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Running head: GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 1<br />Gun Control in Michigan<br />By Shellie James<br />Baker College<br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 2<br />Gun Control in Michigan<br />By Shellie James<br />Gun Control, it is a very controversial subject. Some people are for it and others are dead set against it. Some people believe that guns kill people, but idiot, desperate or unstable people with guns kill people. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why some people may be against guns. Perhaps one of their loved ones or a close friend was shot. Maybe their child was at a friend’s house goofing with a loaded gun. The gun goes off and one of the boys is injured by the gun shot or even worse, killed by the gun shot. As a parent myself, I understand the range of emotions that would have to be taking place, I'm sure that for at least a while, I would hate all guns as well. But at some point, you have to begin thinking rationally again. You would then realize that guns are a necessary thing to have for survival and protection. Guns are not a bad thing until they fall into the wrong persons hands and are being used for an unlawful reason, that's when they are dangerous. Personally, I believe that gun control is a direct violation of our constitutional rights as American citizens. By telling American citizen's that we can no longer have guns, is a direct violation of our second amendment rights. Those who are in favor of gun control must have never had to hunt for their next meal, or defend their family or self from impending dangers. Perhaps they live in a neighborhood where all things are perfect, no need to lock your car or house, because there is never a break in or a mugging. Well, even in the best neighborhoods, bad things happen. While certain people and organizations are pushing to prohibit firearms from criminals, our rights are being violated. <br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 3<br />In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment to the Constitution reads:<br />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. <br /> Gun control proponents have argued and some federal courts have ruled that the Second Amendment does not apply to individual citizens of the United States but only to members of militias, which, they assert, are now the state National Guard units. In 2002, a federal appeals court panel ruled that "the people" only "have the right to bear arms in the service of the state.” (Agresti, 2010)<br /> Gun rights proponents have argued and some federal courts have ruled that the Second Amendment recognizes "an individual right to keep and bear arms” In 2001, a federal appeals court panel ruled that the Second Amendment "protects the right of individuals, including those not then actually a member of any militia or engaged in active military service or training, to privately possess and bear their own firearms....”<br /> James Madison was the primary author of the Bill of Rights, is known as the "Father of the Constitution" for his central role in its formation, and was one of three authors of the Federalist Papers, a group of essays published in newspapers and books to explain and lobby for ratification of the Constitution.<br /> In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison addressed the concern that a standing federal army might conduct a coup to take over the nation. He argued that this was implausible because, based on the country's population at the time, a federal standing army couldn't field more than 25,000-30,000 men. (Smith, 2301)<br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 4<br />He then wrote, To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. (Agresti, 2010)<br />I understand we need some sort of gun control, but with the daily shooting accidents happening all around us, the numbers speak for themselves. We need our guns to defend ourselves from the criminals, the ones that already have guns, which I'm pretty sure are not registered. The ones that want to rob us, or worse, kill us. We need a means to protect our families and our belongings. It should not be against the law to own a gun. We all know, the criminals will still have their guns or know where to get one. Enforcing gun control is not going to have an effect on the crime rate, because it will not keep criminals from getting them. If they outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them. These laws only put restraints on the law-abiding citizens, the ones who use them for legal purposes anyways. When we give people the right to defend themselves we find that criminals look elsewhere for victims that don't have protection. We must work together to try to reduce the <br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 5<br />crime in America, and remember. Civilian ownership of firearms has for more than two hundred years been the very cornerstone upon which the liberty of the public has been supported. The very reason that Americans have never suffered a tyranny on the scale of Nazi-Germany has been due to the proliferation of firearms in the hands of the general public.