What The Second Amendment Really Meant To The Founders

from WaPo

Love it or hate it, the Second Amendment provides the constitutional framework for American gun laws. As with all things constitutional, Americans are adapting 18th-century laws to fit 21st-century lives. But in reality, the concerns of the Founding Fathers had little to do with either side’s position in the modern gun-control debate. None of the issues animating that debate — from “stand your ground” laws to assault weapons bans — entered into the Founders’ thinking.

Yet because both sides in debates about the Second Amendment invoke what the Founders would have thought, it’s important to look at what they actually intended.

More here.

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46 Responses to What The Second Amendment Really Meant To The Founders

  1. Mark Marino March 15, 2018 at 11:52 am #

    In present day, the controversy over whether or not the second amendment needs to be changed is certainly up for debate. There are 2 sides to the argument. One side says that the second amendment needs to be established for the carrying of weapons in order to form militias. At least, that was the sight of the forefathers. Problems the government is facing now is adapting an 18th century law to 21st century issues. When written, weapons were nowhere near the caliber they are at today. With automatic weapons that can fire 30 bullets in the matter of seconds is not the same weapon that took up to 45 seconds to reload. The accuracy of these weapons is astronomical. I read stories of snipers sniping the enemy by almost 2 miles away. That is truly a mind boggling feat. We must remember these are trained military men whose objective is to hunt and kill the enemy. These are not lay people who hunt as a hobby, therefore there is no need for Americans to own a weapon like this for their leisure use.
    In the late 1700’s, the United States was not as densely populated as it is now. With technology like planes, radar, and other communications, if the enemy is detected in a certain area, the military can react within hours. In the 1770s, it could be days before the US military could be alerted by a foreign invader. I believe the amendment has served its purpose for the time, allowing those to bear arms. I do not agree with the idea that Americans can own assault rifles and long range sniper rifles. There is not a need for that in today’s society. One form of a weapon I see suitable is the use of handguns for those to use in the midwest and less densely populated areas. Sometimes it could take law enforcement up to 20 minutes to reach a residence. In this case, a weapon of some sort will be suitable for those homeowners. These weapons are not meant to be in densely populated areas like New Jersey. At that point, the weapons are only meant for mass killings of innocent persons.
    With the rise of school shootings, drug trafficking, and other illegal acts, the gun debate will remain a hot topic. There are many loopholes when it comes to weapon laws. Sometimes, if one weapon is banned and you take off one piece of that weapon, it becomes legal. It is just that easy with the law. Background checks will also come into play when purchasing a weapon. There is no way for that background check to analyze a person’s mental state due to other laws such as HIPPA. There has to be a way to eliminate the dangers that come along with the Second Amendment. The only way to make change is to have a big enough voice that the government hears you and takes action based on what they hear. Until these laws change, we will face a gun problem in this country.

  2. Michael Polito March 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

    In our society right now the most important issue that is being discussed is gun control. It has always been a big topic that has been a problem, but the debates have amped up after the recent school shooting that happened in Parkland Florida. This has brought up the discussion of what did our founding fathers really mean. The article I read made a good point in saying that the amendment was to regulate militias considering that in the 18th century that is how we defended our country. Everyone was required to be in the militia and so therefore everyone needed a gun. This was simply for the protection of our country, but now as society has progressed we have an army and now need to update the law on guns. Guns are becoming more and more of a problem as time goes on. The laws are antiquated for our time and need to be reconstructed to fix the problem that we are having.
    Currently nothing is working in our gun control efforts. It is becoming too easy to obtain a weapon, either through a gun store or illegally. There are too many guns on the street and too many people getting hurt because of them. In the US it is legal to buy an assault rifle a gun that is used in the military. That is a weapon that only a soldier at war should have and use. There is no reason that a citizen should have a weapon that is used in wars. They are completely unnecessary and can cause more harm than they can do good. Military grade weapons should not be in neighborhoods. Some may argue that the rifle is for home protection but again no one needs that powerful of a gun to protect their home unless they are in the middle of a war zone. Hand guns although they are still a gun they are safer and less destructive than an assault rifle because of the less bullets it contains. Guns will never be taken away completely there will always be hand guns, but even those need to be regulated more. It seems like anyone can go into a gun store and purchase one for whatever reason they like and if they have a sketchy history they can still get one illegally. Something needs to be done about how and what people are getting their hands on these weapons. There have been too many tragedies recently and it doesn’t seem like anyone in Washington cares because nothing is being done. There have been too many innocent lives lost because of preventable gun violence. Getting rid of all guns will never happen and if it does it will not happen anytime soon, but a good first step would be getting rid of the owning of unnecessary assault rifles. They are essentially are useless because there is nothing you ca use them for. The smartest thing we can do is ban them, two of the las three deadly mass shooting have been with assault rifles. In those two shootings there are around 75 people that died. They are not needed in this society they only thing they cause is harm

  3. Jessica Williams March 16, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

    This article was very informative on clearing up the misunderstandings of the Second Amendment and its original purpose. Because the primary issue the founding fathers faced was a war against a government who would not recognize their own rights, it is understandable why they would stress the importance of forming a militia- to prevent a similar situation from arising in the new country.

    But as time goes on and the world continues to change, it is important that we reevaluate the 2nd amendment, not during the times of which it was written, but how it can be used to regulate gun issues today. People of all ages, from children to senior citizens are being massacred because of the lack of gun regulations, and society is starting to call the government to act. However, instead of forming militias, people are organizing protests and sharing their opinions online through social media. Instead of resorting to violence to solve the issues of the government, citizens of the United States are more likely to utilize their 1st amendment right to demand change, as opposed to the 2nd amendment.

    The article stated that the second amendment was to prevent the United States from needing a standing army. Currently, we already possess a standing army, which is under the command of the President of the United States, which means that forming a militia is no longer necessary, since it is the U.S. military that defends society as opposed to the average citizen. Previous attacks with weapons such as that of Parkland, Florida, were done by citizens who abused this amendment to purchase military-grade weapons, not to protect society, but to cause harm to it. The need to form a militia is no longer needed in current-day America, and purchasing weaponry designed to kill other individuals are needed even less, especially if it is for “self-defense.”

    While it is impossible to remove all guns throughout the United States, it is important that obtaining military-grade weapons become more difficult than it has been in the past, as it is capable of doing more harm than good. Assault rifles are literally used and created for warzones, therefore, if an individual obtains a weapon capable of such destruction, then it is likely not going to be used to defend his or herself, especially when it is known that not everyone else around him or her has armed themselves in a similar manner.

  4. Daniel Colasanto March 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm #

    One of the biggest issues if not the single biggest domestic issue in the United States currently is gun control. Citizens of our country are protesting to limit the accessibility of buying guns because of the series of mass shootings and terrorism in our country with guns that were bought legally in the U.S. Although the U.S Constitution protects our rights to own guns under the second amendment, many activists believe that there should be more in depth backgrounds checks and the elimination of the selling of assault weapons.
    In my opinion, I believe that citizens of our country should be allowed to buy guns. To hunt, practice, or protect themselves against government tyranny. However I also believe that there has been a huge increase in deaths due to gun violence over the past several decades. From school shootings to street crime, guns being sold legally and illegally are getting into the hands of people who should not be allowed to use them. But now after hearing this information, the next question should be, how can we make sure that everyone who has a gun is a responsible and competent person? Because I don’t believe taking away American’s guns are the solution to this problem.
    I don’t think that taking away our guns will solve anything but it will create more problems. I do agree with a part of the article when the author said that during the creation of the constitution the founding fathers were concerned that if the United States were to form a professional army that it would be difficult to have true freedom in the United States because if the government were to have a dispute with its citizens then they could just raise a fleet and attack an area of “unarmed and unorganized” people. Philosophically I agree with this statement. If the government wanted to keep civil control of a riot or revolution they could do this without much resistance. But what we to do about this? Are we going to also give American citizens tanks and helicopters to fight the strongest army and navy in the world? No. It’s just not possible, so in my opinion, why treat guns the same way. I honestly feel that buying a gun should have a in depth background check but also follow guidelines that are reasonable to someone who is competent and responsible, with no bias or discrimination on race or ethnicity. With that being said I think we are moving in the right direction with protecting Americans from more mass shootings and terrorism in the United States by people who bought guns legally.

  5. Daniel Kim March 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

    Currently, there is a nation-wide debate on gun control in the United States after the Parkland Shooting Incident. This time, the students who survived the shooting initiated a campaign to end gun violence in schools. However, there are those who feel threatened that the people who advocate for stricter gun control laws are trying to strip the proud patriots of their second amendment rights. The gun control debate always sparked fierce responses from different sides and this time is no different. Also, in the past school shootings, the initial reaction was shocking, followed by outrage from teachers and parents, mourning for the victims, and fierce gun control debates from different sides. In other words, no one took any actionable measures to end school shooting.
    As frustrating as the situation is around guns and school shooting, the Founding Fathers probably did not anticipate students shooting other students and teachers. Such as the article states, the Founding Fathers wanted to have militias to substitute in for a standing army. Therefore, the Founding Fathers decided to grant citizens the rights to bear arms so that the United States would not need a standing army. However, today is different. As the digital world continues to become more powerful and prevalent in all aspects of society, so have cyber-attacks. The United States Army established its cyber command in 2009 because it realizes the increasing security risk in the cyber world. To stress the gravity of cyber hacking, the FBI concluded that Russian hackers did infiltrate the U.S. presidential election in 2016. If the Founding Fathers were able to perceive the future threats that the United States is currently facing today, the Founding Fathers would have probably revised many of the amendments to make the Constitution even more adaptable with time. Furthermore, the Founding Fathers would have had different opinions on the second amendments if they were alive today. Many of them would have had strong emotional responses towards the school shootings as they had children themselves in the past.
    Despite the horrors of school shootings, the U.S. government is still nowhere near a working solution because the National Rifle Association spends about $1.5 million to lobby for access to weapons in Congress. One common reason NRA members use against the gun control is the fear that citizens would not have anything to protect themselves if the government took over. Although the Founding Fathers did implement the second amendments, they did so for a different reason. During their time, they were focusing on the fight against the British Empire. Therefore, they needed every abled-man to be ready to fight if the situation demands for citizens to fight. However, the real danger today is not a government-sponsored attack against its own citizens. The real danger is unintentional shootings that occur in the United States. The real danger comes from our own computers and laptops where hackers attempt to steal valuable information such as email passwords, social security number, and more. These are the real dangers that we face today.

    http://www.arcyber.army.mil/Organization/History/
    http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/accidental-shooting

  6. Jacob Abel March 16, 2018 at 5:27 pm #

    In writing this article the author does a pretty good job at tackling a rather hot button issue. Its important to try to understand the original intent of the founders especially when it comes to the second amendment. However when it comes to the second amendment many of the challenges we face today I think are outside of what the founders could have imagined. The original intent of the second amendment I think is still very relevant; to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government. While this possibility seems outside the realm of what could actually happen its important that we still have this right and that it is defended. The amendment has had a dark past as the author highlights with the Whiskey Rebellion and continues to be debated with the recent amounts of gun violence. Gun technology has also moved beyond what the founders could have imagined. With assault rifles and automatic weapons an individual can posses a very powerful weapon.
    The point the author raises in regards to blacks owning guns is also very interesting. Its no secret that the US has a had a dark past in regards to racial issues and that fact that many didn’t want to arm African Americans makes sense in the context of the times. Racial divisions were at a all-time and slavery still existed. My overall question for the author though would be what he thinks the founders may think of today’s situation?
    While the aspect of forming a militia had certainly dissipated in today’s society where the military is one of the most respected institutions in the country, the second amendment is still more important than ever. There should certainly be productive debate regarding guns in society, however we must be careful that this doesn’t lead to increasingly restrictive measures.

