The Great Second Amendment Debate

The second amendment protects and establishes the right of civilians to bear firearms for the purpose of forming well-regulated militias if ever necessary. This amendment is apart of the bill of rights and has been a highly controversial topic since its final ratification in 1971. The bill of rights is a collective of the first ten additions to our constitution, instilled as terms of the Federalist/Anti-federalist compromise to ensure more stability than the Articles of Confederation. During the days of the late 1700’s farmer majority militias were the closest organizations we had compared to the English and French multi-branch militaries. Young America’s volunteer soldiers’ use of highly unregulated guerilla warfare is credited to being the military advantage in gaining full independence. So a bill accommodating that right was agreed upon entirely with no consideration of detailed description of what exactly was the privileges or limitations of the individual. Additionally, a high range musket or artillery was the most impressive wartime machinery, future technologies such as personal explosives, or high-powered automatic firearms were, arguably not conceivable.

Up until the late 1960’s the second amendment was a state’s choice to enforce, regulate, and interpret. A legal case over the issue finally reached the Supreme Court, finalizing the national ratification of the bill in 1971. In more modern times we often debate the extent of the second amendment’s authority and if it’s presence is still needed. Texas is a rarity on the matter contradicting the majority of state’s opinions, requiring less verification or regulations. Although “open carry” laws are gaining more support of recent. The two opposing sides often lean towards different portions of a very vague couple of sentences. The logical arguments call for stricter pre-screening measures to be instituted, rebutted by the ease of acquiring false papers or black market weaponry. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that handgun possession is a fundamental right, the same importance of the freedom of speech or trial by jury. Among the final decision, it was established that there is no legal proof strict firearm laws will by any means decrease the amount of gun related crimes or deaths. Personally, I believe if we change or abolish the second amendment then it justifies and sets the expectation that any privilege provided by the bill of rights can be taken away or changed. At that moment the constitution that our entire social contract is engraved in would have far less significance or credibility.

Word Count: 403

Works cited:

History notes provided by class

The Great Second Amendment Debate

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