Second Amendment History – Interpretation Errors

Second Amendment history is always a hotly debated issue. Interpretations of The Right to Bear Arms is a fluid topic. The answer is not as easy as “shall not be infringed”. Many questions remain and no decision is ever final. To understand the Second Amendment requires a brief study of the facts and fiction about something unique to the USA.

Summary of Second Amendment History

It was James Madison who suggested the Second Amendment as we know it today. Known as the Father of the Bill of Rights, a close and personal confidant of George Washington and eventually the President of the USA. The war of 1812 led President Madison to push for a much stronger military and militia. Some use these facts to argue that Madison’s use of the word “militia”, as used in the Second Amendment, referred to a strong National Guard.

“Well Regulated Militia”

The language of Second Amendment history is used to argue that this amendment was not meant to give each and every citizen the right to own a firearm. Certainly not the right to concealed carry or the right to own military style weapons. Some argue that the “shall not be infringed” specifically refers to the right of the states to maintain a Militia or, in more modern terms, a National Guard.

Citizen’s Rights

Others argue that the language of the Second Amendment history focuses on the context in which it was written. We must remember that Madison, Jefferson, Washington, and the rest, all risked their lives in the founding of the greatest nation on earth. It was a time where their stance against England, was in direct rebellion against the most powerful nation on earth at that time. It was a death wish for all Founding Fathers. Considering this fact, it is logical to argue that the Second Amendment language was directed at empowering each and every American Citizen. That empowerment to “bear arms” was meant to resist and repel an oppressive government, even their own.

An Evolving Issue with High Stakes

Your right to bear arms is a unique American right. Few people on earth, outside of the USA, enjoy such a freedom with so few infringements. The decision on whether you can own a firearm or not is never finalized. It is constantly evolving and always at risk. A few Supreme Court cases illustrate just how delicately your right to defend yourself with a firearm hangs in the balance.

The Heller case is one of the most notable.  And this research study where researchers showed a direct correlation between mass shootings and the increase in gun legislation. Read more about gun legislation and how to guard your security, sovereignty, and safety at the NAGS Blog.