Ownership of guns entails a notion of self-defense as well as protection. Advocates for gun ownership argue that the Second Amendment puts forth their right to own guns; proponents for gun control contend that the same provision places a non-negotiable restriction on the ownership of firearms (Sangohee, 2012, p. 1). Gun ownership actually preserves lives in more instances than it takes; in fact, it can be said that the moral duty to protect oneself and loved ones, combined with the legal right to own firearms, inculcates the doctrine of preserving life (Dowling, 2014, p. 1).
In the ultimate end of this argument is the moral duty to protect; however, this burden is not laid on the citizenry, but on the government. The government, not the people, has a moral responsibility to create an environment where atrocities involving guns are nonexistent. This is not to say that people are stripped of all rights own guns; it is that government, as a matter of morality, must develop an environment where guns are owned by responsible individuals and that only guns adequate for self-protection are sold. In this regard, automatic rifles and “machine guns” and other high powered firearms must not be sold to civilians (Sangohee, 2012, p. 1).
In analyzing the issues, the bastion for both proponents and critics is the Supreme Court. In the light of decisions upholding citizen rights on gun ownership and rebuffing state and Federal laws, the question is asked: is the Supreme Court exercising a mandate reserved for Congress while at the same time exercising its own mandate? The resolution here lies in the definition of the term “law.” Laws passed by legislative bodies are “statutory laws” “Constitutional law” is the guidelines and principles that guide the laws and operations of the government. When issues of law are raised to the Supreme Court, it defines and translates these laws as it is set against the Constitution (This Nation, 2015, p. 1). It can be proffered here that the Court renders an opinion on the law and matter at hand rather than legislates a new law and rejects the previous law (Benner, n. date, p. 1).
Benner, D (n. date) “Supreme Court offers opinion, doesn’t make law” Retrieved 1 July 2015 from <http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/02/07/supreme-court-offers-opinion-doesnt-make-law/
Dowling, P (2014) “Do Americans have a natural, moral right to defend themselves?” Retrieved 1 July 2015 from <http://eaglerising.com/8157/americans-natural-moral-right-defend/
Sangohee, S (2012) “Moral nation: why our constitution demands gun control” Retrieved 1 July 2015 from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sanjay-sanghoee/moral-nation-why-our-cons_b_2303558.html
This Nation (2015) “Supreme Court decision making” Retrieved 1 July 2015 from <http://www.thisnation.com/textbook/judiciary-decision.html