The 2nd Amendment
With the topic of gun control comes a widely split crowd. There are those that believe that gun control in necessary for decreasing crime and making a nation a safer place to live. And on the other end of the spectrum, they are those that speak of how anti-gun control is what would make our nation a safer place to live. After all, “Would a person be as likely to break into another families home knowing that the family has means of personal protection?” (Warren 308). “Most everyone will agree that felons, addicts, morons, juveniles, alcoholics, the mentally incompetent, and others in whose hands even an ice pick or a baseball bat becomes a deadly weapon, should be denied a gun.” (Selib 202) However, what about those individuals that are law abiding citizens? Does the Government have the right to make something illegal, such as the right to bear arms, after allowing the citizens to poses personal protection after all these years? They cannot, it would be infringing upon the right that our four fathers gave to this nation, making us the free country that we are today.
Beyond people’s individual beliefs on whether gun control should be enforced or not, is a constitution that gives each person the right to bear arms, and a Bill of Rights to re-enforce that those rights belong to the individual. The second amendment reads, “ The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” (Berkin, Miller, Cherny, Gormly A-19) Contrary to how one may feel on the issue of gun control, the second amendment allow each of us to choose if owning a firearm is right for them. Many people argue that the meaning of the second amendment has been manipulated and that “well regulated” stood to mean “controlled” or “governed by rule.” In a since, believing that military and common defense organizations are the only ones that should be able to bear arms. This is simply not true. “During the period in which the second amendment was written, “regulated” was defined as ‘properly disciplined’”(Gardiner) The creators of this amendment believed that those choosing to exercise their right to bear arms needed to be trained, and become experienced and competent in their usage.
What is the Bill of Rights? The Rights of the individual, what we, the people, are allowed to do under these broad Amendment “laws.” Let us take a look back at how the Bill of Rights comes into play with the second amendment. In 1689 the English Bill of Rights was passed, by Parliament in response to King James II trying to disarm his subjects. The English Bill of Rights allowed people to be armed “suitable to their conditions” and “allowed by law.” This right was then transferred to the American colonies, and after the American Revolution, our Bill of Rights of 1791, further strengthened the second amendment claim of the people’s right to bear arms, with the words “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The Bill of Rights limits the power of the federal government. How does it do this? How about an example? Can the federal government establish a federal religion that all must follow and have faith in? Most definitely not, the first amendment prohibits this from happening. The first amendment says, in part, “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion.” Thus the “Bill of Rights” forbids the federal government in the establishment of a federal religion. If the government cannot establish a federal religion, how can it establish gun control? It cannot, the second amendment forbids it, just like the first amendment forbids a federal religion.
Religion, like gun control, is a topic that can start up a great controversy. People believe that they have the right to believe in whatever they choose. If you are of the Catholic religion, and have been of this faith your entire life, how happy would you be to adjusting to a new faith and losing your own? You could no longer be Catholic; you had to be Baptist? How would you feel? You would probably be resentful, confused, hurt, and full of many other emotions. Luckily, this is America and by living in this nation you are free to practice the faith of your choice, without ever having the government try to regulate it or take it from you. Your rights are protected and regardless of whether your neighbor agrees with your personal religious choice, you can have faith in whatever you choose.
The issue of gun control is along the same lines as religion. We, the people, were granted the right to bear arms and protect ourselves. This has been our right for a numerous amount of years. Guns are used for variety of reason, and it is up the individual to use them properly. Many choose to hunt for food to feed their families, while others might simply enjoy their uniqueness and be an avid collector. Whatever the reason maybe, people have the right to own firearms and it should not be taken from them.