The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights

Essay by striker7778College, Undergraduate April 2008

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�PAGE � �PAGE �1� The Right to Bear Arms

The Constitution of the United States has been challenged many times since it was first written over 200 years ago. The main reason for most of these debates is the Bill of Rights, a list of ten amendments added after the Constitution was written. One of the amendments that draws much controversy is the Second Amendment, The Right to Bear Arms. Increasing violence in this country forces citizens and courts to examine this issue regardless of their feelings on the issue. The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U. S. Constitution states "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" (as cited in Meltzer, 1990, p. 56). To a citizen of the United States, this means that "state militia and National Guard have the right to bear arms or keep weapons" (Meltzer, 1990, p.

56). Many citizens also interpret this as the right to own a gun for protection of their life and personal property.

Where did the Second Amendment originate? It was part of a long process of setting up the government of the United States, which was first formed under the Articles of Confederation in 1781. In 1785 the leaders of the United States decided that the Articles were weak and needed to be amended if this country was going to survive. In February 1787, Congress voted to revise the Articles. During the Philadelphia Convention, fifty-five delegates created what is now the Constitution of the United States. The new Constitution was sent out to the states to be ratified without a bill of rights. James Madison was one of many who worked to get the...