Gun Control and the Second Amendment
Since the creation of the second amendment there has been controversy over the amendment’s purpose and the severity of gun control laws. Recently in the United States, this issue has escalated to an entirely new level due to several violent shootings at schools and other public venues. In an attempt to prevent more violence, the government has proposed several gun restriction laws; however, these proposals will have a negative effect on the security of the United States.
Since 1776, American citizens have possessed the right to privately own weapons because of the Second Amendment. Even before the official ratification of this amendment, the American people raised arms against tyranny and fought for their freedom in the American Revolution. During the mid-1700’s the British Parliament began to exploit the American colonies by passing unfair taxes such as the Stamp Act and Sugar Act causing indignant rebellions from the American people. The oppression from Britain induced a sense of national identity within the colonies and a desire for independence followed shortly there after. In order to win their independence, the American citizens gathered up their weapons, created a militia, and began fighting against British tyranny. After 8 years of fighting, the British surrendered and as a result, the United States of America became it’s own free nation.
After the United States won their freedom, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created by the government to protect the freedoms and unalienable rights of the American citizens. After experiencing a vicious war against a totalitarian government, the American government added the second amendment to the Bill of Rights to prevent similar situations from occurring. The newly created amendment 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”. In simpler terms, this amendment assures that American citizens will be able to protect themselves from any corrupt or tyrannical government since they have the freedom to have their own weapons. This amendment is undoubtedly the most important in the Bill of Rights because the second amendment gives American’s the freedom to fight whenever their other rights have been infringed upon. The United States was founded on the ideal that the federal government would have limited power over its citizens; if the government infringes upon that ideal, as the British Parliament did, the citizens can rely on their right to bear arms in the face of autocracy for defense.
The Second Amendment has played a key role in American history, yet some American citizens strongly believe that the amendment is no longer a necessity to the United States, when in fact those citizens do not understand the purpose that the amendment serves. Those specific citizens believe that since the second amendment states “A well regulated Militia” is necessary to the security of the country, groups controlled by the federal government such as the National Guard should only have the right to own guns. When the second amendment was originally written, the meaning of a militia had a much different meaning then it does today, which has caused several misinterpretations of the amendment’s purpose. During the American Revolution, a militia was defined as “ the people themselves...composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals” by Richard Henry Lee, a member of the first American senate. However, a popular present-day belief that a “militia” refers to a military unit created by the government has produced debates regarding the detailed rights stated in the second amendment. Disproving this belief simply comes down to common sense; it is impossible for a militia to be controlled by the federal government due to the fact that militia’s are formed to fight...
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