Part 1: Second Amendment versus America - Analysis of the History of the Second Amendment and its im
According to the Pew Research Center, four in ten United States (U.S.) citizens live in a household with guns and 30 percent of the U.S. population claims to own guns. However, in the same research study, it was displayed that over 90 percent of the survey participants believed guns are a problem to some extent in contemporary U.S. society. This contradicting data raises the question of why guns are so widely distributed across American cities and states when an overwhelming majority of Americans think it is a problem.
To better understand America’s intimacy regarding firearms, one must observe and study American history. After the U.S. beat Great Britain in the Revolutionary war, the founding fathers attempted to formulate a government system and legislation to formally establish the 13 colonies into a country. What ensued was a series of heated debates, an occasional dual here and there, and serious tensions over documents and whether they should influence the country’s politics. One of these documents was the Bill of Rights. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson and written by James Madison, two future presidents, the Bill of Rights was first drafted in 1789 in Federal Hall, New York City, with the intent of providing explicit protection over what these two figures thought of as inalienable rights. The first right written in this document was the protection of speech, gathering, petition, religion, and expression, and the second was the right to bear arms. Two years later, the Bill of Rights was ratified by three-quarters of the states at the time and was added to the Constitution in 1791.
Although the reason why Madison wrote the right to bear arms as the second amendment is still disputed by historians, there are still a number of foundational reasons that can not be disputed. The first reason is James Madison, just like all of the other founding fathers, was highly weary of a tyrannical government being developed in America. To prevent this, it is widely agreed that the second amendment was written to safeguard U.S. citizens' ability to purchase weaponry. In much simpler terms, the second amendment was written to prevent the formation of a tyrannical or the breaching of civil liberties by the U.S. government. The second reason is not as applicable in today’s society but still important to recognize nonetheless. When the Bill of Rights was adopted, there were still concerns that Great Britain may replan an attack on its former colony and regain control. It was through this concern that the U.S. government made it a priority for U.S. citizens to bear arms just in case they were at war with their nemesis again.
Many Americans today believe that the second amendment is not applicable in this day and age for various reasons. One of which is that the founding fathers never anticipated for guns to be as developed as they are today. However, one major flaw with this argument is this only makes sense when you assume that the founding fathers were not visionaries and innovators who lacked the ability to see America’s potential. Even during that time period, weaponry was constantly being improved by the year as warring countries tried to gain a tactical edge over each other.
Additionally, the founding fathers were alive to see the industrialization of the Western world and the creation of technology that improved efficiency at unprecedented rates. Even after excluding the fact that they were constantly thinking about the future, the argument that the founding fathers did not anticipate the technological status of weaponry seen today is ignorant and dismissive.
The right to bear arms has been dismissed by leftist politicians, at both the state and federal level as of late, who believe that the 2nd amendment permits preventable violence, thus resulting in deaths, and they aren’t entirely wrong. There are cases where individuals use legally purchased guns to injure and harm the lives of others. However, they fail to acknowledge the extent of such use of legally purchased guns for illicit activities and the primary use of firearms by American citizens. This misunderstanding and emotional response to gun violence in America cause a domino effect of legislation that both advertently and inadvertently disturbs the gun purchasing process by the general public. Unfortunately for people whose lives are in danger and who live in an area where the aforementioned policies are endemic, they can become victims of preventable harm and, in some cases, death. All of these things will be explained in next week’s publication of Part 2: Second Amendments versus America - Analysis of Current Gun Control Legislation and its Effect on U.S. Citizens.