An essay on the right of people to bear arms

Originally published as 43 Duke L. For educational use only. The printed edition remains canonical.

An essay on the right of people to bear arms

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This question, however, was not even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted. Many in the Founding generation believed that governments are prone to use soldiers to oppress the people. English history suggested that this risk could be controlled by permitting the government to raise armies consisting of full-time paid troops only when needed to fight foreign adversaries.

For other purposes, such as responding to sudden invasions or other emergencies, the government could rely on a militia that consisted of ordinary civilians who supplied their own weapons and received some part-time, unpaid military training. The onset of war does not always allow time to raise and train an army, and the Revolutionary War showed that militia forces could not be relied on for national defense.

The Constitutional Convention therefore decided that the federal government should have almost unfettered authority to establish peacetime standing armies and to regulate the militia.

This massive shift of power from the states to the federal government generated one of the chief objections to the proposed Constitution. Anti-Federalists argued that the proposed Constitution would take from the states their principal means of defense against federal usurpation.

The Federalists responded that fears of federal oppression were overblown, in part because the American people were armed and would be almost impossible to subdue through military force.

Implicit in the debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists were two shared assumptions. First, that the proposed new Constitution gave the federal government almost total legal authority over the army and militia.

Second, that the federal government should not have any authority at all to disarm the citizenry. They disagreed only about whether an armed populace could adequately deter federal oppression. Yet the Amendment was easily accepted because of widespread agreement that the federal government should not have the power to infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms, any more than it should have the power to abridge the freedom of speech or prohibit the free exercise of religion.

Much has changed since The traditional militia fell into desuetude, and state-based militia organizations were eventually incorporated into the federal military structure.

Furthermore, eighteenth century civilians routinely kept at home the very same weapons they would need if called to serve in the militia, while modern soldiers are equipped with weapons that differ significantly from those generally thought appropriate for civilian uses.

Civilians no longer expect to use their household weapons for militia duty, although they still keep and bear arms to defend against common criminals as well as for hunting and other forms of recreation.

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The law has also changed. While states in the Founding era regulated guns—blacks were often prohibited from possessing firearms and militia weapons were frequently registered on government rolls—gun laws today are more extensive and controversial.

Another important legal development was the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Second Amendment originally applied only to the federal government, leaving the states to regulate weapons as they saw fit. Although there is substantial evidence that the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was meant to protect the right of individuals to keep and bear arms from infringement by the states, the Supreme Court rejected this interpretation in United States v.

An essay on the right of people to bear arms

Until recently, the judiciary treated the Second Amendment almost as a dead letter. In District of Columbia v. A 5—4 majority ruled that the language and history of the Second Amendment showed that it protects a private right of individuals to have arms for their own defense, not a right of the states to maintain a militia.

Two years later, in McDonald v. City of Chicagothe Court struck down a similar handgun ban at the state level, again by a 5—4 vote. Justice Thomas rejected those precedents in favor of reliance on the Privileges or Immunities Clause, but all five members of the majority concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment protects against state infringement of the same individual right that is protected from federal infringement by the Second Amendment.

Notwithstanding the lengthy opinions in Heller and McDonald, they technically ruled only that government may not ban the possession of handguns by civilians in their homes.

The Second Amendment Today by Nelson Lund The right to keep and bear arms is a lot like the right to freedom of speech.

Common Interpretation

In each case, the Constitution expressly protects a liberty that needs to be insulated from the ordinary political process.ESSAY. THE SECOND AMENDMENT AND ("That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, Beyond the Second Amendment: An Individual Right to Arms Viewed Through The Ninth Amendment, 24 Rutgers L.J.

1. “Without the right to bear arms, we would have anarchy in the streets, the criminals would still have guns, and violent crime would escalate,” the opponents of gun control say (Killias, ).

In Australia, it is testified, public safety has essentially decreased after intensified gun control. Right to Bear Arms Our founding fathers created the bill of rights to ensure the safety of the states from the centralized government established in the new United States of America.

Although they had a plan to go about the process of making sure the unalienable rights of the people were de. Federalist No. 46 is an essay by James Madison, the forty-sixth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on January 29, under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published.

Essay on Right to Bear Arms. In conclusion I am for the right to bear arms if it is going to make myself and family and mainly the people that I care for safe and secure then I say if you don't like it dont't have one then, but maybe someday you will be thank full for the rights that you have as an Anerican of the united states of america.

- The origin of the right to keep and bear arms all started with the culture of having guns, then events that brought fear among people, then valid arguments for the need of arms. This explains the historical origin of the second .

Federalist No. 46 - Wikipedia