Isaiah FilesPLS 101-001Prof. LaneJanuary 31st,2018Essay I The Second Amendment was written to grant state militiasthe right to carry and use firearms. In light of this wording, I don’t believethat the framers of the constitution meant for every citizen to carry guns asthey specifically highlight that a “Well regulated Militia, being necessary tothe security of a free state”1. Inthe hands of law enforcement or the military, it makes sense for them to beable to carry guns as they are faced with potentially dangerous situations fairlyregularly and are essential to our nation’s security. However, everydaycitizens do not have as great a need to carry firearms as those in the armedservices.
The relative ease of citizens to acquire firearms has lead to some ofthe deadliest shootings in our nation’s history such as Sandy Hook andColumbine. In spite of these events, organizations such as the National RifleAssociation have aggressively defended the right to use guns as an individualright2. In order to understand the divide in opinion in regardsto the Second Amendment, the ideological difference between individual rightsand collective rights must be discussed. Those who believe that gun rights area collective right, point to the part of the Second Amendment where itspecifically states “A well regulated militia” to explain how gun rights areonly to be used by those who are directly tied to our nation’s security anddefense. They believe that ordinary citizens don’t have the need to have gunsas they are not tied to national security. On the other hand, those who believethat the right to bear arms is an individual right highlight where it statesthat “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” and they take this tomeaning that everyone is entitled to possessing a firearm.
Both sides of thedebate shape the right to bear arms by continuously making various arguments asto why guns should or shouldn’t be accessible to ordinary citizens. One of the most important court cases thatshaped the debate surrounding gun ownership was District of Columbia v. Heller, which upheld gun ownership as anindividual right and said that gun rights weren’t restricted to just military personnel3. Thedebate on guns is a sensitive subject in America because gun violence anddeaths involving guns are so prevalent in this country. In closing, I believe that guns should be kept out ofcivilian hands and reserved to only to those in the armed forces or law enforcementbecause they are critical to our nation’s security. The intent of the SecondAmendment in my opinion was to reserve the right to possess a gun to thedefenders of our nation as opposed to everyone being able to use a gun. When theissue is truly analyzed, it really makes no sense for everyday citizens to beable to purchase guns because they are not faced with dangerous situations regularly.
Especially in the case of assault rifles, people should not have access tothese types of guns because it only results in more violence in this countryand innocent people being killed. If guns are a right of everyday citizens,then there need to be stricter principles put in check so that not just anyonecould get a gun as to minimize the chances of another mass shooting. Overall, Ifeel that the framers of the constitution meant for guns to be a collectivegood and intended only for those in direct relation to the defense of thiscountry so that we would have a means of protection from enemies. It’s justthat over time, we’ve stretched the meaning to encompass all citizens but I feelthat this wasn’t the original intent by the writers. 1 “TheConstitution of the United States”.
Amendment II2 Samuel Kernellet al, The Logic of American Politics.(Thousand Oaks, Congressional Quarterly, 2018), 194.3 Samuel Kernellet al, Logic of American Politics.194.