This is one of the most controversial topics surrounding our Supreme Court today. We all know that the Second Amendment, a part of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States of America, allows for the right to keep and bear arms. The questions hindering and splitting citizens and judges all over the nation, however, are the following. Does this law apply to citizens? If so, then to what extent? What is the meaning of 'the right to keep and bear arms'? I will make my personal analysis on this topic and you may, of course, comment below in agreement or disagreement.
The United States Constitution's Bill of Rights states this: 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.
It is amazing how this one small line can be creating such heated debate, but like all law, it is subject to interpretation. For instance, the opinion of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia is that the right to bear arms is not unlimited and therefore, should be heavily regulated, with some acts being prohibited. However, many would not agree to that. Essentially, the dividing line usually stands on whether you support the first part stating "a well regulated militia," or if you support the second part "the people to keep and bear arms." Do you believe the right to bear arms extends to the people, or just to establish militia, National Guard, and military personnel?
The way I look at it is that the definition of 'militia' is the determining factor. The Militia Act of 1903 split the United States into two corps: the organized milita and the reserve militia. The organized militia consists of formal state militia forces, the National Guard (do not confuse this with the military force National Guard of the US), and the Naval Militia. Now, the reserve militia represents every "able-bodied" man of at least seventeen and under forty-five years of age that are eligible for the draft. Therefore, according to that definition of militia, you can state that any able-bodied man between the age of seventeen and forty-five has the right to own a gun.
But then you ask: what about the rest of the population? Well, for one thing, the rest of the population would fall under the word "people," which, in my opinion, means "citizen" or "voting adult." That clause, once again in my opinion, was added to state that the right to bear arms did not only apply to the militia, but to the rest of the voting public.
However, should there be restrictions to what one can do with a gun that is legally owned by them? I say there should be limited restriction and prohibition to owning a gun. The right to bear arms protects your right to own that gun, but whether the clause gives you the right to possess a firearm in public is once again based on opinion. I feel that if the gun is not meant to harm, but rather to protect, then the gun can be in possession. Likewise, I know why they decided to make it illegal to carry a gun in public in many states, citing it as a safety risk.
Nonetheless, this issue will be put on the front lines of skepticism and activism, as the Supreme Court begins to hear a plethora of new cases, in which they must determine what the right to bear arms is and who is protected under it. But ladies and gentlemen, think about it this way. Is it your right to tell another person that they are not allowed to own a gun? You may state "public safety" and "peace" as your excuse to combat a right that is protected under the Bill of Rights. However, just because it is a right does not mean that everyone must own a gun. Whether you own a gun or not is up to you. Just note that when you buy it, your right to own it is protected by documentation.
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