Thursday, May 14, 2009

Second Amendment

When I was eleven years old I purchased my first gun through the Sears catalog, a .22caliber rifle. I loved that rifle and my family was happy for me. The topic of discussion at most family gatherings normally involved whatever species of animal were in season or gun control. Growing up in this environment has given me an interesting outlook on certain issues, mostly those having to do with gun control and the Second Amendment. It is my belief that the original intent and purpose of the Second Amendment was to preserve and guarantee, not grant the pre-existing right of individuals, to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment reads: 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.

"And any statute or regulation that burdens the right to keep and bear arms on the ground that guns are a public health hazard should enjoy the same frosty reception in court that would be given to a statute or regulation that burdened the free exercise of religion as a mental health hazard. Such an individual right was a legacy of the English Bill of Rights. (Joyce Lee Malcompg79) When, as William Blackstone phrased it in 1803, "the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression". As with any civil right, the essence of persuasion should remain with the proponent of legislation that restricts or burdens the right to keep and bear arms, rather than, as with ordinary legislation, on the opponent. The House committee eliminated the stipulation that the militia be "well-armed," and the Senate, in what became the final version of the amendment, eliminated any description of a militia. Polsby states, the public policy of discouraging people from owning or using firearms is not, by itself, constitutionally permissible , any more than discouraging people from religious observance would be permissible to some future,oh-so-progressive government that considered religion as hopelessly taboo. The use of the word people in the Second Amendment indicates an individual right. With this wording the writers of the constitution have clearly, distinguished between the rights, states and the people. As some consider the right to keep and bear arms. As was the case in the English tradition, the arms in the hands of the people, not the militia, are relied upon"to restrain the violence of oppression". It did not change the amendments guarantee that the right of the people to have arms not be infringed. While the Tenth Amendment which reads: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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