Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pour Your Heart Out - Automatic Weapons

Thanks to Shell for hosting Pour Your Heart Out.

My daughter has joined the debate team recently.  Her first topic is the ban on assault weapons.  This lead to a full discussion this morning in the car on the way to school.  Those that support the purchase and possession of fully automatic weapons always cite the 2nd amendment to the USA constitution.  What is interesting is that they always cite the phrase, "You have the right to bear arms."  The interesting part of this is that they are only using part of the amendment.  The whole amendment 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."

As gun control laws became stricter, the question was then raised, if not being used as part of, "a well regulated Militia," was owning a gun a right for individuals?  In 2008, the District of Columbia tried to ban all handguns using the concept above as its guiding principle.   The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individuals' right to possess a firearm was unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home was a protected right. In this case, the banning of handguns within the District of Columbia was ruled illegal.

This brings us to the question of whether fully automatic weapons should be banned.  Using the above ruling, several groups are attempting to have the automatic weapons ban lifted.  As a result, the question of whether a fully automatic weapon really be used for a lawful purpose must be asked.   If the weapon can be used for legal purposes, is this a case where the potential dangers of weapon ownership to society outweighs the potential infringement on personal rights?

What do you think?  Help my daughter out by giving me your best argument as to why fully automatic weapons should be legal or not.

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