  7. Matt Henry March 16, 2018 at 5:44 pm #

    Gun control is one of the most pressing issues in the United States. One thing people always bring up is what the founders actually intended with their creation of the second amendment. This article depicts the founders’ viewpoint from a neutral standpoint, which doesn’t happen a lot in gun control debates. Initially citizens were meant to be part time soldiers which was the main purpose of having a gun. In this way the United States would not need a standing army, which was seen as a burden of people’s freedom. Militia was the key view in allowing citizens to bear arms and not personal enjoyment. And if people think personal gun laws are strict, the founders were even stricter about who could join the militia. “Laws rarely allowed free blacks to have weapons. It was even rarer for African Americans living in slavery to be allowed them. In slave states, militias inspected slave quarters and confiscated weapons they found. (There were also laws against selling firearms to Native Americans, although these were more ambiguous).”
    Today America has one of the most powerful standing armies in the world, so what is the point of the second amendment? We know the founding fathers did not anticipate automatic rifles and other technology advances that make killing so easy. And these weapons are too powerful to be used by the average citizen. The solution is not easy because it will be impossible to take guns away from everyone. However, lawmakers should put effort into restricting who can get guns so the problem can be minimized.

  8. Mary Margaret Miller March 16, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    Due to recent events such as the shooting in Parkland, the Second Amendment must be revised in order to remain current with our ever-changing society. Being that the constitution was written in 1787, it is not the same United States of America today as our founder new back then. The right to bear arms was originally instituted being that the militia had the right to open fire on citizens of the United States. Being that the militia no longer has this right, the Second Amendment must be changed.
    During the time period the Constitution was written in, all men were highly encouraged to join the militia. With this, all citizens who were either a part of the militia or not were allowed to own a firearm. They felt that this type of protection was needed at the time, however that is not the case anymore. In 1787 when the Constitution was written, there were only thirteen states and the founders were concerned that foreign forces would still attempt to invade the thirteen colonies. Foreign forces were still a threat of concern at that time, so the founders thought it was necessary to allow the people of the thirteen colonies to own their own weapons in case of an attack. Nowadays, an invasion they envisioned occurring is less than likely to happen, and there is no reason for an individual to own an assault weapon of a high caliber.
    Currently, firearms seem somewhat simple to obtain, and the right to own certain types of firearms should be revoked. After the dozens of school shootings we have had in the United States, we must raise the age to purchase all firearms to the age of 21. Guns such as the AR-15 that was used in the past several school shootings should not be allowed to be obtained by anyone who is not a part of military personnel. Military personnel should still be able to have the access to use certain types of weapons, yet there is no reason for these weapons to be stored within their own homes. The founding fathers never knew or envisioned the United States to become what it is today. In 1787, no one envisioned that there would be a mental health epidemic as well, and that mass shootings would become the epidemic that would plague school massacres America. The justice needed to resolve this issue is to only change the statutes that fall under the right to bear arms. An 18 year old should not be able to obtain a weapon of such high caliber, or any other US citizen. Roughly 300 students in America were victims who lost their lives in school shootings since the year 2013. More importantly, lengthy background checks should be conducted if someone is looking to purchase a firearm, since guns have landed in the hands of the wrong individuals. Legislators are the only ones who have the authority to enact laws that could stop shootings in schools altogether, so politicians must realize that the school shooting epidemic in America must come to an end, and that stricter gun laws must be enacted.

  9. Sebastien Jose Fortes March 16, 2018 at 8:03 pm #

    The Second Amendment and gun control are both largely debatable in America, especially in a world with mass shootings as deadly as the ones in Columbine, Las Vegas, and Parkland. On the one hand, shooters obviously should not have access to guns. On the other hand, gun control can prevent good people from protecting themselves and others.

    However debatable, the argument is not as simple as picking one side. The argument of gun control is like a diamond with many facets. This diamond in particular has a facet labeled “tradition”, and another labeled “safety”. The article above makes several points in favor of the Second Amendment.

    A major argument brought up by advocates of gun control is that the Founding Fathers of America did not have the same guns as we do today. In the 1770s, assault rifles hadn’t existed yet, cannons were legal to own, and the Founding Fathers were concerned about black men carrying guns. If we apply this logic to today’s world, it makes sense to contain the ownership of assault rifles. It would be absurd for an upstanding citizen to keep a cannon in his garage today. Therefore, it’s possible that one day it will be just as absurd to own an assault rifle that can fire three rounds in a second.

    An argument brought up by advocates of the right to bear arms is that criminals would be able to find an alternative method for obtaining guns if their weapon of choice were banned. Lanza, Harris, and Klebold each found a way to access their weapons. However, each of them had obtained their guns from someone who already owned them legally. Furthermore, illegally-purchased weapons would be more expensive and difficult to obtain, as sellers would “jack up” the prices in response to the demand. (http://thebea.st/2HFfGTE)

    A compromise could satisfy both sides of the argument. If automatic weapons were banned, but semi-automatic and manual weapons were not, then hypothetically, everyone in America could own a weapon to protect each other. This way, even if someone were to access an automatic weapon, he would be surrounded. This would actually fit well with the intentions of the Founding Fathers—the lack of a need for a standing army.

    To completely ban guns would still leave room for massacres, but to allow anyone to own an automatic gun would be risky. Either course of action or lack thereof would not be a solution, and would only perpetuate our lasting problems. Therefore, the best decision for this nation would be to make sure everyone is prepared, but no one has too much power.

  10. Chris Goldfarb March 16, 2018 at 8:37 pm #

    As the article points out modern gun control debates are light years away and beyond the original meaning behind the second amendment as designed by the Founding Fathers. At this point though I do not really know how much that matters because even if it’s not what the Founding Fathers meant, and up until District of Columbia v. Heller courts have agree with that sentiment, a large portion of American’s have been disillusioned from the original spirit of the amendment for a long time. Here in lies the problem, even if an individual’s right to own guns was not the intention it has become the reality and we fill find it very difficult to move away from something so ingrained in so many people. America is a government designed to represent the will of the people, how effective it does so is heavily debated but in my mind whatever the Founding Fathers meant is unimportant if enough American’s support a certain viewpoint whether that be for or against the modern understanding of gun control.
    I believe that we should use this rationale in all debates were there resides a conflict between the intentions of the Founding Fathers and contemporary realities because they Founding Father have all been dead for hundreds of years and we have no idea how they would have changed what they wrote in response to what is going on in America right now. I think that instead of paying so much attention to what they said or what they meant we should respect what they were doing by creating this country in the first place. They looked at the America they were living in saw the injustice being done onto them and decided to take matters into their own hands and make a republic to stand the test of time. We as citizen must do the same thing and look at the injustices being done now and try to fix them by looking towards the future rather than the past.
    If we define a mass shooting as an incident where four or more people were shot then in the last 5 years the US has had a mass shooting every 9 out of 10 days (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/oct/02/america-mass-shootings-gun-violence), and in 2016 there were 38,000 gun deaths in America (http://time.com/5011599/gun-deaths-rate-america-cdc-data/). While those sound bad it only gets worse when you consider that America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, and nearly 16 times as many as Germany (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts). This is a problem specific to America that has only gotten worse with time, so if we truly want to honor our Founding Fathers then we should follow their example by fixing the problems we see today for a better tomorrow.

  11. Timothy Guerrero March 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm #

    The debate around the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is one I have always found intriguing, as it is am an extremely polarizing discussion that divides us both politically and societally. The way I see it is this – there are those who believe that guns are an abhorrent aspect of society that must be as regulated and controlled as they are machines with a sole intent to kill, those who believe/support in the Second Amendment but still believe that there should be common sense legislation to protect society, whether it deals with guns themselves or various issues such as mental health, and finally, those who believe that guns are absolutely necessary for protection against a tyrannical opponent or danger. However, when the Second Amendment is pulled up for use in an argument, I notice that many who believe in the freedom of gun usage will simplify it to the Founding Fathers advocating for the protection and rebellion circumstance, and this I can agree with, however, there is simply no way to undermine how the Fathers could not have anticipated just to what extent how much gun innovation would occur to make it a fundamental danger to society. I believe the Fathers instilled the Second Amendment for the sole purpose of individualistic personal protection from danger or the forces of a tyrannical government, as seen in the Southern mentality or perspective of the issue. We have adopted the Constitution to changing times throughout American history, and it only makes sense to do the same, whether it involves the Constitution or legislature.

