What exactly does the 2nd amendment guarantee? The debate around the 2nd amendment has come up a lot in my social circles lately, and I think I'm one of a few that has not come to a decision about it yet. Given that I have readers on both sides of this issue, let's dive in, but with a scientific/logical approach.
Apart from regulation of who has access/what checks are done/whether guns can be hidden (to which most sane people can usually generally agree to some basic guidelines), there seem to be two main areas of disagreement that arise about the 2nd amendment.
The first is on the wording of the 2nd amendment itself. What does it mean, and what was its original context? In other words, does the 2nd amendment guarantee us the right to bear personal weapons? For starters, let's look at the actual text:
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.
From a purely grammatical standpoint, this amendment is messy and confusing. Does the right of the people to bear arms depend on being part of a well regulated militia? For you history buffs out there, in what context was this amendment given? And for you lawyers, do we even care about the original meaning, or just how it can be interpreted in the present day?
The second general area of disagreement is regardless of whether or not we should have the right to bear arms, does it benefit us as a society? In other words, do guns make us more safe? Here I've heard both sides shout arguments: access to guns either increases violent deaths, or acts as a deterrent to/weapon against crime. Does either side have scientific evidence to back up these claims? Has anyone done a study to show that inner city gangs have less death if they don't have access to guns, or whether they just revert to knifing each other? Or has anyone studied whether families with guns have successfully deterred/impeded would be robbers?
In short, I'm looking for solid facts and logical philosophical arguments about these 2 areas to back up some of the ardent positions a lot of you take on this issue. Do I have any takers?