preview

The Context Of The Second Amendment

opinionated Essay
1036 words
1036 words
bookmark

The Context of The Second Amendment

The interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the

United States of America has been a topic of controversy since its acceptance

over two-hundred years ago. This controversy stems from the fact that the

amendment was written for reasons for the most part that do not have any

relevance today. One side argues the amendment void, and the other takes it

out of historical context so it portrays the meaning they want. To understand

what the second Amendment means, one must interpret the actual text, the

historical background for its adoption, and what it means today.

“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”

(Nesbit, 309). What many people see when they read this is, ‘the right of the

people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed'. One can say that it

clearly states that the people do have a right to have firearms. Who are ‘the

people'? Some argue that the people are just what it says, citizens. “[M]any

legal historians have concluded that the right is corporate rather that

individual”(Hook, 30). Meaning that the right is giving to the state government

not to individual citizens. Others argue that it does give people the right to

bear arms, but only if you belong to a certain group.

This group is defined by the beginning preamble to the Second Amendment,

‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State'.

This preamble is set out to regulate the other half of the Amendment. What is a

militia? “[A] militia is a body of men enrolled for military service, and

called out periodically for drill and exercises, but serving full time only in

emergency”(Hook, 25). This is talking about a State sponsored militia that is

well-regulated. Since there are no State Militias do the people have any right

to bear Arms? According to this amendment it is up to the State to decide that.

This whole Amendment is guarantee's the state the right to have a well-regulated

militia in which the people can bear arms.

“[T]he individuals right to bear arms applies only to the preservation or

efficiency of a well-regulated [state] militia. Except for lawful police and

military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not

constitutionally p...

... middle of paper ...

...as viewed as a

traditional privilege lying outside the Constitution...”(Hook, 30). Having a

firearm at that time was so common that they did not even think about having to

legalize it. Today, is a different story. With more and more regulations on

firearms being passed, the Second Amendment is the only thing groups like the

NRA have to hold on to. Both sides need to sit down and find a solution to this

gun-control debate. Or one day this Amendment will be interpreted at face value

and fire arms in citizens hands will be a thing of the past, unless of course it

is in a state sponsored militia.

As time goes on the controversy of the Second Amendment increases. When

examined by the actual text, the historical background, and how it applies today,

the Second Amendment has little if any relevance for modern society. Groups

like the NRA and ACLU need to work together to find a solution to this gun-

control debate so in the end both groups are satisfied with the results.

Sources

Nesbit, Lee. Gun Control Debate: You Decide. New York: Prometheus Books,

1990.

Hook, Donald. Gun Control: The Continuing Debate. Washington: The Second

Amendment Foundation, 1992.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that this preamble is set out to regulate the other half of the amendment.
  • Explains that it is up to the state to decide whether to bear arms.
  • Opines that one cannot only look at the text to understand the true meaning of the second.
  • Explains that they saw a man corrupted by power and using his power to do evil.
  • Explains why they set up our political system with many checks and balances so that one could vote.
  • Explains that one man in control could turn out to be a tyrant. they feared this.
  • Opines that militias are the only safe form of military power that a popular goverment can have.
  • Opines that congress at that time did not even feel it necessary to put a bill in place.
  • Opines that the horse's right to ride was not questioned, for it was viewed as a right.
  • Explains that firearms were so common at that time that they didn't even think about having to.
  • Opines that both sides need to sit down and find a solution to this issue.
  • Opines that fire arms in citizens' hands will be a thing of the past, unless of course it is.
  • Opines that the nra and aclu need to work together to find a solution to this gun issue.
  • States that the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Get Access