The right to bear arms isn’t necessarily a grizzly bear with an AR-15. The right to bear arms is defined in the second amendment which 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.” Throughout the years, especially in modern time the rights defined in the second amendment have been debated thoroughly. Some feel that they require revisions to suit modern society however with this informative article you may see why it’s important that we defend our right to bear arms. In order for this piece to be informative however it constitutes some history and background to be mentioned about this specific amendment.
The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 to be included in the Bill of rights. James Madison a member of the Democratic-Republican Party drafted the outline of the second amendment. A primary reasoning that led to the forging of the Second amendment was when British soldiers massacred armed colonist on Lexington Green during the start of the American revolution. If you are left wondering “What exactly is the importance of the second amendment?” The second amendment gives and or protects a few different rights. For example, we are given the right to create a militia as a form of protection. For those of you who are unaware of what a militia is they are an alliance of citizens made to protect themselves and other’s rights and security. One such example of a reasonable formation of a militia would be if a foreign or domestic series of attacks occur in which our government will not protect us. The formation of a militia cannot be forged unless they are armed with artillery in which they can defend themselves hence the right to ‘bear arms’.
A well-known landmark court case that ties directly to the second amendment is that of The District of Colombia vs. Heller. Background of this case begins when the City wanted to reduce violence therefore they passed the Firearms Control Regulations Act in 1975 which essentially banned personal right to gun ownership in the District of Colombia. Although most average citizens were not allowed to have handguns in their home the city made occasional acceptations for people such as police officers and security guards who have professional training with handguns. Now on top of the handgun ban they also required that if a citizen were to have and firearms in their home they must have a license and either keep their weapons disassembled or trigger locked. So, with the background covered behind this case we can face the actual debate. Dick Heller who was a police officer could carry a handgun with him when he was at work. Heller who wished to keep the handgun in his home after hours for protection then applied for a license, so he could. Although Heller was a police officer and certainly one qualified to own a handgun the district of Colombia unfortunately turned down his application. Distressed and disappointed Heller took legal action against the district of Colombia and sued them claiming that they had violated his second amendment rights. The District Court ruled in the District of Colombia’s favor feeling that the second amendment did not justify an individual’s personal right of gun ownership. The court of Appeals found however that they agreed with Heller’s point of view that the second amendment does guarantee a being’s personal right to gun ownership therefore reversing the lower court’s conclusion.
There have been many cases regarding people and their second amendment rights and although not quite as large as District of Colombia vs. Heller still significant. One such example would be that of Caetano v. Massachusetts. Although this case does not specifically regard firearms it has to do with self-defense weapons. To give a smooth summary it is a case from 2016. A Massachusetts woman who carried a stun gun for self-defense case found her unanimously vacated By the Supreme Court. Many will question the necessity for citizens to have the right to bear arms, but it is truly the only way they can keep their government in check and always be ready to defend themselves and others from the unknown.
With all the information and history laid out in front of you hopefully you can see, the second amendment is clearly a very important one what protects and guarantees our rights to freedom, fortification and liberty. Sometimes the best things must be fought for. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”
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