Gun Rights vs. Gun Control

The debate about appropriate limitations on gun ownership centers on the intent and interpretation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Gun control advocates argue that the Amendment provides individuals the right to possess guns with the exception of military-style assault rifles, but also that the Amendment does not prevent limitations to be placed on ownership. Gun rights advocates, however, refute that any interpretation to the Amendment needs to be made and argue that the Amendment guarantees ownership of all guns, regardless of type. For gun rights advocates, limitations on age and background checks prior to permitting an individual to own a gun impinge on an individual’s rights.

The Perspective of Gun Control Advocates

Gun control advocates are not necessarily completely against gun ownership. They believe that gun ownership should be subject to limitations. These limitations include 3-day waiting periods prior to receiving a purchased gun, background check, mandatory child safety locks on weapons and minimum age requirements. Gun control advocates do not view these limitations as impingements on freedoms, but instead as measures aimed at preventing violent or underage individuals from obtaining weapons. For advocates, these limitations could prevent future violent gun crimes. Groups such as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are the main proponents of gun control laws.

The Perspective of Gun Rights Advocates

In contrast, gun rights advocates view these limitations as infringements on rights guaranteed to citizens under the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment, advocates argue, needs no analysis, interpretation or protective measures for its implementation. In support of their argument, gun rights advocates point to data demonstrating that bans on weapon ownership do not reduce violent crime rates. Moreover, they argue, requiring child safety locks places an undue burden on gun manufacturers. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America Association (GOA) are the main gun rights advocacy groups.

The Issue of Gun Shows

Gun shows are a major point of controversy for both groups of advocates. Gun control advocates argue that purchasing a gun at a gun show should be subject to the same limitations that apply when an individual purchases a gun at a store, meaning a 3-day waiting period and background check. Gun rights advocates believe that these measures will significantly reduce the amount of weapons that are bought and sold and will, eventually, eliminate gun shows altogether. In 1999, the Senate passed a bill extending the 3-day waiting period to guns bought at a show; the House, however, failed to pass a the same bill, and instead passed on in apply a 24-hour waiting period to gun shows after which the gun could be given to the purchaser, regardless of whether the background check information has been processed.

The Political Side of the Issue

The gun control vs. gun rights dispute is as much a political debate as it is moral. Gun control advocates spent approximately 3.7 million in political contributions, mainly to Democratic candidates. In contrast, since 1989, The National Rifle Association spent 17 million dollars in political donations; 14 of which was over a 15-year period. Additionally, the Gun Owners of America Association made political contributions equating to approximately 18 million dollars from 1997-2003. Almost all of the NRA and GOA donations were given to Republicans.

For more information about gun rights and gun control, as well as information from both sides, refer to the links below:

Which of the following is NOT one of the "Three Ws" that should be included in every hunting plan?

What firearm you are hunting with.
Who you are with.
When you are returning.
Where you are going.


What technique can be described as "slow, patient movement of the hunter into shooting position after game has been located"?

Stand Hunting
Still Hunting


Which species is there federal hunting laws for?

Wood Duck
Ring-knecked pheasant
Snowshoe hare
White-tailed Deer


Which field carry provides the most firearm control?



Which choice is NOT recommended when approaching downed wildlife?

Approach quietly from behind.
Poke animal gently with a stick.
Touch the eye gently, if there's no reaction, animal is usually dead.
Shoot it again before approaching to make sure it is dead.


What is the technique known as "driving"?

One hunter sitting in a blind waiting for game to come along.
One hunter moving slowly and patiently into shooting position after game has been located.
One or more pushers walk through an area trying to move game ahead of them into areas wehre blockers are waiting.
One hunter driving a vehicle and a second hunter in the back set shooting through the open window.


Scouting an area you want to hunt should include:

Walk around the area on opening day with your firearm or bow.
Walk around the area looking for animal movements and signs.
Look at maps and aerial photos of the area.
Answers B and C.


Which of the following is NOT a reason why you should develop a hunting plan for every hunt?

So friends and family know how to contact you in case of emergency.
So you can use your hunting plan to start a fire if you get lost.
So fellow hunters know where you are located.
So friends and family know where you can be found in case of a hunting accident.


Which of these items should be on every checklist included in your hunting plan?

Hunting license


Which of these does NOT violate a hunting safety rule?

Carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Keeping your finger on the trigger while stalking game.
Two hunters shooting at the same game.
Identifying what lies beyond an identified target.