The Right to Bear Arms a Constitutional Conflict

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The act of bearing a firearm was initially represented as a duty in England, up until King Alfred converted this duty into a right. By doing so, individuals were allowed to use firearms for two purposes: self-defense and hunting. In time, “kings chose to trust their subjects with arms and to modify and supplement the militia if need be” (Malcom 3). Individuals were given the right to bear arms in exchange for their participation in England’s militia, which consists of “able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service” (“Militia”).

Additional implementations were then put into effect, one of them being King John’s recognition of the right to bear arms in the Magna Carta. This Angevin Charter will eventually “become a model for the American colonists in their struggle against the English monarchy” (Henderson 85). Further reinforcements involve banning society from hunting as well as controlling who can own a gun based on one’s religion or social class. Not only were these constraints administered towards individuals, but they were also applied to weapons. Monarchs controlled the size, type, amount and location of society’s weapons.

The manner in which monarchs handled the rights associated to bearing arms, generated an immense disagreement among the militia. The following caused the English Civil War between the Parliament and the King to break out; consequently the British Bill of Rights restored the right to bear arms for Protestants. Meanwhile in America, “British soldiers fire on unarmed Americans in Boston leading to an upsurge of revolutionary sentiment” (Henderson 88). This revolutionary conflict between Britain and America is what triggered the American War of Independence. It also i...

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...h causes a lot of disagreement and confusion at a direct level (the individual), indirect level (society) and judicial level (the court).

Works Cited

Anastaplo, George. The Amendments to the Constitution: A Commentary. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1995. Print.

Cornell, Saul. A Well-regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.

"District of Columbia v Heller | Casebriefs." Casebriefs. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Henderson, Harry. Gun Control. New York: Facts On File, 2000. Print.

Malcolm, Joyce Lee. To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1994. Print.

"SUMMARY OF THE RECENT MCDONALD V. CHICAGO GUN CASE." SUMMARY OF THE RECENT MCDONALD V. CHICAGO GUN CASE. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

"United States v Emerson | Casebriefs." Casebriefs. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.
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