The Second Amendment has proven to be one of the most controversial parts of the Bill of Rights to date. From concealed carry to gun control, questions and hell raisers often surface over gun control, gun laws and what the Founding Fathers of our nation actually meant when drawing up the Constitution. For this reason, we have created a little history lesson over the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment, as well as a modern day perspective on the matter.
A History: The Bill of Rights
The most meaningful part of the U.S. Constitution, for the people, is the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution in 1791 to protect individuals from potentially dangerous central and state governments, and to prevent the people’s enslavement to the government. Scholars agree that the Constitution may not have been ratified had Americans not been assured that these ten amendments would be added to both check the power of the government, and to guarantee their individual liberties.
The Bill of Rights was written to protect individuals’ most basic rights from tyrannical rule.
The Revolutionary War undoubtedly helped the Founding Fathers in recognizing the necessity of firearms, which was, in fact, the basic right of the common Englishman. English [British] laws required that men practice using firearms should they ever be called to defend their nation, regardless if they owned a firearm or not.
When their distant English government imposed taxes without representation on the newly formed nation, that is America, colonists wanted to fight for the right to form their own government, but were denied their basic rights to carry firearms, even though they were Englishmen.
“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
Co-author of the Second Amendment
Eventually, with an armed citizenry, the colonies were successful in fighting for their own government. The Founding Fathers saw through this success that keeping military power under civilian control by allowing private citizens to keep arms was necessary, should this course of action take place again.
via Voice of America
The Second Amendment
“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 Second Amendment, in addition to the other nine amendments, was designed to ensure that individuals retained the right and means to defend themselves against any illegitimate attempt to do them harm or violate their trust under the eyes of the law. This amendment was meant to guarantee individuals the right to protect themselves against the government, as much as against bad guys.
However, that does not go without saying – The Founding Fathers did in fact regulate firearms in early America.
The ‘right to bear arms’ carries with it an enormous burden and responsibility, and the Founders knew that. While the average American had the ‘right to bear arms,’ the law did not legally require it, which exempted those who did not wish to have an obligation to carry arms, such as Quakers. For this reason, Militias were formed as tightly knit organizations to defend individual colonies, and were legally defined and regulated by those colonies. These militias were formed, in part, to defend people from parties acting as militias without legal authority, such as a gang.
Colonies kept track of who had guns, had the right to inspect them in private homes and could fine citizens for failing to report to a muster. Even during a time when skills with a firearm were expected, the right to own a dangerous weapon was not without checks and controls. While the Founders were aware that enabling firearm protection was crucial, they were also aware that regulations were to protect the people against sociopaths who would not respect this right.
via NY Daily News
“The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.”
Third President of the United States
While it is important for gun ownership to be regulated, i.e.:
- Gun training
- Written test
- Practical test
- Health requirements
- Liability insurance
the area that gets tricky is full gun registration. Lest we forget the Holocaust, one of the most modern massacres, when Nazi Germany abused gun control to disarm their society.
That same year, the Nazis, led by Hitler, seized power over the Weimar Republic, who established gun registration, and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews through mass search and seizure.
via National Review
Hence, the argument over gun control ensues as we try to avoid repeating certain aspects of history, while maintain our stance with the Constitution.
The Value of An Armed Citizen
What are your thoughts on the Second Amendment? Leave a comment below!
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