  12. Zachary Corby March 20, 2018 at 5:47 pm #

    I found this article particularly interesting because both sides of the gun rights argument are uneducated on what the second amendment was saying. People in favor of having guns always cite the second amendment blindly without actually knowing what it says completely. The first part cites that the second amendment was devoted to the militia. What it was actually trying to do was make sure that the people could be a militia. It is important to remember that one of the big grievances of the colonies right before this was English quartering, in which they would require citizens to house them for as long as they needed. If they were armed, they would be able to resist a practice like this. Given the nature of how tense things were and how unsure of the government they were setting up was, the founding fathers wanted to make sure that they were not completely disarming citizens because it would of caused a huge uprising. The whole idea of the second amendment can be put in perspective when you consider that it was written because the founding father did not want to have a standing army. Being how young the country was they thought that if there was a standing army they could easily be overthrown and there would be no hope for a central government. So, instead fearing that if they were to not have an army or armed citizens they made the amendment so that the citizens would be part time soldiers. They did not carry guns for fun, or self-defense this was their alternative to a full-fledged army. Now that we actually have a huge army, it would seem that a lot of the second amendment no longer applies. There are 4 branches of the military along with the National Guard who is the “citizens army” so why do people still believe the second amendment wants us to carry guns? In fact, the founding fathers were not concerned at all with personal rights to bear arms. They wanted every citizen to be in the militia and that is the only reason for them to have guns in the first place. So, when people start trying to argue that the second amendment gives right to bears arms, it really does not. The Supreme Court actually had no business in interpreting the Heller case the way they did because that is not what the Founding Father intended it to mean. The Founding fathers were also very concerned about who could carry arms. Obviously, back then blacks and Indians were not permitted to have any arms because of how they were viewed as inferior people. Women as well could not generally. In fact, one of the main reasons that whites were the only ones that could have any arms was to keep control over the suppressed people at the time. At the time even a good amount of violence was tolerated as long as it came from white Americans. Looking at what the founding fathers wanted as a whole with the second amendment there is really no comparison to today’s society. Clearly, they did not want people to carry weapons unless there was a legitimate purpose, and today people advocate to do just that. People have to wake up and realize that we live in a completely different society since the second amendment was crafted. People at the time when that was written still believed that black people should not vote or own any land, so how much should we apply their stance on gun rights to today’s world? Judges and politicians need to be able to adapt and do what is right for the world and eliminate guns as much as possible. The world is different and relying on a document adopted in 1789 is a very dangerous game.

  13. Joe C. March 20, 2018 at 9:31 pm #

    This article was very interesting and provided a different perspective on the Second Amendment as it may have been viewed by the founding fathers. When it comes to gun violence or mass shootings, we immediately hear both sides of Americans reference the Second Amendment and how it pertains to their interpretation of the law. We tend to concentrate and recite the very well know statement in the Second Amendment, “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.” On one side of the gun control debate we have those that believe that this very sentence centered on “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” and solely refers to the individual rights as they pertain to guns. On the other side and as it stated in this article, the 18th Century belief is that the Second Amendment was in reference to the militias of those times and the avoidance of a professional soldier, as we have today. Although, we still have state’s militia today, also known as the National Guard. Do we in fact really understand or know exactly what our founding fathers meant by this amendment? I think both sides have their interpretation of the law as it pertains to their agenda.
    One statement that struck me in this article was the statement that the nation continues to tolerate a level of gun violence from its citizens unparalleled in other wealthy nations. In 2016, the US was ranked the 31st highest country in the world as it pertains to gun violence among their citizens. Central America and Caribbean countries were hand and foot ahead of America in gun violence, but other western wealthy nations were no where near what the level that America experienced. El Salvador led the list with nearly 40.29 death per 100,000 people and Jamaica was nearly five times the deaths with 16.45 deaths per 100,000 people. The U.S. had roughly 3.85 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. Countries such as Canada, only had .48 deaths per 100,000 (8x lower than the U.S.), while Denmark had nearly 27x lower deaths per 100,000 with .14.
    In another article reported by CNN, the U.S. owns nearly 48% of the 650 million of the civilian owned guns. That is nearly 310 million guns owned by American, according to a 2009 National Institute of Justice report. So, what does this actually mean? Do we have an infatuation with guns in America? This report put Americans owning nearly 89 guns per 100 people, with Yemen ranking second 55 and Switzerland 3rd with 46 guns per 100 people. Furthermore, this reports states that 66% of American households owns more than one gun, and three quarters of those households couldn’t imagine living without a firearm.

  14. John A. March 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    The Second Amendment was passed by Congress on September 25, 1789 and ratified on December 15, 1791 (https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-ii). The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms is one of the ten amendments that makes up the Bill of Rights. Anti-Federalists sought to place specific limits on the government’s control, however the Federalists disagreed and argued that the people and the states maintained any powers not afforded to the government. James Madison attempted to make changes to the Constitution but several Representatives objected to editing the wording of the Constitution. Seventeen amendments to the Constitution were then proposed and 10 were ratified and placed after Article VII of the Constitution (http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/). These ten amendments were created to protect individual liberties.
    There was much to consider when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created. The country was just born, there was uncertainty and a defensive position that was taken after many had been under an oppressive ruling. These Bill of Rights were created to balance the level of control that the government could have, giving people the freedom they longed for. The article What the Second Amendment really meant to the Founders infers that the Second Amendment was written for white males specifically. In no contexts of the Bill of Rights does it discriminate against any individuals. This discrimination was done outside of the Bill of Rights, many laws were created to exclude certain individuals but many of these laws were deemed unconstitutional when challenged (https://billofrightsinstitute.org/cases/).
    Today, this world would be unrecognizable to the Founders. Technology has created weapons far greater than those that existed in the 18th century. This will not act as a cause to change the Second Amendment. The government, states and the citizens will need to find a balance for this right. There will always be conflicting ideologies pertaining to this topic but the reality is that the Second Amendment is not going away, therefore it must be managed the best way possible. When I consider the negative aspect of the Second Amendment, gun violence, I always consider the process that it takes to acquire a gun. Some states seemingly have very relaxed regulations for obtaining a gun while others take the time to complete finger printing, mental health and background checks. In some states people can walk into a store and buy a gun with no more than a driver’s license. A good system will reduce impulse buying and hopefully reduce the number of guns that find themselves in the hands of violent or mentally ill people.

  15. Andrew Kuttin March 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm #

    This article makes an incredibly important point about the 2nd Amendment that is unfortunately irrelevant in the contemporary political context. Our modern debate surrounding gun rights is nowhere near the debate that our founders had when they wrote the 2nd amendment. As this article properly points out, it was intended for the maintenance of a well-regulated militia. The constitution gives congress the power to raise an army and navy (https://tinyurl.com/y9rz8w63), so I do not believe the intent of the amendment was to eliminate the need for a standing army as the article claims. However, it is obvious from its wording that the 2nd amendment was not written so that a citizen could hold a private military grade arsenal used for deer hunting. The intent was to give the people the ability to rebel against a possible tyrannical government. That was very valid when both the people and the government were limited to muskets. As comedian Jim Jeffries said in regards to this issue today, “You’re bringing guns to a drone fight”. The United States military possesses fighting technology and power that private citizens could not comprehend, and definitely could not beat with an AR-15. This substantially kneecaps the tyrannical government and well-regulated militia arguments in my opinion, but that does not end the gun debate.
    In my life as a private citizen, I see no reason for me to own a gun. I do not hunt, there is no crime epidemic where I live, and there is nothing I desire to attack with a gun. Not a deer, not even a target. However, I recognize that not everyone is like me. In southern and rural areas guns are simply a part of life. Not because there is any legitimate militia or pressing need for arms. Simply because there is a thriving gun culture in this country that more than a few Americans have grown up in. While society would obviously be safer if no one wanted a gun, that is merely a fantasy. There will always be criminals with guns and there will always be people who simply want their guns no matter the circumstance.
    That being said, there is a gun death epidemic in this country. An average of 96 Americans die every day because of guns (https://tinyurl.com/gmn6apt), and horrific mass shootings like the ones in Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas seem to occur every day. Guns and gun violence have achieved an unsettling level of normalcy in the United States and I think that any reasonable person can at least recognize that something needs to change. Whether that entails changing the kinds of weapons that private citizens have access to, strengthening background checks, restricting modifications, or some combination of the bunch: the debate needs to be had. A few of the policies I support include limiting magazine sizes, mandating gun safety classes and background checks on all gun sales even those through unlicensed dealers, and banning assault rifles. I recognize how tricky that last one is to implement. Defining what an assault rifle is in legislation is a large task to overcome, but it is up to legislators and experts to try.
    Ultimately, in a society where there are guns there will inevitably be gun deaths. It is unavoidable. In the United States, there are more guns than there are people (https://tinyurl.com/yclf3857). As a result, gun violence will exist at alarming rates. It is the duty of those in power to do everything they can to limit the violence in any way possible. An outright ban will never work in this country, but as this article emphasizes, the modern interpretation of the 2nd amendment has changed radically from what was intended by our founders. However, this does not mean that the right to bear arms is invalid. In a contemporary society where people want guns, but do not necessarily need them we must find a way to limit access without infringing upon rights.

  16. Shakur Mckinney March 22, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

    I found this article to be really insightful because I don’t often hear about the reasons why the founding fathers chose to put what they put into the Constitution and Bill of rights, so it was good to hear the reasons why the founding father chose to include the right to bear arms in the Bill of rights. Throughout the article the author went over why and what the founding fathers thought about when deciding to put the second amendment in the Bill of rights which included the founding fathers being devoted to the militia, preventing the United States from needing a standing army, the founding fathers not being concerned with individuals or personal right to bear arms, the founding fathers being concerned about who and who shouldn’t be able to bear arms, and how Americans tolerated violence and instability as long as it came from other white Americans. Upon hearing these reasons I find myself with more of an understanding as to why the second amendment was included in the bill of rights. Because I was born in the 21st century I speak for myself and a lot of other millenials when I say I don’t think there is a reason for citizens of the United States to be able to carry guns. Before reading this article I thought that the second amendment was included in the Bill of rights because the founding fathers didn’t want another tyrannical type of situation to happen in America like it did in Europe. Which made sense to me but as times change I feel like rules need to change as well. But after reading this article I feel like I have a much better understanding as to why the founding fathers decided to include the right to bear arms into the bill of rights. Nevertheless my position on the second amendment remains the same. I think that it’s no longer needed and at this point is just causing more harm than help. Whether it’s the the constant school shootings or mass shootings that seem to be taking place at least once a month or the fact that suicide via a gun is the leader in deaths via gun violence in America. I think that the amendment needs to be completely taken out of the Bill of rights. I feel like all of the things that the founding fathers made the rule for can no longer happen, and all of the things that they were worried about happening is happening. With that being said I understand that erasing an amendment out of the Bill of rights could spur up a whole different controversy like if they remove this that what else can they remove, and I understand people’s concerns when it comes to that but at this point I think it’s worth it, too many people are losing loved ones. As times change and we continue to evolve as people we cannot continue to abide by the same rules that were set centuries ago.

