The Second Amendment was an amendment to the United States Constitution. It was approved on 15th December 1791 and became a part of the Bill of Rights. It protects an individual’s right to keep weapons. This Amendment was influenced by the English Bill Rights of 1689. It was supported by James Monroe and James Adam.
However, the most notable figure related to this amendment was James Madison. He introduced the idea of how militias could be used to keep the military in check. However, the right to bear arms is not unlimited and does not extend to felons/ mentally ill. Along with this, citizens are also not allowed to carry weapons in public areas. Limitations were also placed on the federal agencies as well in this amendment.
‘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.’
The Second Amendment was created so that the citizens would feel safe. However, to ensure that people did not abuse it, Gun Laws were created. The government was given the power to regulate the firearms. These laws also provided individuals access to specific weapons.
They ensured that criminals and mentally deranged can’t get their hands on arms. Gun Laws and the Second Amendment have become relevant in recent years. Many incidents of gun violence have occurred in the USA recently. As a result of this, people have been making demands for more stringent laws. On the other hand, people who support the Second Amendment want the rules to be further relaxed.
Militias comprised of locals who had the authority to act as a military force in emergencies. On May 8, 1792, Congress passed an act that made it compulsory for every eligible eighteen year old or above white male to become a part of the militia. However, many people did not show up for their militia duty and the enforcers did not perform their duties properly. On July 1794 the militias entered the battlefield for the first time against Pennsylvania rebels. In the end, only due to the efforts of excellent military officers, the rebels were suppressed. The citizen militia was heavily criticized for its incompetence.
Before the U.S Constitution, the right to bear weapons was supported for various reasons such as the local organization of a militia, participation in law enforcement, fighting against potential invasion, protection against a tyrannical government and for self-defense purposes. The Second Amendment incorporated all the points mentioned above and ensured that no one was able to take away the people’s rights.
Over the years people have demanded that the 2nd Amendment be revoked. This has primarily been done in the wake of various incidents of gun violence. The critics of the amendment believe that the right to bear arms must be strictly regulated. They claim that regulating firearms more stringently will help reduce incidents of gun violence. However, this group has met with little success over the years.