Our rights as Americans started to take shape when the Constitution of the United States was drawn up by the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Three years later, a very important part of American history called the Bill of Rights was added. The Bill of Rights is looked upon and interpreted every day. It gives the citizens of the United States many of the rights and freedoms that we value today, and some of those are in jeopardy. One right that is at stake is our right to bear arms, which is addressed in the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is a highly debatable topic, and many legal scholars and the Supreme Court have yet to resolve the issues and controversy dealing with the Amendment. Until a decision can be made, the law will remain as it is currently interpreted. The citizens of the United States of America have the right to keep and bear arms.
The controversy about the Second Amendment is derived from how it is worded (Jordan). The debate about the wording can be broken into two different arguments. To understand the arguments it is important to know how the Amendment is worded. The Second Amendment states, “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 (qtd. in Anastaplo 61).” The first argument is that some people view the Second Amendment as two separate rights. The right of the people to keep and bear arms can be interpreted with the idea that each individual has the right to keep and bear arms; whereas, it could be a collective right giving just the members of the Militia the right to have guns (Gold). It is believed that the original meaning of the right to bear arms and the militia in the same Amendment was because in the early times of America the citizens needed weapons to guarantee their freedom and prevent the government from forming a dictatorship (Edel xi). The second debate is that the Amendment is one statement, therefore meaning that the militia has the right to bear arms. The problem of understanding the meaning of the Second Amendment has been brought before many courts all across America and has been ruled upon in different ways at different times. However, the Supreme Court has never declared it illegal to own guns.
Over the years, t...
... middle of paper ...
...iminals would be able to get guns illegally if they wanted them (Smith 25). It comes down to the age old saying of “guns do not kill people, people kill people.” The ability to keep and bear arms is also a right given to the American people by the Bill of Rights and was reinstated when one of the framers, Thomas Jefferson, said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
Anastaplo, George. The Amendments to the Constitution: A Commentary. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 1995.
Chidsey, Donald Barr. The Birth of the Constitution: An Informed History. New York: Crown, 1964.
Edel, Wilbur. Gun Control: Threat to Liberty or Defense Against Anarchy?. London: Praeger, 1995.
Gold, Bruce. “The 2nd Amendment: A Historical Understanding.” Keep and Bear Arms.com. 5 April 2004
Hickok, Eugene W., ed. The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1991.
Jordan, Stan. “The Common Sense 2nd Amendment.” Keep and Bear Arms.com. 2001. 5 April 2004
Klein, Chuck. “What the Second Amendment Says.” The Cincinnati Enquirer 28 March 2001: B7. 5 April 2004
Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 2.0. 2000. 1 April 2004
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Americans Have the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Our rights as Americans started to take shape when the Constitution of the United States was drawn up by the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Three years later, a very important part of American history called the Bill of Rights was added. The Bill of Rights is looked upon and interpreted every day. It gives the citizens of the United States many of the rights and freedoms that we value today, and some of those are in jeopardy.... [tags: Constitutional Rights Weapons Essays]
1559 words (4.5 pages)
- The origin of the right to keep and bear arms all started with the culture of having guns, then events that brought fear among people, then valid arguments for the need of arms. This explains the historical origin of the second amendment's protection to keep and bear arms. Americans at first had the culture of carrying arms with them for normal life purposes; that is protection, maintaining order in the society, and hunting for food. As time went by in their new settlement areas in America, conflicts developed, and they had to have arms for protection against invasion.... [tags: Bill of Rights, American Government, Bear Arms]
1069 words (3.1 pages)
- “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”(understand) comes from the United States constitution. It has for the last decade or so been a topic of an ongoing debate between the people of this nation. It all depends on how you interpret the 27 words. Most people believe that it gives United States citizens the right to bear arms. The constitution is the supreme law of our land. It was made to be are foundation and source of legal authority.... [tags: Constituton Bill Rights Right To Bear Arms]
1154 words (3.3 pages)
- The United States Constitution says that U.S. Citizens have the right to bear arms. Even though this guarantee was written with no constraints, there are now laws that limit certain aspects of gun ownership. The reasons for gun control fall under the flag of public safety. Though there are many safety reasons why private ownership of firearms should be banned, these arguments are outweighed not only by the need for protection, but because the limitation of ownership rights could become dangerous to personal freedom.... [tags: 2nd Amendment Constitution The Right To Bear Arms]
2373 words (6.8 pages)
- The Second Amendment And The Right To Bear Arms Throughout the years there has been an ongoing debate over the Second Amendment and how it should be interpreted. The issue that is being debated is whether our government has the right to regulate guns. The answer of who has which rights lies within how one interprets the Second Amendment. With this being the case, one must also think about what circumstances the Framers were under when this Amendment was written. There are two major sides to this debate, one being the collective side, which feels that the right was given for collective purposes only.... [tags: Gun Bear Arms Control Essays Debate]
2184 words (6.2 pages)
- “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.” These words have become forgotten as individuals, former member of the U.S. Supreme Court John Paul Stevens, attempt to strip away the individual aspect of the second amendment. Gun control is not effective as it has not been shown to actually reduce the number of gun-related crimes. However, if more Americans were to purchase a gun, be trained to use the gun, and carry the gun, gun violence would begin to decrease.... [tags: Guns, Laws, Ammendment]
813 words (2.3 pages)
- In recent years gun control has been a very hot topic. The Second Amendment, which was adopted on December 15, 1791 in the Bill of Rights, protected the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. Today that right is being tested by the government who plans to tighten its grips on gun control in America. Should or right to protect ourselves be infringed upon. That’s debatable. Guns play a major role in many criminal acts we see on the news in today’s society. We hear about accidental shootings, gang shooting, mass shootings in public places, and even shootings in the work place.... [tags: guns, right, crimes]
675 words (1.9 pages)
- Even though uninformed people think that if there were no firearms then there wouldn't be any violent crime, firearms are an essential right of the American people because if guns were taken away the government would totally control us and without firearms we are defenseless. There are those people that think that if there were no firearms then there wouldn't be any violent crimes. In 2011 there were close to 33,000 Americans that were victims of gun-related deaths. According Brady campaign an average of 268 people are shot every day; in America that is 97,820 people a year.... [tags: gun related deaths, firearm control]
1259 words (3.6 pages)
- The Right to Keep and Bear Arms The right to keep and bear arms was considered a fundamental, individual right in the original 13 colonies from the pre-Revolutionary period through the ratification of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution in 1791. The Amendment states: 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. The right to keep and bear arms has been a topic of extreme controversy in this century and can be argued equally from both sides.... [tags: Papers]
1197 words (3.4 pages)
- We All Have a Right to Bear Arms The preamble of the United States Constitution clearly states its objective: to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity The bill of rights is the set of amendments to the constitution intended to secure these objectives for the individual citizens of the United States. The second amendment states: 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.... [tags: Constituton Bill Rights Right To Bear Arms]
1428 words (4.1 pages)