walk freely in common public areas with guns strapped to themselves, making life and death decisions.

With that being said, we do feel that the following basic common sense step needs to be taken to ensure that only responsible American citizens have access to guns:

We feel that all guns sales, commercial and private, should be subject to a background check.

Private sales could simply be done in the presence of a licensed gun dealer who would simply act as a notary to the transaction, verifying that a background check was completed for the private sale.

Dangerous Second Amendment Myth

In recent years, a dangerous Second Amendment myth has surfaced.  Some far right-wing radical gun advocates, and sadly elected politicians, have been stating that the Second Amendment actually gives them the right to start an insurrection, against the American government, if they believe the government has become tyrannical in their opinion.

This point of view is completely untrue for a variety of reasons:

(1.) The Founding Fathers did NOT create the Second Amendment to give future generations of Americans the right to start insurrections against the very government they were creating.

(2.) What many of these far right-wing radical people are advocating for is actually domestic terrorism and treason; both of which will NOT end well for those people advocating for it.

(3.) Most importantly though, is the fact that America still has a representative government.  Every legal American citizen, 18 or older, has the right to vote for their local members of Congress and a President openly and freely.  Therefore, until your right to vote is taken away, there simply is no tyranny to be fighting against.

You do NOT have the right, under the Second Amendment or the Constitution, to form an armed rebellion, simply because your particular candidate or party does NOT win an election.