The Second Amendment in the United States Constitution under the Bill of Rights states that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. This is an individuals right to own a firearm that is unrelated to serving in a militia. There are basically two camps that one can prescribe to in this debate. One being that it is in fact our right to own firearms and should be allowed, the other being that it is not ok for citizens to own firearms.
Scholars that debate that private ownership of firearms is wrong, believe that the founding fathers, when constructing the Amendments, were trying to place the power in the hands of a democratic government rather than a mob of anarchists. They also believe that U.S Citizens would be safer, from each other, if access to firearms were either restricted or forbidden.
Scholars from the other camp simply say the founding fathers believed in the right of citizens to arm themselves for the purpose of insurrection. Because we must remember the times in which this was being written. Americans were revolting, and an insurrection was obviously occurring. Also, the founders intended for citizens to be able to protect themselves, regardless of whom it is from. This would fall in line with the right to pursue happiness. Which if you live in fear of anything, is impossible.
Now there are truths to be found in both camps, and problems to be found as well. But regardless of the various ways we can read into the text, there is only one thing we need to be concerned with. That is right of the individual, and what may intrude upon or defile that right.
There are various individual rights that are covered under the Bill of Rights, which is made up of the initial ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These guarantee personal freedoms, restrict the governments overall power, and give some power to individual states. This is all with the idea of protecting an individual’s natural right to both liberty and property.
So regardless of the interpretations, all we should focus on is what keeps and uphold these individual rights. As that is what lies at the heart of America, that every American has the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. This last part is often misunderstood, it’s not that happiness is guaranteed, but you have the right to pursue it. What we are guaranteed is the right to both liberty and property. To be guaranteed that right, we have to able to protect those things ourselves, and should not have to rely on a third party for its protection.
So it’s not to be said that in our democratic society, if we don’t agree with how the government runs things we should go out and start shooting things up. But let’s say the government starts to enforce changes that are not agreed upon, or forces the citizens hands in some manner. Well at some point, talking doesn’t work, and forceful action must be taken. Now, without the right to bear arms, there is no way to force any change if need be.
The right to bear arms, in general, keeps our government in check. Yes it’s useful to protect ourselves from each other, and if a foreign power invades us, but most importantly, it’s to protect ourselves from a government, which has become corrupt and forceful with the power the citizens has bestowed upon it. If we had no means to take back the power bestowed, than the government has free reign to do as it pleases. That, by definition, is what our forefathers wanted to avoid. Unchecked power, as we well know, was what they were fighting against at the time.
The author, Damien S. Wilhelmi, is an internet marketing guru and a White Hat SEO sniper, fighting against evil black hat tactics. I am writing for the Phil Clark Law office in regards to criminal lawyers.