There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with capitalization or punctuation differences. Differences exist between the drafted and ratified copies, the signed copies on display, and variously published transcriptions. The importance (or lack thereof) of these differences has been the source of debate regarding the meaning and interpretation of the amendment, particularly regarding the importance of the prefatory clause.


But let's focus on this version of the Second 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."


There are several parts of the amendment that we need to clarify to be able to understand it fully. I want to break the whole amendment down into four sections with two or three components each as such; [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 first part, "A well regulated Militia," has been the primary focus of many judgments over the years. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "well regulated" as [to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.] and a "militia" as [a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.]


Next part, "being necessary to the security of a free State," is rarely mentioned in the court arguments, but I believe to be a significant part of the amendment. This section has three components that are self-explanatory. The first component "being necessary" is indicating a requirement that needs to be met. The next component "to the security of" indicates the need for the protection of something. The last component of this section "a free State" is a little harder. But, it is referring to our country as a free nation.


The first part of the third section "the right of the people" indicates the freedoms that every person is guaranteed. The second part "to keep and bear Arms" needs a little more break down. The words "to keep" has a definition of ownership or possession of an item. But what about the last part "bear Arms" mean? To "bear" something is to use the item as it is intended, and the word "Arms" is a weapon.


The first part of this fourth section of "shall not" is self-explanatory unto itself. The last part infringed means; I, actively break the terms of a law, agreement, etc., act to limit or undermine (something); encroach on. Or; II, to encroach upon in a way that violates a law or the rights of another. III, especially: to violate a holder's rights under copyright, patent, trademark, or trade name.


A - well regulated (well trained and organised) - Militia (civilian composed group to support or assist the military), being - necessary (required) to the security of a free State, the right of the - people (every able body person) to keep (posses) and - bear Arms (use weapons of any type), - shall not be infringed (shall NOT be denied). So, if this is the basis of the Second Amendment, what is the argument of gun control? Well, the answer is simple. It is an issue of public safety and concern.


The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals for self-defense, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right, per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.


In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendments means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government" and thus limited the scope of the Second Amendment's protections to the federal government. In the United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not protect weapon types not having a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia."


In the twenty-first century, the amendment has become the subjected to renewed academic inquiry and legal interest. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual's right to keep a gun at home for self-defense. Since the debate started, this ruling was the first time in American history that the Court had ruled the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to own a gun. In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified its earlier decisions that limited the amendment's impact to a restriction on the federal government, expressly holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment against state and local governments. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding" and that its protection is not limited to "only those weapons useful in warfare".


On June 27, 2008, a day after the Supreme Court handed down its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Chicago Tribune wrote in an editorial that the Second Amendment should be repealed so local governments could ban firearms to protect their residents.


On October 5, 2017, political commentator Bret Stephens called for the repeal of the Second Amendment, arguing that reversal is the only practical way to regulate firearms.


On March 27, 2018, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said the Second Amendment should be repealed. Stevens noted that Heller went against the settled understanding of the Second Amendment as being militia-based and that overruling that decision by repealing the Second Amendment would be "simple." President Trump responded the next day to Stevens's call for repeal by saying that it would never happen. Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, says that Stevens's comments were "staggeringly misplaced" and could set back demands for gun control. She also said an attempt at repeal would be "a daunting task" likely to fail.


In this day and age where crime has become so rampant that people are no longer safe walking down the streets, we need to find a way to protect the people. Many people feel that the best way for that is to take guns out of the hands of the people. However, this is not a viable option. In every case where the banning of guns has occurred, crime has become even more of a problem. Many criminals will use any means to obtain a weapon. Using fake driver’s licenses bearing fictitious names, investigators with the Government Accountability Office had a 100% success rate buying firearms in five states that met the minimum requirements of the federal background check system. A 2001 report of this investigation states that the national background check system “does not positively identify purchasers of firearms,” and thus, people using fake IDs, are not flagged by the system.


Roughly 14,249 murders were committed in the United States during 2014. Of these, about 9,675 or 68% were committed with firearms. Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5.9 million violent crimes were perpetrated in the United States during the same year. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 600,000 or 10% were performed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.  However, a 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use weapons to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year. Another survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:

 

  • 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim.”

  • 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun.”

  • 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim.”


I believe the best thing to do to protect the rights of people and the safety of individuals is for a new amendment that outlines;

  • Who can and can not buy weapons across the board.

  • What training and certificates must be obtained and maintained for ownership.

  • What kind of security must be maintained in the home, vehicle, office, etc. to prevent the wrong individuals from acquiring the weapon.

  • And, stricter punishments for those who perform violent crimes with deadly weapons.

As president I will fight to make sure we implement these rules and regulations.

Gun Control

© 2016 by Rose Kincade. Candidate number P00009373

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