  17. Justin March 22, 2018 at 11:52 pm #

    In the 18th Century, when Alexander Hamilton was writing the constitution, he thought militia would work better than an army because if the army betrays the country, the citizens of United States will not have anything to defend against the Army. Hence, the founding fathers of the United States think a well-regulated militia will work better than a standing army. In the modern day, a lot of Africa countries had the problem with army general overturn the government by using military power. If the citizens are armed and trained, the army general will not be able to overturn the government by military power. The founding fathers believe that a well-regulated militia is the best defense for a free country and will save the government money by not having a standing army. One of the reasons Great British lost the war against the United States is they spending too much money on feeding a standing army. When the American Revolution War came, the Great British government had already run out of money and become weak. However, the founding fathers did put some limitation on who can join the militia. For example, only white people can join the militia.
    Before 2008 Supreme Court Case District of Columbia v. Heller, courts said only people who’re in the militia could have the right to bear arms. However, in the Heller case, the supreme court overturn the precedent and allow the individual to bear arm. Again, in the 18th century, the founding fathers thought everyone should join the militia and bear arm, but they mention militia should be organized and well train. In today’s world, a lot of gun owner is not trained or participate in the militia, which is not what the founding fathers want when they create the Second Amendment.
    In the 18th century, the militia was using to maintain control over nonwhites, especially in the slavery states. Nonwhites were disarmed so they can’t pose a threat to the white society. In today’s world, disarmed nonwhite’s citizens the right to bear arms are count as discrimination. The original through of the founding fathers were using the militia to maintain control over the nonwhite society. During the 18th century, there are insurrectionary groups using the advantage of bear arms to discriminate against another ethnic group, and they were not prosecuted. Is it mean the Founding fathers want to use the weapon to suppress other ethnic groups? The answer is no. When they create the constitution, they want everyone in the United States to be free and not bully by another ethnic group. In today’s world, people are so sensitive to gun violence; if all the gun owners are well trained and organized, gun violence will be extinguished.

  18. Coby Dunn March 23, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    When our founding fathers made the constitution, they had no scope of what our future would be like, and how their laws would affect our modern lives. One of these cases concerns our second amendment. When our founding fathers made the second amendment they were concerned about the safety of our country. They had just separated from Britain, and their only army was a militia. The whole point of forming the second amendment was so that our country had a militia to defend and protect our country. Currently, the US has the largest volunteer army in the world. We are more than protected from foreign threats, and the idea of a militia in today’s world would be crazy. So, that begs the question, when should our rights to own guns have limits. The current debate that many people are having is to create stricter gunlaws, more intensive background checks, and a removal of high powered rifles from the public. When our founding fathers wrote the second amendment, they only had muskets. The threat one person posed with a musket at that time is very different from the threat we face with automatic rifles and a person’s ability to kill many people very quickly. We saw this at the school in Florida, and at the Las Vegas shooting. It only took one person to kill many. I believe that people should have the right to bear arms. Personally, my family owns guns. We have a handgun that is locked in a safe in the case that we might ever need it for self defense, and we own a hunting rifle for when we go hunting. I would like to believe that my experience with guns has been positive, and that I have learned to respect weapons for what they are, and how dangerous they can be. With that being said, I think the current laws on gun control need to be fixed. High powered rifles belong in the military, and in the hands of people that have our countries interest at heart. When people argue that they use their high powered rifles to make their homes safer it does not make sense. The facts of this are, that high powered rifles do not make the home a safer place. Rifle bullets are meant to go through things like walls and bodies. Rifles were made for the military to debilitate enemies with as few bullets as possible. So, if someone were to fire a high powered rifle in their home, they run the risk of hurting someone other than the intended target. Handguns on the other hand, are meant for home defense. There is less of a risk of a handgun bullet going through walls is a lot lower than a rifle. I also think that, if it does ever happen, the difference between being shot with a rifle and handgun is not going to matter. Our second amendment was made to protect our country and for the average citizen to protect themselves. High powered rifles are not the answer to self defense.

  19. Audrey Manion March 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    Although most of the constitution has been adapted to modern day, it is important to understand where the Founding Fathers were coming from when they wrote the constitution. Some people are very strict constitutionalists, believing in a narrow interpretation of the constitution that does not change to fit shifts in society. In reality, the Founding Fathers made the constitution so vague knowing that advancements and changes will happen in society, and society in turn may need to adjust some rules to adapt. Supporters of the second amendment sometimes forget that the ability to interpret the constitution to a modern worldview is allowed, and necessary. Without changes to the constitution that reflected our changing world, slavery would still be legal, Presidents would be allowed to serve more than two terms, women and people of color would not be allowed to vote, and people could be denied their right to vote if they did not pay a poll tax. Each of these amendments were made because times changed, and situations were sometimes dire, like slavery.

    Today, gun violence is a dire situation. People are dying every day. According to everytownresearch.org, on average 96 people die at the hand of a gun per day in America, 35 from a homicide and 59 from suicide. That is an average of over 35,000 people every year in the U.S. losing their life because of a gun. To say that gun violence is not an issue would be lying, saying that laws won’t change anything because criminals break them anyway is like suggesting that we might as well not have any safety or regulatory laws, and to say that guns don’t kill people, only “people kill people” is ignoring the problem. The common denominator in all of these deaths is a gun.

    This article is very important because it addresses the fact that the Founding Fathers were living in a completely different world when they were writing the constitution and what we now call the Bill of Rights. As the article reminds us, the second amendment was not specifically about individual gun ownership. It was about militias, and making sure that militias were armed, and other people were not. As the author pointed out, these militias were more of a police force, and used their power against minorities who were not allowed to buy or own guns. Also, guns over 200 years ago were very different from those today. Mass shootings did not happen, contrary to how they seemingly happen all the time in the past few decades. The technology was by far not as advanced, as according to gunsandcrime.org, the firing rate of a typical revolver is about 30 shots per minute including the time it takes to reload each cartridge, and with a loading attachment can increase up to 60 shots per minute. The rate of fire for an 18th century musket was less than 4 shots per minute. Some gun supporters have brought up the case of the “Puckle Gun”, which was the first machine gun patented in 1718, but even the most destructive weapon of the time could only fire 9 shots per minute. Not to mention that firearms today are much more accurate than those used in the 18th century.

    I do not think that guns should be taken away from responsible gun owners, which is most supporters of the second amendment’s biggest fear, but change needs to be made on who is able to obtain guns, and how they get them. Responsible gun owners should not be afraid of common sense gun control laws. Lawmakers need to find a solution that recognizes that the second amendment can be interpreted in a way that keeps American citizens safe.

    https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-by-the-numbers/#YearlyGunMurders
    http://www.gunsandcrime.org/firerate.html
    https://www.historychannel.com.au/this-day-in-history/defence-rapid-fire-gun-patented/

  20. Alexis Candelora March 23, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

    After so many years having passed since the creation of the second amendment, it is undoubtedly time to reevaluate its intentions and application to modern society. The amendment was created just a few years after the massive war that led America to win its independence from Great Britain. Thus, the second amendment was created in order to protect the citizens of the nation from being oppressed as they were by the British. The amendment allowed citizens or bodies comprised of the citizens to retaliate against the government or other commanding force should a situation or need arise. However, this did not take into account the violence the possession of guns would spur throughout communities. The amendment does not consider the abuse of these weapons and firearms as it applies to citizens who may use the dangerous weapons against unarmed, unsuspecting, or nonthreatening victims. The right to possess guns and firearms is extremely dangerous to the population, as many individuals possess the weapons despite mental health concerns or a reasonable necessity. By allowing citizens to possess firearms and guns throughout the country, the government allows these possessors to abuse and take advantage of these deadly weapons, leading to unwarranted murders and deaths. These actions can occur as suicides, mass shootings, cops “accidentally” killing someone for a fear the other person had a gun. There are innumerable killings based off the fact cops shot at and killed an unarmed victim because of an irrational fear that the victim had a weapon and would harm them first. How believable each instance is, is up for debate based on circumstances, but the fact that these killings happen because of gun possession is undeniable.
    If the nation was stricter on gun control, it would not take away from the intentions of the second amendment, in fact, it would allow for a safer community. One with far less deaths due to bullets. It would cut back on suicides, mass shootings, and could potentially lead to fewer irrational cop shootings as well. This is not to say all these problems will be completely solved. Nor would this imply that these needless deaths would vanish from the nation. However, I believe there would be a significant decrease in these actions. While there are other ways for criminals and suicidal individuals to reach their goals, with guns being less accessible and embedded in society, the death rate can only decrease over time.

  21. John Mundia March 23, 2018 at 11:28 pm #

    The second amendment is probably the most controversial topic at the moment in the American political environment. There are starkly held and fiercely debated topics regarding the gun rights provided by the second amendment. There seems to be no consensus on a next step to further the union. I think it is more important is to look back. In 2008 there was a Supreme Court decision named Heller v. District of Columbia. The result of the ruling may be what led to the current era of school shootings and mass killings. Prior to 2008, the Supreme Courts view was that gun owners must be in a militia to own a gun as an individual. The overturning of that decision was crucial. The case allowed for people to own guns individually which completely took away the argument of the militia away and now opened gun sales to everyone over the age of 18. In the span between 2008 and now the gun industry has increased by 158%, most likely due to this ability.https://www.forbes.com/sites/frankminiter/2016/04/12/the-gun-industry-says-it-has-grown-158-since-obama-took-office/#4f2b1ca07f4e
    https://www.oyez.org/cases/2007/07-290

  22. Chris Lineman March 28, 2018 at 7:36 pm #

    Gun laws are a huge debate going on currently in the United States. Lately, there has been a number of massive shootings that have received lots of publicity. This article talks about the difference of why the 2nd Amendment was put in place. Back in the 18th century things were very different. The right to bear arms was given to citizens in case an army gathered together and decided to try to take over. This would give citizens a chance to stop this from happening. Now, in the 21st century things are very different. Our military would not turn against its citizens (or it seems very unlikely that would ever happen at least). So, this leaves the 2nd Amendment open for a lot of debate if a change should be made.
    In the 18th century guns were not as dangerous as today. Guns were not automatic and for awhile didn’t even shoot more than one round before having to be reloaded for most guns. Now, guns can carry multiple bullets and shoot repeatedly, even automatically for a period of time. This makes guns today way more lethal than in the past. Restrictions on guns has always been around, but are more than likely to become even stricter. Back in the 18th century mostly only white people were allowed to own guns. Now, everyone has an equal opportunity to own a gun. Our gun laws vary by state. Some are more strict than others. To own a gun you need to get a license and pass a background check. With gun advancements now, restrictions are and have been put in place on what an average citizen can own. Automatic weapons are currently not allowed to be owned. Bump stocks are now illegal or in the process of becoming illegal since the incident in Vegas.
    In my opinion, I do not believe guns should be completely taken away by citizens. Everyone should be able to defend their self and be able to shoot for sport. There have been very big issues with the misuse of guns, but it is not the gun shooting people. People are shooting people and if someone wants to kill people they’ll find another way to kill them. Tons of people own guns and it isn’t fair if few individuals ruin it for everyone because most people are responsible gun owners.Also, it would be extremely difficult to take away everyones guns. There would be a lot of issues trying to do that. Overall, I think taking away guns would actually create more problems.