<br />A few facts about gun control in Michigan are as follows: There are two groups of opponents to Michigan's CCW laws. One argues that the laws are too tough, that there is no evidence that restrictions on concealed weapons will reduce crime, and that the new restrictions on where concealed weapons may be carried is a step backward. They also assert that the fingerprinting requirement is a step toward national registration of firearms, which they vehemently oppose. <br />The other group fears that Michigan's being a shall-issue state means that the number of pistols in circulation and being carried will increase dramatically. They point out that in Wayne County alone, from 1990 to 1998, 5,264 youngsters aged under 17 were charged with carrying a concealed weapon. They are afraid that with CCW permits being more easily obtained, such statistics will worsen in the years ahead. They also contend that removing local discretion in issuing permits means that local circumstances cannot be taken into account. <br />Supporters of the new laws believe that they provide much-needed uniformity in granting licenses, impose important restrictions on where concealed weapons may be carried, and improve security by raising the minimum age, from 18 to 21, for obtaining a permit. <br />There also are dramatic differences of opinion on other firearm-related issues. <br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 6<br />In 1990 Michigan enacted a law prohibiting cities or other jurisdictions from bringing legal action against gun manufacturers or distributors for death or injury resulting from a firearm. Such litigation has been brought by cities in some other states. The law was vigorously opposed by gun-control advocates and vigorously supported by gun-control opponents. <br />Michigan is one of 40 states that prohibits or restricts municipalities from enacting local gun legislation that is more restrictive than the state's. Opponents argue that local units of government should have the authority to impose tougher standards than the state if necessitated by local circumstances or the desires of the residents. Supporters believe that law-abiding gun owners should be able to travel anywhere in the state without being in danger of violating local law. <br />Four states—California, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia—have a “one-gun-a-month” law, meaning that a person may buy no more than one handgun a month. The intent is to prevent illegal gun traffickers from buying and reselling multiple handguns. Proponents of such a law in Michigan argue that it would cut down on the trafficking of illegal handguns. Opponents argue that law-abiding gun purchasers should not be restricted in the number of purchases they are permitted. <br />Finally, four states—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts—require guns in the home to be kept locked or unloaded. Proponents of such a measure for Michigan (Senate Bill 538) believe that “safe storage” requirements would dramatically reduce firearm accidents, particularly involving children. Opponents argue that such regulation is<br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 7<br /> unnecessary and constitutes government intrusion into the home, violating personal freedom. (Michigan in Brief: 2002–03) The Second Amendment to the Bill of rights of the United States Constitution 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." In order to understand that right, the modern reader must understand the semantics of the eighteenth century. The term "Well Regulated" meant well trained according to James Madison, the principle author of the Constitution. The term militia, according to the Militia Act of 1792, referred to all able-bodied male citizens. The meaning then of the Second Amendment is made quite clear. It is meant to serve as a chain on the government to prevent infringement of government power upon the Civil Liberties of Americans. Further proof of this can be seen in a quote from George Madison. "I ask, Sir, What is the Militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." (George Madison, Three Elliot, Debates at 425-426). Richard Henry Lee, in his Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer of 1788 stated, "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves.and include all men capable of bearing arms." Title Ten section 331 of the U.S. code states "The Militia of the United States consists of all able bodied men at least seventeen years of age." (Agresti, 2010)<br />Our founding fathers of the United States believed that government is a necessary evil. They wrote the Bill of Rights, as stated earlier, to serve as a chain, which would limit government power over its citizens. Civilian ownership of firearms would, in the founding fathers' view, be the " American Peoples' liberty teeth." (George Washington). This is to say that, despite attempts by <br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 8<br />some hypothetical future government to impose a tyranny, the American people would be able to resist it without armed force. The same founding fathers had only thrown off the yoke of tyranny during the revolution. (Michigan in Brief 2002-2003)<br />It is my desire that by you reading this paper that your eyes and views are opened to the different scenarios and possibilities concerning gun control. It is a very serious subject and I believe with enough support, our rights will not be violated and we will be able to continue on with our guns as our forefathers intended for us.<br />GUN CONTROL IN MICHIGAN 9<br />References<br />“Just Facts.; a resource for independent thinkers” Retrieved from http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#constitution<br />"Gun Control Facts." By James D. Agresti and Reid K. Smith. Just Facts, September 13, 2010. Revised 12/22/10. http://justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp<br />“Michigan in Brief” 2002-2003<br />http://www.michiganinbrief.org/edition07/contents.html<br />