REFLECTIONS

Posted on February 18, 2013

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DOES CONGRESS OR STATES HAVE POWER ON GUN CONTROL?

Gun control has become one of the preeminent battles of 2013.

Across the country, Americans are debating the effectiveness of President Obama’s gun-control proposals. Commentators on the left argue that semiautomatic weapons and high capacity magazines aren’t necessary for home defense or hunting.

On the right, the president’s critics say limiting guns won’t end violence, and they point out that no matter what laws Congress passes, criminals will still find ways to be well armed. The proposed legislation in states and Congress, they contend, simply would put law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage.

Both sides are missing the larger question in this debate: Where does Congress or the states derive the power to prohibit ownership or manufacture of certain weapons or magazines.

It seems many gun-rights advocates and opponents have forgotten there basic civics in assuming that Congress or a state can act as long as 51 percent of the members agree.

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld the individuals right to bear arms over several decades and court cases.

Such history lessons are usually dismissed by modern politicians, and they pay little attention to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Unfortunately, many lawmakers are now bent on enacting state and national gun-control laws, and too many of their opponents are debating the merits of these proposed laws when they should be questioning their constitutionality.

They will continue to do so unless the American public asks them the fundamental questions about the source of their authority and demand a reasoned response.

Otherwise, enacted gun-control laws will be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

 

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