  23. jaymie nieves March 30, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

    One of the hottest debate topics in today’s society is gun control and the second amendment. This topic is extremely relevant after the mass school shooting in Parkland Florida. Walkouts, speeches, and protests have demanded a solution for these major atrocities surrounding gun violence. When the founders of the United States. When the constitution was written, The Second Amendment was based on the right to keep and bear arms. This Amendment was made so that the American people can have the rights of self-defense and resistance to oppression. During these times we were at war with Great Britain. The circumstances were completely different from when the constitution drafted and today society. Guns during this century were also completely different from the currency society that we lived in. Guns in 1775 were muskets with one shot capability. It was also inaccurate and took a while to reload. These guns did not have the same destructive power as our modern guns. Mass shooting could not happen if we were still carrying the same weaponry of 1775. The founders insured that He assured his fellow citizens that they need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed. America is one of the most arm countries in the world. This could mean better protect or it can correlate to why America has one of the highest gun related violence in the world.
    As weaponry evolves so should are laws about guns. This amendment protects our right to keep guns but it barely regulates what type of guns we are allowed to have. The massive destruction modern weapons not only can kill several people within a minute there need to be stricter laws on what type of guns and people are permitted to carry. I am firm believer that people will cause chaos given the opportunity to. So let’s limit the tools that can cause harm to several people for one person’s mistake. Several people have stood up and protested of the current atrocities of gun violence. Students from all across the nation have planned a national wide walk out to protest the lack of restrictions and controls to guns. They protest for their safety because trouble youth find killing other with semi-automatic rifles is the best solution to ending their problems. Guns are a constitution right to have but as with any tool that can cause harm to others it needs to have restrictions. We don’t need rifle that can take out a horde of people in one second.

  24. Michael K April 2, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    The biggest argument concerning gun control is that are Founding Fathers could not foresee the damage that is being done by gun ownership today. This article refutes this and makes a lot of sense. I would not want to be a country invading America today. With so many people owning guns, how would an outside army survive? Gun owners are the militia. Responsible gun owners have them in their homes for self protection. They will not go out and shoot anyone. It is just another level for individual safety. That is the militia that the Second Amendment had in mind, and, if one looks at it that way, then we have given the fathers what they wanted. They have a militia and the people who have guns would not let a foreign invader into his/her home. They would use the guns. There aren’t enough enemies that could come up against that.
    People who support the Second Amendment are those who do not experience on a daily basis. They have guns, but they also have a comfortable living. It would be interesting to survey a group of inner city people and ask what they think about gun control. If we are so appalled about the deaths from gun violence, why hasn’t something been done. The only possibility is that it has mostly been done in the inner city. The average citizen with a nice home and some wealth is not often shot and they are the ones supporting the amendment.
    We seem to tolerate violence in this country and we don’t let it keep us down. Kids go to school every day. People visit malls. Big cities and athletic events are always crowded. No one is afraid to go out because they don’t think it will happen to them and it probably won’t. Our politicians’ children and grandchildren go to private, protected schools. Their offices have metal detectors and secret service guards. It doesn’t affect them, so they won’t do anything about it.

  25. Jesse Rodgers April 5, 2018 at 1:04 am #

    The second amendment has been one of the most talked about rights over the last few years and more so recently especially after the Parkland school shooting. As we have this debate we see two sides. There is the one side that wants to sort of change the second amendment and then there is the side that wants there to be no change what so ever. Now when this was written there was not these high powered guns but rather guns that took forever to load and shoot. With this debate we have seen one side basically saying that the founding fathers did not see these high powered guns in our future. The other side just really believes that no matter what the founding fathers would want there to be an armed militia. This debate I think will go on forever and as long as there are these shootings we will see this debate get more heated every time.
    Personally I am a supporter of the second amendment. People always bring up the argument that the founding fathers did not see these types of guns in our future. For me when I hear that all I think is that when they wrote the second amendment, yes the guns were completely different but that is also the type of guns that the “armed militia” would be up against. So is it too farfetched to think that they would possibly feel the same way now. There is no telling what they would think of it all now but that’s just the way that I have seen it. On top of that we have seen governments in the past not in the US but throughout the world try to take over the country and in doing so one thing they seem to do is disarm its citizens so that they cannot put up a fight. I for one am a big supporter of the second amendment because I truly believe in having the ability to defend myself if need be.

  26. Joe D April 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm #

    Gun laws in America are probably the most controversial topic in today’s news. Between school shootings, anti-gun and pro-gun protests, and police using excessive force in recent civilian killings the conversation has extremely opinionated sides. Rifles and pistols have evolved over the past one hundred years to become ultimate killing machines. What is hard for modern day Americans to understand is what they once were and what they were used for. The Bill of Rights came at a time when America was in its infant stages when the country was weak and vulnerable to attack. During this era it made sense for every citizen to protect himself or herself from invasion, wild animal attack, or Native American territory conflict. Today, the world is much different, the biggest threats seem to be coming from our own country and meanwhile international super powers stress the government on a daily basis.
    There are two sides to this argument. Most people believe rifles and possibly even all guns should be outlawed. Pro-gun activists believe it’s their god given right to possess a weapon and practice shooting safely. I believe there is an argument for both and there is an ability to meet in the middle. Anti-gun activists are right; weapons kill and injure, that’s what they were built to do. The question to ask is, what happens in a decade or century when political differences further shape the world we live in? Will there ever be a need for a new militia? Will citizens be protecting themselves from an invasion, or will citizens be protecting themselves from their own government? No one has an answer for these questions because no one can foresee the future.
    My personal belief is that owning a gun whether it is a rifle or a pistol is a major responsibility. With this responsibility there needs to be guidelines. There is no minimum age for sales in twenty-two states. This means an eight year old can purchase a gun as long as it’s not a rifle. This is a major legislative flaw in our country. Solutions include making a nation wide minimum age requirement of twenty-one years old. There needs to be a requirement that all gun purchasers must take an annual safety test, mental status review, and intensive training and testing before receiving a license to own a weapon. Weapons protect people and in some cases they save lives; but the responsibility needs to be respected.

  27. Rain Cornelius April 6, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

    The reasons for creating the second amendment in the 1700s do not apply anymore in the United States today. Those original reasons to create the right to bear arms include maintaining the militia, war, policing non-whites, etc. A militia was very important in the eyes of Americans in the 18th century. So, citizens acted as part-time soldiers and needed the weapons to be prepared to fight in a war.Now that the United States has a standing military where citizens can join at their will, people owning guns in preparation for war is completely unnecessary today. This was contrary toward the views of Americans then, who feared a nation with standing army could not be truly free as those in the army could take control of unarmed citizens. Since the founding fathers wanted all citizens to participate in the militia, they also did not want those who were not part of it to own guns, such as black people or Native Americans.
    Additionally, slaves and even free blacks in the 18th century were not able to have guns. Allowing only whites to own guns enabled them to have control over Americans of color and keep the power in American society. Today, we still see tolerance towards white gun owners over people of color, mainly Black Americans, even though majority of mass shootings are caused by white men. The article states that, “the restrictions underscore a key point about militias: They were more effective as domestic police forces than they were on the battlefield against enemy nations; and they were most effective when they were policing the African American population.” The second amendment was never created for black people and it still does not seem to apply to them. We saw this in the death of Philando Castile, where even though he was licensed to carry a gun and was not acting outside of his rights, he was still killed for being black. So, in practice, Black Americans still don’t have the same access to their second amendment rights as whites do.
    Regardless of all the deaths at the hand of reckless Americans with guns, we have not seen enough change to gun laws. Current gun laws seem to help people get easy access to guns more so than they actually protect citizens from those guns and inevitable violence. Overall, there is no way that all of the parts of the constitution and Bill of Rights are of the same necessity today. Our country has changed so much in 250 years and it is not possible to compare our needs in 2018 to those in the 1700s.

  28. Christopher Salimbene April 6, 2018 at 9:00 pm #

    In today’s society, gun control is one of the biggest issues being discussed due to recent incidents such as the Parkland high school and Las Vegas shootings. It has always been a topic that has been a major problem, and some people are even protesting about how people should own a gun in a legal way. According to the article, it mentions that the second amendment was to form militias, therefore allowing people to have guns to protect this country from terror attacks. This was something that the founding fathers created for a stronger defense toward America and to reduce the amount of crime happening in this country today. As society has progressed, the army has been developing at a fast rate year by year and this represents how not everyone should own a gun when there are people already protecting our country. As time moves on, guns are becoming a major problem in America month by month with the amount of killings that are increasing each year. U.S. citizens continue to protest this issue on guns because they want to limit the availability of buying a gun and reduce the amount of mass shootings happening in this country. The U.S. constitution protects our right to own a gun however, people today are protesting for the fact that people should have a license to buy a gun or at least buy it in a legal way and start background checks on those who have previous incidents involving violence or a criminal record.

    As people are upset about the situation around guns and school shootings, the Founding Fathers expected people to use guns toward self-defense rather than students shooting other students. According to the article, it argues that the Founding Fathers wanted to have militias that would be similar to a regular army. However, the Founding Fathers agreed to accord citizens the rights to bear arms so that the United States would not have to worry about a standard army. If people used guns the right way today, then a reduced amount of shootings would occur and students would not have to worry about someone trying to shoot up a school. The Founding Fathers would have different thoughts on the second amendment if they were alive today and it would be difficult for some people to own a gun because of these recent tragic shootings. If the Founding Fathers were alive today to witness these events occurring with gun control, they would of revised majority of the amendments to make the Constitution strict and reduce the amount of violence occurring in the United States today. Many of them would have negative responses toward these school shootings and enforce their children to be careful about attending school.

