The Second Amendment And The Amendment

1806 Words Nov 15th, 2014 8 Pages
The Second Amendment to the Constitution is one of the most debated issues in the history of the United States of America. 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.” CITE
The Amendment opens with the sentence that mentions the need of ‘a well-regulated militia’, but then declares that the right protected by the amendment is to be free from ‘infringement’. The right is not just a right of a state or the country but is rather ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms’. (Alstyne, 1236)
The Second Amendment, yet to be understood completely, is the most controversial out of all the amendments to the U.S Constitution or provisions of the Bill of Rights. It has led to many competing interpretations and astounding debates. Two theories were given by the early American thinkers; the collective rights theory, emerging at the end of Reconstruction, claims that the Second Amendment protects the right of states to keep up a well-regulated militia and the individual rights theory, born in the Jacksonian era, states that the Amendment protects the individual citizen’s right of keeping and bearing arms for self-defense as well as taking up arms against the government if necessary. (Cornell, 2-7)
According to Cornell, the collective rights and individual rights theories did not support the Second Amendment but rather the Amendment was a civic right that…
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