The Second Amendment to the US Constitution and the Bearing of ArmsThe Second Amendment states that ‘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’. In 1903, Congress passed several acts to help states to develop their own militias. These acts were aimed at providing funding and other resources to organize state militias. The Federal Government formed the National Guard, and the states provided armouries and storage facilities. It was up to the federal funds to provide clothing, weapons and equipment.
The training of the militia is supervised by the Army and the Air Force (Roleff). As no State of the Union, enjoins upon its denizens to provide its militia with firearms, the ownership of weapons by individuals has no relevance to the existence of a competent militia. The Amendments proposed to the US Constitution, in 1789, were significantly less articulate than the bill of rights of the individual states. The state bills of rights had been replete with supplications to natural rights and first principles.
This was conspicuous by its absence in these Amendments, and there were just a few sparse directions. It had been presumed that the populace was thoroughly cognizant with the ultimate source and moral objectives of their rights (Rakove 192). An exception to this general state of affairs, in respect of the Constitutional Amendments, was to be seen in the Second Amendment, which comprised of a preamble that described its aim, namely, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms. ” There is a very important reference in the Second Amendment; specifically, the advantages provided by a well regulated militia.
This indication has been glossed over by the modern proponents of this Amendment; because, it implies that citizens do not have the constitutional right to stock weapons, like machine guns, howitzers and battle tanks, in their homes (Rakove 192). The right to bear guns, which can be treated as the right to private property, cannot be an absolute right. Fundamentally, the right of any individual to own, bear or use firearms has to be offset against the right of any person to safety, and the social requirements of society.
Moreover, there are some types of weapons, whose mere possession is harmful to society. The Second Amendment to the Constitution came into being, when the nation was in its infancy. The present large scale violence could not have been anticipated by the framers of the Bill of Rights (Warfel). At present, the US is experiencing a culture of violence. The homicide rate in the US, on account of guns is higher than that of the other wealthy countries. Similarly, the rate of suicides committed with guns is higher in the US than the other developed countries.
Although, it could be contended that guns are indispensable for protecting oneself and one’s family; the proliferation of firearms, allows criminals and mentally ill people to cause irreversible harm (Warfel). Although, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms; it does not prevent the enactment of stringent gun control legislation. The advocates of gun rights function in a manner that does not conform to the spirit of the Second Amendment.
This manner of thinking came into existence, during the 19th century, when several states, commenced to enact gun control laws, in order to deal with the various problems that were coming to the fore, due to hand guns (Cornell).