    From my point of view, I believe that guns should not be taken away from responsible gun owners, but enforce the rules on obtaining a gun. People who own guns have common sense about the gun control laws than those that purchase a gun to either hunt down animals or attempt to kill other people. From these recent tragic events, I think that there should be new laws regarding owning a gun at an appropriate age and people can only obtain a gun if they have a clean criminal record. According to the saying “guns don’t kill people, but people kill people”, it represents that people use a gun to kill other people rather than a gun itself killing someone for no reason. These events occur such as when a cop shot at a black guy who was unarmed in Chicago and the school shootings happening around the United States. The right to process a gun is extremely dangerous toward society, and many people try to obtain a gun despite the fact that they can have mental health issues. Overall, I believe that guns should not be taken away from people because that would create more drama with the recent tragic events that occurred and allowing certain people to obtain a gun at an appropriate age with a clean criminal record would decrease the death rate and school shootings occurring today.

  29. Timothy Wiamer April 11, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

    There is no surprise that half the nation is against guns while the other half is for them. This has been a debate for many years. With the recent school shootings, attention towards gun violence and gun laws has been brought to the forefront of American politics and news. Students, parents, and administrators have been voicing their opinions and in return NRA members have been voicing theirs. On both sides of the spectrum, mention about the Founding Fathers and their original intent in creating the 2nd Amendment has been brought up. It is important to note that the issues we have today in regards to “bearing up arms” has nothing to do with the reasons the Founding Fathers created this Amendment to begin with. One of the reasons that the Founding Fathers wanted to allow citizens to bear arms was because all parties back then believed in the militia. While we have national military branches today, this was not always the case. “Both sides were devoted to the idea that all citizens should be part-time soldiers, because both sides believed a standing army was an existential threat to the ideas of the revolution.” The sole purpose of the amendment was to prevent the United States from needing a standing army. If all people were able to bear arms, they wouldn’t need to have an army. They believed that a society needed to be able to defend itself. In their logic, a standing army would contradict their belief in a “free” country. “The only way to be both free and secure was for citizens to be armed, organized and ready to defend their society. The choice was a stark one: a standing army or a free nation.” The shift in focus today for personal and individualized rights to bear arms was not a concern of the founding fathers. Before 2008’s Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, courts ruled that rights of individuals to bear arms existed only within the context of participation in the militia. Once this was overturned, gun rights advocates won a major victory. The right to bear arms originally did not apply to everyone. Since it was meant for those who were to participate in the militia, blacks and Indians were prohibited from participating and bearing arms. During their time, nonwhites were disarmed so that they would not pose a threat to white control of American society. Obviously with the change in times comes a change in the interpretation of the Bill of Rights, which is why the Constitution of the United States is considered a “living document.”

  30. Nicholas DiBari April 25, 2018 at 8:51 pm #

    Gun control is one of the most hotly contested topics on the political stage in today’s day and age. There are highly opinionated activists on both sides of the argument, begging for greater restrictions or imploring the protection of their Second Amendment rights. But the question still stands, what does the Second Amendment right to bear arms mean for the contemporary United States citizen? The answer is not necessarily fully clear.
    Historically, as the article explains, the Second Amendment right was made in conjunction with the intention that the United States would not have a standing army. It preserved the ability for the common man to obtain arms to go an fight in the militia if the need arose. Nowadays, that need really is not existent. When we see incidents of citizens rising up in the style of a militia in the news today, it almost always seen at radical or reactionary. Take, for example, the response to the election of President Obama in 2008. Numerous militia groups began to express their displeasure with the election results and let their concerns about the potential restrictions on guns that could ensue with the new, democratic president be known. To the average American (or in my eyes, at least), this seems to be a bit extreme to me. There are other ways to express one’s worries about gun control legislation than to cling to one’s guns or to, even worse, threaten to use them. This is not to say that militias are totally outdated, however. As the article mentions, the National Guard is, technically, a militia. I personally just do not feel that they are appropriate to the extent that they were back in the 1700’s when political turmoil and civil unrest were normal to a certain extent.
    There is also always the argument that has existed since the topic has been debated on the modern political stage: the founding fathers never anticipated AR-15’s. The most advanced fire arm technology available at the time was the musket which was nearly as dangerous for the firer as it was for the individual being shot at. As much as the integrity of the Constitution need be maintained and I fully understand the validity of that stance, given the number of deaths we have seen at the hands of fire arms misused, I believe it is time for us to take a more open look at the potential for some common sense gun legislation. This is not to say take away the guns, this is to say restrict them using reasonable legislation.

  31. M.R. May 27, 2018 at 10:42 pm #

    It’s not a secret that the past mass shooting created a devised opinion in the country in regards to gun control and the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment indicates the right to keep and bear arms, yet it does not stipulate the right to own arms. It seems that the word of our founding Fathers has been misinterpreted. In either case the government should pass regulation or close any loophole that is allowing guns to fall into the wrong hands. Anyone can sell a gun without a Federal Firearms Licensees, as long as he or she is not conducting the sale as part of regular business activity. This eventually enables firearms to fall into the hands of people that might not be allowed to own a gun. Through this kind of selling/purchase, a background check is not implemented. Even after all these tragic mass shootings, the federal government does not want to pass laws or close the loophole that exists to prevent guns to fall into the wrong hands.
    Every time that there is a debate about gun control, the Federal government usually say that they do not want to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment right. Then, congress should be able to explain how guns are falling into the hands of dangerous people and killing innocent children. It seems that the issue is more political than constitutional. Perhaps, to promote some political agendas. When the second amendment was written, guns were used mostly for protection, so to to bear arms for safety purposes. Nowadays, America is more complicated, more diverse. There are all types of guns.
    Even if gun control does not work, the government can amend the constitution and rewrite it according to this time period; as the Fifth Article of the constitution stated. Innocent people are dying every day, and one cannot use the constitution as a way to justify that nothing can be done and peoples freedoms to bear arms is more important. This problem has been occurring for many years. The founding fathers would have taken responsibility and tried to solve the problem for the safety of all Americans.
    Works Cited
    Administration, The U.S National Archive and Record. National Archives. 15 August 2016. 27 May 2018. .
    Center, Constitution. Common Interpretation . n.d. 27 May 2018. .
    The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. n.d. 27 May 2018. .

  32. ConradK May 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm #

    While there are so many debates on gun control you do not always hear mentions about the original intent of the Founding Fathers pertaining to the Second Amendment. As the author states a few times, there are very important parts of its history that should be included when these debates take place. It is so easy for people on both sides to argue from their own logic however, the original intent of the right to bear arms matters. Not only does the original intent matter but so does how the law was actually used. This writer mentions “the restrictions mentioned were more effective as domestic police forces than they were on the battlefield against enemy nations. They were more effective when policing the African American population.” This is particularly important when those who suffer from police violence want to have a say in this conversation.

    So, with the current political climate that we are in how do we understand our future in terms of this history? It is evident from this article that white American violence down through the years has been “tolerated”. If we are going to have an argument about gun laws it is important that we all understand and include these parts of the debate. For example, there is one side of the argument that mentions people have the right to bear arms, but context is important here. As the writer explains, there was a right to bear arms as long as you were participating in the militia. Therefore, if you were not part of the militia the right was not extended to you. While I agree that there needs to be some significant changes as it pertains to gun laws I don’t know if the conversation can end with this amendment because as this writer explains it, the constitution does not speak to the issues that come with our gun safety problems. The role of the Second Amendment was for militia and not about individual ownership. I disagree with a few other posters who say that the amendment is not clear. It absolutely is clear regarding what it was put in place to do — at least according to this article.

    However, according to this article we can see that a certain type of assailant does not move those in power to change to gun laws. I think that fact is an important one to have in this discussion. Lives are being lost more consistently now due to gun violence in schools and in very poor neighborhoods but if we base possible future action on our past we can say that not much will be done. The debate has to begin elsewhere because there is no provision for civilians to just “bear arms” under the Second Amendment.

  33. Steven Gravlin June 1, 2018 at 10:21 pm #

    One of the biggest issues in America today is gun control. With an increase in mass shootings a lot of citizens are calling for increased gun laws. However, a lot of conservative Americans argue that increased gun laws would be unconstitutional because of the second amendment. I found this article to be interesting because it showed how outdated the second amendment really is.

    First, I thought that the article did a good job at exposing the racial implications behind the second amendment. In the 18th century white Americans, specifically the Paxton boys were allowed to get away with the murder of 20 Conestega Indians. This would obviously not be allowed in America today and just that shows how different America was back then. They made the second amendment when it was ok to be murderous as long as you were a white male. Also, the article mentions that black people in most cases were not even allowed to have guns. They had their own racist method of gun control and militias in slave states would search slave quarters and confiscate any firearms they found. So basically at its core, the second amendment allows white males to have guns so they can keep control over minorities in America. This was not ok then and it is not ok now and just this alone should have the second amendment revised.

    Another reason that the second amendment is outdated is because of technology. In the 18th century it would have been impossible to even fathom the thought of the Las Vegas shooting. However in today’s society one person can kill 58 people with one gun. In just ten minutes there were more than 1,100 rounds fired into the crowd. This is not possible in the 18th century when the second amendment was written. Another fact that the article mentions about these mass shootings is the fact that the majority of mass shooters are white males and the reason the second amendment hasn’t been revisited is because that we still allow violence from the white male demographic especially when the victims are people of color like in the Charleston church shooting.

    In conclusion, I thought this article did a great job at laying out the problems with the second amendment and how outdated it really is. I think I already had a strong bias when it came to the issue of gun laws; I think that these weapons of mass destruction should not be allowed in the hands of citizens, and this article helped me learn about the racism involved with the second amendment as well to further instill my thoughts on gun control.

