2nd Amendment (Right to Bear Arms) - Research Paper Example

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Prior to the District of Columbia v. Heller decision by the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment had been the hot topic for debates among US law…
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2nd Amendment (Right to Bear Arms)
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The 2nd Amendment: Right to Bear Arms The 2nd Amendment: Right to Bear Arms The Amendment II to the US constitution made changes to the US Bills of Rights which protects people’s right to keep and bear arms. Prior to the District of Columbia v. Heller decision by the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment had been the hot topic for debates among US law professionals because the Amendment II was vague in itself. In 2008, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision regarding the 2nd Amendment. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that an individual’s right to bear a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment. The Court ruling also says that an individual can use firearms for ‘traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home’ (FindLaw, n.d.). The Amendment II as passed by the Congress states that “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” (cited in Young, 2007, p.222).
Historical context
The Second Amendment came into effect in the second half of the 20th century. As described in a web document (‘Constitutional Topic: The Second Amendment’, n.d.), gun control advocates perceived the Amendment in another way referring to the mounting level of violence in the society and the role played by firearms in those issues; and in contrast to this view, firearm enthusiasts claimed that the opponents’ arguments are against people’s freedom and hence they interpreted the 2nd Amendment just as fiercely. Evidently, some phrases in the Second Amendment paved the way for a series of debates. The English Bill of Rights 1689 has greatly influenced the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. The right to have arms has been considered as one of the fundamental natural right throughout the English history. In District Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court makes reference to the English rights concerning the possession of arms by individuals.
Social aspects
The growing threat of terrorism in Western countries, particularly in the United States, justifies the Second Amendment. Since US is considered to be prone to terror attacks since the 9/11, this Amendment would raise the level of security of US people. Referring to the increasing rates of crimes in the country including robbery, kidnapping, and sexual assaults, this Amendment would help people to be more self-defensive. However, some law professionals do not support Amendment II arguing that this would worsen the gun crimes in the country.
As stated in some documents (‘The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution…’), the Amendment II is likely to improve the US people’s level of safety as the Amendment enables them to use firearms for self-defensive purposes. One of the major reasons behind the Second Amendment to the US Constitution was to prevent tyranny. Finally, US regulators believe that this change would assist the country to reduce the threat of terrorism to some extent.
According to the US President Barack Obama (as cited in Velleco 2009), the Second Amendment may impinge the Federal government’s efforts to curb the gang and gun violence in the country (GOA). In addition, possession of firearms by youngsters is more likely to result in physical injuries and homicides as they are highly prone to temptations.
Constitutional Topic: The Second Amendment. US Constitution. Retrieved from
FindLaw. (n. d.). Second Amendment - Bearing Arms. Retrieved from
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution Guarantees an Individual Right To Keep and Bear Arms. United States Senate, 97th Cong., 2d Sess., The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 83-109 (1982). Retrieved from
Velleco, J. (2009). President Obama Continues Assault on the Second Amendment. GOA. Retrieved from
Young, D. E. (2007). The Founders View On The Right To Bear Arms: A Definitive History of the Second Amendment. US: Golden Oak Books. Read More
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