Second Amendment
9-22-03


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. That is the second amendment, which is very controversial today among many different groups of people. The second amendment says that people have the right to own a fire arm if they chose to. The second amendment is not limited to fire arms, but also to weapons, such as knives, brass knuckles, and other street fighting weapons. Many issues have arose over this amendment and it’s interpretations. States with their own weapon laws are feeling violated, and its not only the people that are being restricted that feel violated, but the people who are not being restricted as well.


Many people who are against the ownership of guns to average citizens present their case in the manner that the right to bear arms is defined in a way that says that arms are needed for a “well regulated militia,” not for sport, security or whatever the reason to own a gun may be. They feel that the safety of their family is being threatened, and guns only cause crime, among other negative things.


People also argue that it is not stated in the constitution that the states decide on gun control laws, because it’s a right of the people, as is freedom of speech, press, protest, etc. Most dispute over second amendment is over that very argument. All the different states have different gun laws. So why is it in some states, if you’re caught with a weapon, that ownership is a crime, and punishable by law?


For example, in Louisiana, you do not need a permit to buy a gun, or register a gun when you do buy it, a license, or a permit (unless it is a handgun.) There are also no laws about juvenile possession of fire arms. New York City is another story. It does not matter if it is a hand gun, shot gun or rifle, you need a purchasing permit, a license, registration, and a permit to ownership. There are juvenile purchasing and possession laws that are enforced as well, and are taken very seriously.


Even though there is a significant difference in the crime rate in New York City and the state of Louisiana, is it fair that the area that you live in is grounds to whether your second amendment rights are respected? Many supreme court cases have answered questions regarding the enforcement of second amendment rights.


One court cases that was significant concerning the second amendment was U.S. vs. Cruikshank. It involved members of the Ku Klux Klan depriving black victims of their basic rights such as freedom of assembly and to bear arms. The court decided that neither the First nor Second Amendments applied to the states, but were limitations on Congress. Therefor, federal government had no power to correct these violations, the citizens had to rely on the police power of the states for their protection from private individuals.


This case is occasionally misrepresented as holding the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. The court explained that these rights weren\'t granted or created by the Constitution, they existed prior to the Constitution.


Another controversial court cases was Presser vs. Illinois. It ruled that the states had the right to strictly regulate private military groups and associations. It also reaffirmed the Cruikshank decision that the Second Amendment acts as a limitation upon the federal government and not the states. However Presser also stated that setting the Second Amendment aside, the states could not prohibit the "people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security..."


In conclusion, I think that the second amendment is too loosely interpreted, and should be amended again, so there is not as much controversy over the gun law issue. I personally believe that gun laws should be decided upon by the states and that the 2nd amendment should be changed. It is too vague and misinterpreted too often. No matter what would happen with the second amendment, some group of people or government official would be displeased with