  34. Joseph Capouch October 5, 2018 at 8:52 pm #

    Interpretation of the second amendment, and the topic of gun control overall in the United States is likely one of the most heavily debated, complex, and heavy topics that people have to deal with. Attitudes towards firearms come in an enormous variety, and can lean very heavily in several possible directions. These attitudes are largely connected to time period, as well as culture. As the article states, in the 18th century all citizens were expected to be part of the militia, and therefore needed weapons. They were seen as a necessity in a period where civilizations were much more afraid of tyranny, and being overtaken by another country or authority. This serves as an example of a shift in attitude because of a time period. However, what I can relate to more, is an attitude on firearms that is influenced by culture.
    I was raised from birth in a small, rural area, with a close community that shared a lot in common. Some commonalities that many members of that community share are a passion for hunting, a firm belief in self defense, and a pride in independence. This community has an attitude toward firearms that likely is the minority across the United States, as they are very much in favor of the ownership of firearms, and see is as normal for the vast majority of people to own at least one. Probably the simplest and most straight forward reason for this is the passion for hunting that I mentioned earlier. It is a tradition valued for its sport, competition, excitement, and at the most basic level: a source of food. Many people I know from my community use it as a means of bonding in their family, or between friends. These are a few of the reasons why some would argue that hunting is a good cause for the ownership of firearms. Another of these is self defense. Instances of break-ins or violent crimes were not common where I was raised, but that only increased the effect felt by all members of the community when one such crime occurred. That being said, many people felt strongly that a means of self defense was necessary among all homes and people, and this often included owning a firearm. The ability to defend one’s self can tie in closely with their independence. I have met many people who were previously members of the military, or have family history not as far back as one would think, of oppressive governments. These types of experiences and knowledge can cause someone to fear the idea of a future, radical government, which is violent against its citizens. To them, the abilities to defend themselves, and the independence provided by a firearm and training gives them can be immensely valuable.
    With that being said, firearms do not belong in the hands of all people, and not in all households. The author of “What the Second Amendment Really Meant to the Founders” thoroughly discussed the topic of gun violence in modern day America, and it is entirely true that fewer firearms could help decrease that violence. The article also does a good job of outlining how different the nation is now, compared to when the second amendment was first created. So what does that mean for the future of that amendment? It is very difficult to say, as political parties, and people in general still hold very different opinions on the matter. It can only be hoped that the safety of citizens is always the highest priority, and that our legislators can make the right decision, whatever that may be.

  35. Jack P October 5, 2018 at 10:29 pm #

    This article is one that I am particularly interested in. The reason for this is because a big chunk of my semester long project relates heavy to the second amendment. The second amendment also pertains to me because of how I use it. I am an avid hunter who enjoys spending time in the woods. For me, I use the 2nd amendment for it was supposed to be used for.

    Today although the amendment still states the same thing, it is used entirely different. Back when it was first made, people only had muskets and guns that could shoot about a round a minute. This means that the rate of fire is very very slow. That is completely different today. Many guns in this day in age can shoot thousands of rounds per minute. This means the rate of fire is so fast and advanced compared to when the 2nd amendment was made. A common theme between the recent shootings have been automatic weapons. You never hear about somebody doing a mass murder with a musket do you? This is the difference is how advanced the guns have become. Even though the amendment has stayed the same, the people who are backing it are abusing this amendment.

  36. Jake Moore March 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm #

    One of the most talked about issues today is gun control. It has always been a very talked about topic, and there is a big population that want to keep their guns and the other half wants guns taken away. The main purpose of the Second Amendment was to allow people to have guns so they could form a militia if needed. This was because back then if something were to happen it would take days for the army or any type of help to come. This is why the formation of a militia would be very useful. But now with all of our technology such as, radars, planes, ships, and many other communication technology, if someone or something is detected it would take minutes for someone to respond. But in some places in the US, like the Mid-West it could take almost 30 minutes to an hour for someone to reach you, and that is when I could see the owning and use of a firearm useful if it is that type of situation. One of the main problems was that this was written back in the 18th century when guns were nowhere near what they are today. Back then the normal musket that was mostly used would take almost a minute to reload each shot and would be a not even a 50/50 chance of hitting your target. Now we have Assault Rifles that are meant to be used in War Zones that fire up to 800 rounds a minute and have pin point accuracy. With that being said why do average people need these automatic machine guns. Many argue for protection, and many say why should you take my guns away I am a responsible gun owner. In many cases Yes, most people who own those types of guns really understand the power behind them and use them responsibly. I can agree with people owning certain guns if used properly and responsibly. But when put into the wrong hands nothing good can come from that. With these loopholes and easy to get around laws about guns something needs to be done. I do agree with the Second Amendment and believe that it is okay for the right people to own guns but not everyone. With the increase of incidents happening related to guns these past few years, from school shootings, drug related incidents, and people murdering each other, it is a very important issue that needs to be addressed and taken under control.

  37. Danielle Calorio March 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm #

    This article was definitely interesting to read. What is going on in our country with gun violence is terrifying to see and hear. People are getting gunned down in schools, at the movies, and many other places where people are supposed to feel safe and care-free. I don’t think the founding fathers expected the type of weaponry we have when they wrote the second amendment and as someone who was raised around hundreds of guns all her life, I completely understand the game, sport, and love for guns. I also believe, though, that a lot of them are completely unnecessary and should have special restrictions to protect the community from potentially such a harmful and dangerous machine. The writer posts, “Again, the militia was all important: The men writing the Bill of Rights wanted every citizen to be in the militia, and they wanted everyone in the militia to be armed.” I think that is a very important statement when regarding the second amendment, people needed guns to protect themselves from a government take-over, not to hunt or for personal uses. Guns were apart of what the founding fathers deemed necessary for a well-regulated militia, which is, in layman’s terms, a collective civilian run military force. Another scary thing about the second amendment act, which this article states, is that African Americans were not allowed to have weapons when this was written. It was intended for militia use and African Americans, free or not, were not allowed in. That was over hundreds of years ago when the founding fathers wrote the United States constitution, our society has completely changed since then, and the laws need to change with the times. Guns are doing way more damage than good and should definitely be more regulated. You see over and over again about how easy it is to obtain such lethal weapons, but nothing is being done to stop it. When there is a danger to society, the government puts in regulations to protect its people, like with cars and alcohol. What I would like to see as gun laws change are it becomes more difficult and more in depth to purchase guns of mass destruction, like military grade weapons. I do not think that any regular person should be able to walk into a store and purchase a gun of such caliper, there should be federal background checks and mental wellness exams. I think there should also be a legitimate reason you need such a gun, as the AR-15.

  38. Andrew Kenny March 15, 2019 at 3:47 pm #

    Gun control is one of the hottest topics in current American politics. Many people resort to the second amendment to defend the ownership of guns, and say that an infringement on their right to bear arms would be unconstitutional. Like anything, we refer our issues to what our forefathers laid the groundwork for. The second amendment, as the article alludes to, was meant for the civilians to raise a militia to prevent America from developing a standing army. Back then, a standing army meant less freedom for the civilians. A lot has changed since then, as we now have the most powerful standing army in the world, which happens to be a benefit and not a breach of freedoms. In my opinion, our founding fathers would have never imagined weapons to have come this far. Plus, with a successful standing army, I’m sure many of them would think that it was no longer necessary for all civilians to have assault weapons.
    Furthermore, this is an old law and the Constitution was made to “bend and not break.” With mass shootings and gun violence becoming more and more prevalent, change should be welcome. I understand that guns for many people are a hobby, and are used for show/historical purposes/or even recreation. I am not saying that all guns should be taken away, but many assault weapons should be banned/regulated. There is really no need for military grade weapons to be sold to civilians when there is a standing army in place. I’m pretty sure the days of the militia are far behind us. Also, making national gun control regulations are going to be very hard. State by state there will be different rules and regulations to follow. Acquiring a gun in New York is much different than Alabama.
    Hopefully both sides can reach some sort of an agreement. I think everyone would be on board with more extensive background checks and the deletion of bump stocks. The removal of guns completely will never happen, and I too think it is unnecessary to do so. However, it is important to look at the root of the second amendment to realize that it is subject to adjustments. The second amendment was not created so any person would be able to have a fully automatic rifle. Getting everyone to understand that first would be a big step for solution.

  39. Colby Richardson November 6, 2019 at 9:59 pm #

    With recent issues with gun control I think it is interesting to look back at the reason why the second amendment was created. When the 2nd amendment was made, its purpose was to eliminate the need for an army. This was because people would have the right to have weapons to protect themselves and others. But now it seems to causing more issues then it intended.
    Now we have issues with people using this amendment in the wrong way. People have the rights to buy weapons, but now they are using them to kill innocent people for now reason. This is a huge issue, but it simply comes down to, is should we ban this amendment or keep it. If we take it away, then people won’t be able to own guns. But people will still have guns and use them for the wrong ways. So essentially, we are taking away guns from normal law abiding citizens which then puts us at even more risk.
    We should keep this amendment since there are normal people who use guns for recreational reasons. So to help keep guns out of the wrong hands, background checks should be more extensive and we should not allow certain people to get their hands on these guns. If we limit the people who get guns, it will help keep guns out of the wrong hands. Also, anyone who is caught with a firearm illegally, should be subjected to harsher punishments. Since a simple slap on the wrist simple isn’t good enough.

  40. James K November 7, 2019 at 1:55 am #

    Unfortunately, I am unable to read the entire article because the Washington Post wants me to pay for a subscription in order to access it. However, I do want to talk about this topic regardless, since this has been one of most debatable subjects in the news over the last several years. The Founding Fathers created the second amendment to ensure that had the right to bear arms when forming militias. They wanted to make sure that we would always be able to defend ourselves during times of hostility against our enemies. Of course, the Founding Fathers believed at the time that we would always use militias to defend ourselves. Today, we now know that we have the greatest military in the world with weapons that a civilian couldn’t fathom. The big question is that since we don’t regulate militias because we have a military, then why has the second amendment not been changed with the times? The answer is that the states have the power to regulate a militia if needed, so just because we don’t use militias today, doesn’t mean that states will never have a need for them.
    I believe the second amendment shouldn’t be changed in any way, and I certainly believe that making guns illegal would be detrimental to our society. First off, we’ve already tried making something illegal after it was legal in the first place. We know that in the 1920s when alcohol was made illegal, organized crime became a serious issue for many cities. Mobsters were able to gain a lot of power by having control over the supply of the illegal substance. The crime rates that severely increased as a result of prohibition was obviously not a good thing. Looking at drugs too, who controls the supply of drugs? The cartels do, and they have created a lot of problems for Americans and people living in Central and South America. Making guns illegal would be a horrible idea. Someone would take over the market of selling guns illegally, which would again increase crime rates in the country.
    There are millions of rounds of ammunitions in civilians’ possession in the United States. If guns were such a major problem, a lot more people would be dead as the result. The point is, Americans genuinely enjoy their guns. They like to shoot them for fun, hunt with them, and use them as home décor. Besides guns being a major hobby for many, Americans have the right to protect themselves, their families, and their homes from intruders. An important part of being an American is having the ability to defend yourself against someone that it trying to hurt you. Why are home break-ins while the owner is home so much lower in America than other European countries? It’s because in a country like England, an intruder would have no problem walking into someone’s house when they are home because they know they aren’t going to get shot. No one would dare try that in America because there is a pretty good chance that they are going to get a barrel pointing right at them.

