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The Second Amendment Paper - Essay Example

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Anel Villegas English 13 Instructor name Date The Second Amendment The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a short one sentence statement that explains citizen’s right to possess armaments. The short and seemingly simple, easy to understand sentence has been the subject of heated debates throughout the nations’ history…
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Download file to see previous pages When read in context, the Amendment plainly states that the right of the people to bear arms is necessary only as it relates to keeping a militia, which every state has; the National Guard. The phrasing of the Second Amendment was carefully crafted by the Founders. There is no ambiguity but many purposely forget to include the first part which is separated by a comma, not a period which makes all the difference when interpreting the Founder’s intention. The word “gun” is not found anywhere in the Constitution. It refers only to “arms.” Does this indicate American citizens have the right to keep and bear chemical or nuclear arms? The subject of gun control is contentious and there is legitimate Constitutional debate to be had. It would be helpful, however, if both sides would rise above the emotional aspect surrounding the issue. In the opinion of persons opposed to gun control, the right for citizens to own arms was of utmost importance to those who authored the Constitution as evidenced by the fact it is second only to the freedom of speech, the press and religion listed in the First Amendment. The Founders well understood that by legally mandating the authority to own armaments, the nation’s citizens would have the capacity to defend themselves from anything that might jeopardize their life, liberty or pursuit of happiness. These dangers include personal protection from people and animals or, more importantly, from a tyrannical government that threatened to take away the freedoms written in the Constitution. “The Second Amendment reflects the founders’ belief that an armed citizenry, called the ‘general militia’ was a necessary precaution against tyranny by our own government and its army. The idea that government has a constitutional right to disarm the general citizenry is totally foreign to the intent of the Constitution’s framers” (Reynolds & Caruth III, 1992). In the case District of Columbia v. Heller the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects a wholly individual right, just as the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments do. “Nowhere else in the Constitution does a ‘right’ attributed to ‘the people’ refer to anything other than an individual right,” the court said. “The term ‘the people’ unambiguously refers to all members of the community.”  (NRA, 2008) Constitutional scholar Stephen Halbrook has observed that no evidence exists that any person connected with drafting, deliberating or ratifying the Second Amendment considered it to safeguard anything other than an individual rights. Those that advocate at least some type of gun control use empirical evidence to support their position. It is not true that more guns equals less gun violence as some firearm enthusiasts often claim. Homicide rates are tied to the ease of access to guns. According to the Center for Disease Control, during 2006 through 2007, 25,423 homicides occurred in the U.S. by gunfire. Approximately 65 percent of all murders in the U.S involve a gun. (Reinberg, 2011). Guns kept in the home are much more likely to injure or kill an unintended person than an intruder. All too often, that unintended person is a child. If the gun owner does not have the adequate training or confidence necessary to use the weapon effectively, it could still be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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