What the Second Amendment means to me
As with all liberties that we as Americans enjoy, there is much debate on both sides of the topic. The right to bear arms is no exception. There are many valid and legitimate arguments on both sides concerning the right to bear arms. As with any debate, people are passionate on either side of the debate. In my experience and opinion, people in such situations can tend to lose sight of all the exact details when they become extremely passionate about something. So, I would like to offer my opinion on the details of the debate of the right to bear arms.
I think one of the core differences is the interpretation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment reads as follows: “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.” Many organizations, such as the National Rifle Association, (N.R.A.), and individuals as well, argue that this gives all Americans the right to carry and possess their shotguns and hunting rifles and any type of gun they choose. However, that is not how I interpret the Second Amendment.
If one takes into consideration the events surrounding the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, there is a much different core message that I believe was the true intent to the Second Amendment. At the time of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, our founding fathers had just come out of a state of tyranny. With the drafting of the Second Amendment they were trying to ensure that “We the People” never had to endure such a state again. Therefore, in my opinion, the Second Amendment does not give Americans the right to bear shotguns and hunting rifles for hunting purposes, as most would argue.
What it does provide us with however, in my opinion, is the right to bear any weapon that our U.S. Government has the right to bear, such as assault rifles, F-15 fighter jets, and/or M5 Tanks. The purpose being that if “We the People” felt that our government was out of control, “We the People” could regain control of our country. However, if you read the Second Amendment closely, in my opinion, it does not grant this right to just anyone. This right is only granted to those that would be capable and qualified of serving in a militia “for the people.” Therefore, the Second Amendment does require a degree of responsibility to determine who is capable and qualified to possess such weapons. It does not allow for a right to ban such weapons altogether. With that being said, I think we have a responsibility to maintain a level of discrepancy on who is and who is not allowed to possess and bear such arms. Aptitude tests, physicals, and mental stability tests, in my opinion, would be a much more responsible and effective way of maintaining control of such weapons and upholding a degree of responsibility in dispersing such weapons to the public. A testing process very similar to what one may go through to enter the military, would be a very responsible way of determining who is and who is not capable and qualified to possess such weapons.
As for other weapons, such as shotguns and hunting rifles used for hunting purposes, and handguns used for home protection, it is my opinion that such weapons are not covered under the protection of the Second Amendment. However, I do believe that there should be some type of amendment or law enacted to protect such rights as well as to ensure that proper responsibility is used in the discernment of such firearms.
As a footnote, I would like to add that this article is based solely on my own personal opinion and interpretation of things. I would also like to add that I do realize that there are many gun laws in effect and I do not attempt to argue any of those laws with this article. It is a simple attempt to display my point of view on the use of the Second Amendment to debate the right to bear arms. Furthermore, my point of view and opinion do not constitute any kind of legal advice and are not based on any type of legal standing.