  41. Anthony Freda November 15, 2019 at 10:44 pm #

    Debates on the second amendment are very popular today. This is a topic I am very passionate about because I believe that the right to bear arms is necessary to ensure freedom. With incidents occurring such as mass shootings, the second amendment is questioned regarding if we should even own firearms of any type. I think society has a false image on what firearms are really there for. I also feel as though the Washington Post article did not specifically bring up any political stance but wrote it in a way that makes the second amendment look outdated. The second amendment is necessary in my opinion to ensure we are living in an oppressed free nation.

    Yes the second amendment was created for a standing militia and not a military. But people of today miss an unwritten ideal the founders had and that is to protect our freedom. The right to bear arms is to protect citizens from tyranny. This ensures that if the government got too oppressive that the people would have the opportunity to fight back. This is something that Jewish citizens of Europe in the early 1900’s were unable to do. They were stripped of their rights to attempt to protect themselves from Axis powers. I’m not saying this would have changed what occurred, but the ability to fight back against the oppression may have saved the lives of millions. There are other discussions regarding gun laws and background checks, but what I just discussed is what the second amendment was created to do.

  42. Samantha Russo November 21, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    The second amendment is something that people are so passionate about that it could be dangerous to voice your opinion on. My family did not teach me or my sisters to fear guns. My dad is a retired parole officer who carried a gun to his job every single day. He’s a trained firearms instructor who will often go to the range and teach others how to shoot. He’s taken me and my older cousin and taught us both how to shoot a gun so we know in case we ever had to. I do think owning guns is a right that citizens should have but I think we need gun control. When the founding fathers wrote the second amendment, the guns they had back then didn’t even have close to the power the guns have today. I don’t think that the founding fathers would have predicted all of these mass shootings and gun violence that we see every day as a result of the right to bear arms. The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks the mass shootings in America already has us at 369 mass shootings for the year. When looking at these numbers and seeing the amount of kids dying every single year in schools and at concerts where they are supposed to be safe, how can you not say we don’t need change?
    Making all guns illegal would never work. If anything it would force people to own their guns illegally and create an even bigger mess for our criminal justice system. But there’s nothing wrong with regulating gun control and what kind of guns people are allowed to own. We have background checks for who can own a gun but it always seems to fall in the wrong hands somehow. We need to regulate this even further and stop letting guns fall into the hands of people who should not be operating them. We’ve seen how simple it is for someone to get a gun nowadays and if we want to stop these mass shootings and unnecessary violence, we are going to have to put a tougher regulation on it. When the founding fathers wrote this amendment, they were referring to guns that took a minute to reload and would barely hit the target you were aiming at. They were never referring to the guns we have today that are inflicting so much harm on this country. When do we, as a society, say enough is enough and start the laws needed for gun control now?

  43. Tyler Abline November 21, 2019 at 1:06 pm #

    America is the land of the free and home of the brave. We enjoy many rights that most humans throughout history were unable to access, and we need to be willing to defend these rights. The Constitution was made as a guideline for future generations to build upon and maintain the freedom for which the country was built on, and it should be interpreted in relation to today’s time. The author of the article was extremely irresponsible in my opinion as he was attempting to poke holes in the 2nd amendment by implying that the founders intended for it to be followed precisely. The founders intended for the constitution to evolve with the evolution of society so of course some aspects of it may seem outdated today, which is why is it supposed to be interpreted. Some basic rights such as the first amendment do not evolve over time and should be upheld the way the founders described, but technological advancements such as the way the military and firearm industry have developed needs to be addressed.
    I personally am in favor of the right for Americans to own firearms. I believe that most Americans are good people so I find it irresponsible to take away their rights due to the actions of some deluded criminals. We don’t take away everyone’s cars due to dangerous drivers, we try to ensure that the dangerous drivers are no longer allowed to drive. Preventing law abiding citizens from owning firearms due to the actions of criminals is absurd. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Banning firearms will primarily hurt law abiding citizens as they will no longer be able to use them to defend themselves, meanwhile criminals likely will not even follow the laws banning guns anyway. We also have seen that throughout history totalitarian regimes take away the right to own firearms in order to subjugate their people and prevent them from standing up for their rights. We saw this in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and Socialist Cuba. All three regimes were allowed complete control over their people in no small part because their people were severely crippled in their abilities to defend themselves against tyranny due to their rights to own guns being taken away. Had Americans not been able to own guns during the American Revolution we might still be hailing the Queen.
    Overall I stand strongly in the support of the right to bear arms. While I believe that some gun control does need to be in place to ensure that they are not being placed in unstable hands, I will forever stand up for the right for law abiding Americans to own guns. Owning firearms is an American right, and I refuse to give up my rights or the rights of other law abiding citizens. We live in the land of freedom, and to take away our rights is to encroach upon that freedom.

  44. Mia Ferrante November 22, 2019 at 11:54 am #

    Today the second amendment, gun violence, and gun control are becoming one of the most talked-about topics in the media. I have no problem with guns. I grew up in Maine where almost every household has a gun. Whether it be for hunting or just protecting their home in a bad situation, it’s there. I’ve been to shooting ranges with my siblings and relatives and I have never felt in danger when in the presence of a gun. I know this is not the case for some people. I do have a problem when guns are used for the wrong purpose to attack innocent lives who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    The original point of the second amendment was to ensure the nation was secure. Society needed to be able to defend itself from enemies, it could not exist merely at the whim of a standing army and its generals. However, today, America’s standing army is now the most powerful fighting force in world history so the second amendment has lost its original meaning and now allows for anyone to have any type of gun, which should not be the case. I do not think banning guns as a whole will help solve the problem. In fact, I think it will create a bigger problem and cause a strong backlash. However, I do believe that stronger gun control laws do need to be enacted so a change can be seen.
    A statement that stood out to me in the article was that “the nation continues to tolerate a level of gun violence from its citizens unparalleled in other wealthy nations.” To me, this is perhaps the largest problem the United States has. People are so worried about their guns being taken away or their right to buy a gun being infringed upon that no matter what Congress decides, there are going to be unhappy people. Moreover, the ones suffering from this are those who have experienced what it is like to be hiding from a mass shooter whether it be at school, work, church, or restaurants. At what point will the United States stop tolerating the epidemic that is happening and realize that innocent lives are more important than weapons.

  45. Mikaela Battaglia November 22, 2019 at 3:57 pm #

    This article is one that is especially important in today’s mass-shooting society. I think it is very important for every American (or anyone in America), to know the background and reasons for the creation of the 2nd Amendment, and why those same rules that were created almost 300 years ago are no longer valid in today’s society. Many people use their right to bear arms in a manner of self-protection, by keeping one gun in a home in an area that children cannot access. However, the majority take advantage of this right and use it as their excuse to be able to carry and shoot a gun at whoever they want. It is important to focus on the fact that the 2nd Amendment was created for “militia” purposes, which no longer are plausible in today’s society because we have a functioning and powerful army to protect the US and its citizens, there is no need for people to have to create militias.
    Another aspect of this law that has developed over the centuries is the type of “arms” and weaponry actually being used. In the 18th century, guns were not nearly as sophisticated or automated as they have been developed to be today, therefore the killing was not as severe or significant in count. However, nowadays we have machine guns that can shoot one bullet after the other until the shooter has to reload. This creates much more carnage on the battlefield than in previous decades. As discussed in the article, 3 men were able to mass kill a total of 101 people in mass shootings, which would be unheard of in previous years. But, even though that is the case and people have the ability to cause such harm, the laws for gun reform have not been changed or created to prevent issues like these. Anyone can go into a gun shop and purchase a firearm, as background checks are not as strict and enforced as they should be. And even in places that they are, people can purchase guns from unauthorized sellers. In fact, Alaska has the highest rate of gun violence because their laws are so loose, whereas Hawaii has the lowest rate of gun violence because their gun laws are very strict. The federal government needs to look at these statistics and create a federal law protecting citizens from the hardships guns cause in people’s everyday lives.

  46. Kevin Orcutt November 22, 2019 at 8:42 pm #

    This article had the promise of starting off completely bias free until it got towards the middle/end and began to spew the same anti-second amendment that seems to be the normal from particularly the democratic side. The article tries to tell us at the end that guns are not necessary and that the founding fathers couldn’t have imagined what people would be doing with weapons today. They say this because of the mass shootings that have been going on in America and “gun violence.” Almost none of these problems have to do with legal owning and individuals without a mental illness. Majority of mass shooting are done by individuals that are mentally ill and shouldn’t have had a firearm in the first place, which is a problem with the system, which is already rigorous, to which the obtained it. Furthermore, the gun violence the author speaks of is also devoid of facts. Two thirds of deaths by gun in the Untied States is due to suicides. One third of gun deaths is due to homicide in which over seventy percent is committed with illegal obtained firearms. It is not the citizens that are doing the right thing in this country that are the problem. It is the criminals that are the problem. Trying to ban guns which this author is trying to allude to will change nothing. Criminals will still obtain firearms and deaths will be the same or worse because the legal owning citizens will now have no protection. I do agree with the author in the beginning for the fact that that the second amendment was put in place so that the people could keep a well-regulated militia to ensure the free state. This is so that there can be no tyrannical government because the people will be able to overthrow them. It does not state that you can only own a firearm if you are in a militia. That comment made by the author is almost as uneducated as the comments made by individuals that think the second amendment has to do with hunting, which the author almost alludes to when he mentions that citizens don’t need high powered weapons. A common misconception that people make when trying to interpret what the founding fathers’ thought is that they didn’t understand what kind of weapons we would have. That is right, they did not, as no one can see the future. At the time however the most powerful weapons that were being used by military’s, the people were also using at the same time. Without proper weaponry, how are the individuals of state even supposed to try to fight back against the government or army if they are not armed as well as them. Articles like these that are aimed at trying to demonize the fact that we are allowed to own firearms have their own personal agendas and do not have the best interest of the people of this country in mind. I believe that we should be extremely careful in administering firearms to people, but not limit or ability in any way to own them. This isn’t even a matter of opinion; this is a matter of safety to which is why we have them in the first place. The factual deduction in testosterone of men nowadays also probably does not help opinions like those of the author.

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