An Interesting Thought on the Second Amendment

Second Amendment

Along with gun control has come controversy over what the second amendment actually means. Now, this is a very opinionated question, and I am definitely not a linguist or an english scholar so you do not have to agree with anything I say about this because it is purely infallible opinion.

minutemen

There is the argument that because of the way the second amendment is written, it only allows people to have firearms in the context of using them for a militia. Some people take this idea even further and say the second amendment just gives citizens the right to form a militia, and not have the right to possess firearms at all. The way I see it is that the second amendment allows for citizens to form a militia, and possess and carry firearms. I see why people argue that it means you can only use firearms for militias because of where the first comma is placed. If you read the first two statements together without the third, then yes, it does sound like militias are a contingent part of having firearms. However, when you look at the entirety of the three statements, and where the second comma is placed, it would make more sense if you translate each of the three statements as independent from one another, because otherwise there would be no reason for that second comma. I think it is more accurate to say that the second amendment lists three completely independent rights: the right to form a militia, the right to possess and carry firearms, and the right for the first two to not be taken away.

Again, these are just some thoughts on the subject. Here is a quote from Samuel Adams to leave off with:

2nd amendment sam adams

2 thoughts on “An Interesting Thought on the Second Amendment

  1. I love that you’ve broken the 2nd amendment down by syntax. I agree that the right to own firearms and form a militia seem to be encompassed in the amendment. My question is, does the amendment guarantee free and unrestricted ownership? In other words, should formation of militia and ownership of guns be restricted, and if so, where do we draw the line between reasonable restriction and unreasonable restriction?

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    1. That is an incredible question which I think is actually the most controversial part of the second amendment. I think that some people might want to interpret “…shall not be infringed” as the government should only have very minimal, if any restrictions on firearms. My personal opinion is that an interpretation like that will be dangerous. Everything I have read from the founding fathers indicates that they think that not only a free people should bear arms, but it is their duty to. At one point in most colonies, men of fighting age had to own arms by law. However, this was a time when individual firearms and militia firearms were superior to the firearms that the army had. This is why many gun owners are annoyed with the restrictions on firearms today. I think that the second amendment does imply restrictions on firearms and militias, but it would be very hard to tell where to draw the line. My opinion is that the system we had in most states from the post Clinton ban era up until 2012 was a good system. During tis time, firearms were classified and regulated based on the actual functions of the firearms, not the aesthetics or superficial attachments that can be added to them, but do not make them more deadly. There will always be debates about on how far restrictions and regulations should go, but I feel like during that time period there was more peace and contentness in the gun owner community. I hope that answers your question.

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