ntroduction: The Origins of the Gun Culture and the Debate of Gun Control
ut of the millions of shots that have been fired since the invention of guns and gunpowder, thereis only one that is known as the shot heard around the world. This shot was the spark of the RevolutionaryWar on April 19, 1775. In reality, it was likely many shots as that day was the battle at Lexington Green.The reason for the signal to Paul Revere and his famous ride was the intention of British General ThomasGage to confiscate the firearms and munitions being stockpiled by the citizens of Concord.
Rather thanlet the British take their arms and leave them defenseless in the process, the citizens of Massachusettsopted for independence. The origin of gun rights and the ³gun culture´ in the US comes from its founding by frontiersmen and citizen-soldiers necessary for frontier and communal defense against variousenemies, such as the Native Americans and their French allies before the war. After winning theRevolutionary War, it was widely acknowledged that an armed citizenry was important; it had won themindependence from Great Britain and the necessity of an armed citizenry was mentioned multiple times inthe
Federalist No. 46
ur founders believed that the people should be able todefend themselves, from foreign nations as well as their own government if it were necessary. Since thennot only has the status of our country shifted, but there have been several events, such as the schoolshootings in Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, which have made some question if the averagecitizen is to be trusted with firearms.Gun control policy is a relatively new concept in Congress; the bulk of major legislation has been passed in the last century. Upon the founding of the United States, the nation¶s framers wrote the SecondAmendment into the Constitution, which States:
³A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the peopleto keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed
.´How the Second Amendment should be interpreted is a key point of contention when it comes togun control policy. The meaning has been interpreted by individuals, courts, lawmakers, interest groups,and policy analysts to either refer to an individual right to keep and bear arms for recreation and self-