Gun Control: The Debate Rages On - comparing Canadian to American Gun Control

Essay by whiterabbitCollege, Undergraduate November 2003

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Erynn Reitmayer November 12,

Gun Control: The Debate Rages On

Gun control is a major issue in the United States, widely debated, but still undecided. While many people argue that the U.S. should get on board with the rest of the world's democratic industrialized nations, many pro-gun lobbyists strongly protest the strict gun control of countries like Japan, and Britain. However, a nation like Canada, very similar in many ways to our American brethren, could conceivably lend our gun control laws south of the border. The question is, would our Canadian gun control work down in the States, or is it simply a lost cause, with too many points of view to ever reach a conclusion?

One of the major points of debate in the gun control issue is the second amendment. This well known contribution to the American constitution was added in 1791, and 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."

(Robert Longley, Gun Control Timeline) This is the soap box upon which many pro-gun, generally conservative groups stand, claiming that the gun control legislation proposed by the "anti-American," anti-gun liberals infringes on their rights as outlined in the constitution. As the debate rages on, America remains more or less a gun-crazy nation, and experts have started to question what the reasoning behind the gun infatuation is. A very likely and possible connection is the image of the American forefathers. Many American citizens grow up with the "Davy Crockett" hero image of their settling ancestors, gun toting, independent and righteous. It wasn't until the 1960's that people began to call this image into question. For many Americans this iconic frontiersman was redefined into a gun happy madman. Debates...