As anger continues to beget violence here in the U.S. and across the world, the debate over who should be allowed to own guns rages. Many Americans value their Second Amendment right to purchase and own guns. Others believe that an overall dismissal of the Second Amendment would end random acts of violence that can come with the misuse of gun ownership. To understand the conflicting arguments over the Second Amendment, we must understand why this part of the Bill of Rights was deemed important enough to be the number two hot topic issue, added with the other nine and ratified on 1791, three years after the constitution itself was ratified.
Right after assuring the basic individual rights of freedom of speech and religion in the First Amendment, the founding fathers made it abundantly clear that the people of America needed to be able to have access to arms in order to form well-regulated militia. Just years prior, American citizens, then actually British subjects, had faced and won a war against the rightful government of the time. The people had considered their governance to be unjust because of laws set into place by a tyrannical power with no interest in the common American citizen. In the case that this kind of tyranny ever rose again, whether by internal or foreign powers, or even by the federal government itself, the people who wrote the Second Amendment of the Constitution wanted the states and citizens of this country to be endowed with the right to arm themselves.
With the wording used by the authors of the bill of rights, any kind of approach to revise the Second Amendment may come down to an all or nothing stance as well. By saying that Americans should be able to form a “well-regulated militia” it implies that citizens should be able to arm themselves with military grade weapons. The last time a militia was needed, personal arms were used for combat. The guns brought in from soldiers leaving their houses to go to the Civil War was critical before the gun factories began churning. Militia and personal arms also played their part during the war of 1812, the Civil War, the Mexican-American war, and the Texas Revolution, all wars fought here on U.S. soil, both against internal and external threats.
While today the idea of a militia or well-armed people may seem more scary than patriotic, neither the majority of Second Amendment supporters nor gun owners are bad people. Many are patriots, who feel they are doing their nation a duty by being ready, should the need arise, as it has before, for a well-armed people. There are still tyrants in the world. Repealing the Second Amendment would just leave the average citizen unarmed, helpless in the case of an armed threat. Better guidelines could be set to keep guns out of people’s hands who should not possess them. But even then there will always be a supply when there is a market, and mistakes happen. There will always be both those responsible and irresponsible with the ownership of guns. The Second Amendment allows Americans to choose whether to exercise this right or not. Personally, I like the choice.