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For and Against The Second Amendment

For And Against

"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." Although only 27 words long, the 2nd amendment is a source for fiery debates and critical interpretation.

Sentiments and cultural background are deeply en-routed in an individuals interpretation of the 2nd amendment. There are two distinct interpretations in terms of the 2nd amendments "true meaning." One side (which is generally a more conservative stance) believes that the 2nd amendment directly offers an individual the right to bear arms for self defense and recreational purposes.

The countering side (generally more liberal, advocates for stricter gun control) believe the 2nd amendment is an archaic interpretation that revolves around the formations of militia. This side stresses that the militia has become obsolete with the formation of the US army, and that the right to bear arms no longer applies. There is a median interpretation present, referred to as the "common sense stance." This following attempts to regulate handguns more stringently and uphold the use of recreational firearms such as shotguns or rifles. For clarity's sake we will divide the two sides, eliminate the median, and detail such arguments.

Those who interpret the 2nd amendment as a militia's right

Interpretation of the 2nd amendment revolves only around the formation of militia. Since the constitution was written over 200 years ago thoughts and stances are bound to change. Back then, militias were essential for the formation of our country. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state."

America didn't have an organized and powerful army like we do today, so regular citizens were forced to arm themselves and protect their rights. Hunting was also a means for survival during revolutionary times-without guns many settlers would have starved to death. Guns were an important aspect of life during those times, but the world has greatly changed. We do not need to rely on guns to protect ourselves from a controlling monarchy or as a means to feed ourselves.
The 2nd amendment also specifically states uses words such as "militia", "security of a free state", and then mentions "right of the people"-there is no mention of an individuals right to bear arms. It is interpreted as the "right of the people" within the militia have a freedom to bear arms.

Those who interpret the 2nd amendment as an individual right

The 2nd amendment can be found in the bill of rights. These 10 amendments in the constitution all pertain to individual rights so why wouldn't this particular one do the same? The 2nd amendment helps protect the freedoms found in the other 9 amendments and that is the basis, meaning, and interpretation. Every citizen has the right to protect his/her property, family, or loved ones. Every citizen also has a right to protect oneself from government tyranny. Stripping the right to bear arms from individuals creates a vulnerable and defenseless society.

More than two centuries later the 2nd amendment has still not been interpreted exactly. Meaning simply depends on what side of the gun control debate you're on.

NEXT: Political Standpoints At A Glance

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