Your Right To Own Guns

The right to own guns was afforded to all U.S. citizens on December 15, 1791 through the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, as part of The Bill of Rights. It 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.” While those words are a piece of the fabric of America's history, the Second Amendment and its wording have proven to be a constant source of controversy and debate. There are a number of supporters and detractors for both sides of this issue. With gun proponents believing they have the right to bear arms, as well as those who say the amendment is antiquated and needs to looked at differently in today's world. The issue of gun control is highly controversial and one that has caused great divides in American society.

The original intent of the Amendment served several basic purposes. One was to ensure every citizen could protect themselves from harm. Another was in regards to the beginning of the United States’ military force and for letting other nations know that America would be a well-armed country. In times of attack, communities were legally allowed to ban together with arms and defend their territories, whether they were official members of the U.S. military or not. The Second Amendment was also intended to protect individuals from intrusive government powers as well as to defend themselves from attack. U.S. citizens were given the right to obtain weapons and use them in self-defense, for defending their land and property, and those on their property or under their authority.

Many modern day debates about the Second Amendment center around who should have the right to bear arms. Those in favor of bearing arms often say that their right to carry a gun is the same as their right to free speech as well as the other freedoms guaranteed with the Constitution. While opponents to that thinking would strongly disagree, saying instead that the ability to own and possess a firearm is not a guaranteed right. What might be a more important question is whether an individual has a fundamental civil right to self-defense. The debate goes on as to whether a right to self-defense also includes the right to carry a firearm. However, a Supreme Court decision in the case of Columbia v. Heller ultimately determined that the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense within a home is a fundamental right. 

There have been a number of court cases involving gun control, which involve many aspects of the debate. The issue of whether or not altered weapons fall under the terms of the Second Amendment was examined in United States v. Miller, where the focus was on a sawed off shotgun. The United States continues to address civilian ownership high powered firearms and assault rifles. Laws over gun ownership can differ between states, with some states implementing stricter laws than others.

Some of the more important gun control laws introduced in U.S. society include the National Firearms Act of 1934, which mandated the registration of firearms, and the Gun Control Act of 1968, which sought to regulate sale of firearms as well as who was eligible to own a firearm. In 1990, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act was passed. The Act ensures that federal background checks would be performed on any individual interested in purchasing a gun. The act was the result of the shooting of James Brady who became permanently disabled after he was shot by John Hinckley Jr., in a failed assassination attempt on president Ronald Reagan. After the incident, James Brady became a strong advocate for tougher gun control laws. In 1996, the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban Act was passed, which prevented those with a history of domestic violence from purchasing guns.

The debate over gun control is vast and has devoted supporters on both sides. A number of organizations which are both for and against gun ownership have been created over the years. Some of those organizations include: Gun Owners of America, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, the Joyce Foundation, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, National Rifle Association of America, Pink Pistols, Second Amendment Foundation, Second Amendment Sisters, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. With a large number of people lining up on both sides, along with a constant stream of new legislation regarding gun control, the debate around the Second Amendment will continue for years to come.

You may find more information regarding the Second Amendment in 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.