The Second Amendment, When it was written – why – and how relevant it is to today’s discussion on guns

We believe facts and common sense are the only true middle. We also believe in getting to the point fast because we know you have limited time.

What’s in this post

  1. The Second Amendment Text
  2. When and Why the 2nd Amendment was Passed
  3. The Center of the Debate
  4. Common Sense
  5. What we Can Do
  6. Summary of Supreme Court Rulings 

The full text of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads “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.”

The Second Amendment was:

  • Adopted on December 15, 1791, 
  • After the Constitutional Convention gave the federal government the power to establish an army in peacetime, 
  • Passed during a time when governments used their army’s to oppress the people.

The Debate is centered around:

  1. Whether the Second Amendment protects the rights of private individuals to keep and bear arms, or a collective right that should be exercised only through formal groups, such as the national guard.

If you believe the Second Amendment applies to individuals

  1. What private individuals should be restricted from purchasing a weapon.
  2. What sales channels make guns available to the individuals who have been identified as unfit to own a weapon such as people suffering from mental illness or with a criminal record.
  3. What weapons should be banned from any public sale and use.

Let’s talk common sense.

  1. We don’t live in Syria, Venezuela… We aren’t fired upon during protests or jailed for having a negative opinion about our leaders.
  2. If you don’t live in Alaska where you’re at risk of being attacked by a Polar Bear you don’t need to carry a weapon outside of your home or land.
  3. Want to go to the shooting range? Pay a monthly membership and try a different gun each time you go. 
  4. Want a weapon in your household for protection? Have an RFID chip on the gun and iBeacons put in your home to monitor the weapon’s location and be prepared to go to prison if the weapon leaves the property.
  5. Want to go hunting for sport? Rent a weapon on the grounds and return it before you leave. 
  6. If you want to own a weapon, do it responsibly. It’s not an all or none situation. Be respectful of the 60% that don’t own weapons and the millions of families who are victims of the violent crimes committed with guns each year.

It’s not 1791 and it’s ridiculous to use laws created for a very different country as an excuse to carry a weapon outside of your home or your land. 

This is not a debate about rights, it’s a debate about safety and money. Safety for the 60% of people and 100% of children that do not carry weapons and the money that is made when guns can be bought and sold in large volumes without extensive – or any – background checks.

What can we do if we want to really make an impact?

  • Boycott the companies that still sell guns and equipment to modify guns including Walmart and Cabelas. We are working on this piece to help guide you on how to vote with your $.
  • Boycott the convention halls and hotels that host gun shows. We are also working on this piece to help guide you on how you can vote with your $.
  • Vote the corrupt politicians out of office. I know this sounds hard, because they are really elected by contributors and the NRA is a big political contributor. But, we can vote with our $ by not supporting corporations that contribute to unethical “public servants”. We are working on a piece now that follows the gun money to candidates running for every seat in Congress, Senate, as well as Governors and Mayors. If we stop spending, they will pay attention. 

If you want to learn a little more, here’s a history of Court Rulings

  • In the 1886 in Presser v. Illinois, the Court held that the Second Amendment applied only to the federal government, and did not prohibit state governments from regulating an individual’s ownership or use of guns.
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated a federal law barring nearly all civilians from possessing guns in the District of Columbia, the Supreme Court extended Second Amendment protection to individuals in federal (non-state) enclaves. In the Heller decision, the Court also suggested a list of “presumptively lawful” regulations, including bans on possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill; bans on carrying arms in schools and government buildings; restrictions on gun sales; bans on the concealed carrying of weapons; and generally bans on weapons “not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”
  • In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court struck down a similar citywide handgun ban, ruling that the Second Amendment applies to the states as well as to the federal government.

Have someone or something you want to report or something you think we’ve missed? Contact Us

Here is a list of the sources used for this story
Bill of Rights, The Oxford Guide to the United States Government.
Amendment II, National Constitution Center
Second Amendment, Legal Information Institute

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