By Ron VandenBoom
by Ron VandenBoom
The Havre Daily News
Friday, May 14
Recent articles and letters that appeared in the Havre Daily News on the issue of gun control prompted me to search the Web for sites that may help clarify some of the more contentious issues surrounding the debate.
Unfortunately I am no closer to a perfect solution now than I was before I started my search.
Many fine sites can be found on the Web to support both points of view and both are defended with an equal amount of passion.
As was amply demonstrated, all debate begins with arguments over how to interpret the second amendment to the Constitution.
The amendment reads: 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.
It the amendment a blank check to own any kind of a firearm the individual wants from a nuclear bomb to a cap pistol, or does the amendment actually suggest that a well regulated militia has the right to bear arms?
Two Internet sites that take opposing views on how the amendment should be defined are GunCite at www.guncite.com and Gun Control at www.maxpages.com/merenity/Gun_Control.
Both sites use the writings by several of the Founding Fathers to bolster their arguments that the second amendment supports their point of view. Which site is right? Only you can judge.
GunCite gives a list of quotes from the Founding Fathers, commentators and also from court cases and the Federalist Papers, that those in favor of the the right to bear arms can use to strengthen their position.
It also provides summaries of gun laws, gun control news and links to other Web sites the deal with the right to own firearms.
There are also essays on gun related issues like How often are guns used in self-defense and liberalized concealed carry laws.
The surfer can also find statistics on gun homicides, suicides and accidents.
The Gun Control site begins by stating we must do something to control guns and cites statistics designed to bring home the point that guns are responsible for much tragedy.
Articles the surfer might want to use one of the links on this site to investigate other sites for more detailed information.
A Case for Gun Control, located at www.asahi-net.or.jp/~zj5j-gttl/guns.htm, also offers arguments in favor of gun control. It cites precedence for why the right to bear arms is not absolute and is over-all one of the best sites I found in both the quantity and the quality of its arguments.
It also discusses self-defense arguments and gives a proposal for what it calls rational gun control.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) Web site at www.saf.org is, as the title suggests, a site belonging to an organization that supports the right to bear arms.
It is dedicated to promoting a better understanding about our Constitutional heritage to privately own and possess firearms.
While providing the surfer information and arguments to support the ownership viewpoint is also gives the surfer the opportunity to join one of many organizations fighting to maintain the right to bear arms. It also keeps tabs on current legislation that might affect gun ownership.
Personally I wish the Founding Fathers had been clearer when they wrote the second amendment.
While I usually find it easy to justify my positions logically, gun control seems to slip through the cracks. My emotional side screams stop the killing and my logical side screams preserve my freedom.
Perhaps Benjamin Franklin helped me a little when he said: Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.