Gun Right Activists cite the 2nd amendment as one an inalienable rights along with freedom of speech, religion, and property. We, as Americans, have the right to use guns as protection in public and at home. However, what does the 2nd amendment really mean? Did the Founding Fathers want every individual to own a gun? If so, would they still approve of the weaponry ,capable of killing hundreds in a few minutes, we have today? Did the gun rights apply to hunting and sportsmanship?
“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.” Many people overlook the most important phrase: a well regulated militia. In the time the Bill of Rights was written, there was conflict between federalists and anti-federalists. The federalists believed a strong central government was necessary. The Anti-Federalists believed that a large government will inevitably become corrupt. Most historians today, believe that this clause was implemented so the states can organize a militia against the federal government. The America we live in today is far different than the one 300 years ago. Individual gun owners are not a well regulated militia. The turn from looking at the 2nd amendment as a right of the states rather than an individual right happened quite recently, when the NRA lobbied the government. Guns were not considered an individual right until 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller which allowed handguns at home. The Founders never intended to create an unregulated individual right to a gun. Today, millions believe they did.
So what affect does NRA’s spin on the 2nd Amendment have on American lives? It makes it harder for gun control legislation to be passed, since it is perceived as an inalienable right. The US has had 78 mass shootings in the last 30 years. The next developed country with the most shootings in Germany with a whopping 7 shootings. People are 3 times as likely to die from a gun if they own a gun as opposed to if they don’t own a gun. 1 in three of these handguns are kept loaded and unlocked and children know where they are.
Many people say, it’s not guns who kill people. Obviously, this is true, but allowing everyone access to a gun, without a thorough background check is inviting more avoidable deaths. Simply having a gun increases the probability of death to those around you. People pull the trigger, but without a gun, there would be no trigger to pull.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What was the Founding Father’s intention when they created the 2nd Amendment? by Jessica is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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