Second Amendment Argumentative Analysis

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Since the United States of America declared its independence on July 4, 1776, guns have been an integral part of the American identity. They have represented both a direct check on a possible tyrannical government and a symbol of what being American means. But if we examine the history of the 2nd Amendment and guns from a deeper perspective, we see why it is such a controversial issue. Guns, especially now, contribute to numerous fatalities and devastatingly affect the American people, elevating the question: “Is it time to place stricter checks on guns?” We must ask this because statistics show that in 2014, the US had the 18th highest firearm-related homicide rate in the world, making it the highest death rate of developed countries. We must …show more content…
Heller, which held t that the 2nd Amendment promised individual rights, is predicated on a very dangerous and outdated belief that we as a country must distance ourselves from. For many years, the Constitutional interpretation of the Second Amendment was about being a member of a militia as opposed to having the individual right to own a gun. There were numerous Constitutional cases in the 1900’s, including two Supreme Court cases (US vs. Miller and US vs. Cruikshank) which confirmed this idea. After all, the Constitution does state, "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 difficulty in interpreting this comes from the vagueness of the Constitution and the odd punctuation contained in the amendment. However, in DC vs Heller, which overturned centuries of scholarly belief on the 2nd Amendment in order to provide the right to bear arms to individuals, the Supreme Court used the concept of originalism to make their case. Originalism holds that the Constitution must be solely interpreted based on the intent of the founders. And while one might say that the original intent of the Founding Fathers of the USAwas simply to protect our people from tyranny, and thus originalism is the way to interpret the Constitution, it is also highly dangerous. After all, there is no way the Founders could have predicted how much technology has advanced, and how dangerous guns would become. Also, the world truly was a much different place 250 years ago than it is now. There are some things the Founders simply couldn’t imagine about our world today, and sticking steadfastly to the originalist interpretations on every single issue, we risk becoming a stagnant