One of the most controversial amendments is the second amendment, dealing with the right to bear arms. The 2nd Amendment gives people the right to keep 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. Personally, I feel that we should be able to keep weapons, but I agree with the current movement to limit the ability to posses a firearm and the background checks involved with firearms.
One of the first cases that I will talk about is the US vs Miller case. This case took place in 1939 and deal with the ability of citizens to keep a militia. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of citizens keeping militia acting for the common defense. But, they also said that men are to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of a kind in common use at the time. This means that the militia can only contain weapons that are in common use at the time, so no militia can ever obtain something outrageous like a nuclear weapon.
I personally agree with the decision. I feel that citizens should be able to keep a militia, and that we should be able to defend ourselves against our own government if needed. I also agree with the decision to have militia s only keep weapons that are in common use at the time. It would be extremely dangerous to have something like a nuclear weapon in the hands of citizen ran militia.
The next case that deals with the second amendment is US vs Verdugo-Urquidez. This case took place in 1990. It dealt with the issue of whether or not an individual has the right to bear arms as well as a state s collective right. The court ruled in favor of the right of an individual to keep and bear arms. I agree with their decision because like I stated before I feel an individual should be able to arm himself to a certain degree.
The next case is United States vs. Cruikshank. This case took place in 1875. This case actually dealt with an issue of civil rights, but the Court made a statement dealing with the right of people to keep and bear arms. They said that the right of the people to keep and bear arms was a pre-existing right that is only enumerated in the constitution, they stated The right there specified is that of bearing arms for a lawful purpose. That is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that shall not be infringed by congress. This statement by the supreme court shows that in 1875 they said the constitution did not give citizens the right to bear arms. I do not agree with this decision, because I feel that it is in the constitution.
The next case that comes up is Presser vs Illinois, which took place in 1886. In this supreme court case the Court decided that laws forbidding bodies of men to associate together as military organizations, or to drill or parade with arms in cities and towns was not an infringement of an individual rights to keep and bear arms. Do I agree with case? Actually I do, I feel it would be a threat to some people if they saw a group of citizens marching with weapons and would be an infringement upon other people s rights. So I actually agree with this decision.
The last case that needs to be reviewed is Lewis vs. US. This court case took place in 1980. Their decision was concerned with whether the provision of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 prohibiting the possession of firearms by convicted felons applied to someone wrongly convicted of a felony. The Court said that convicted felons were historically were and are subject to the loss of a great deal of fundamental rights of citizenship including right to vote, hold office, and serve on juries. All of these are more fundamental than the possession of a firearm. So in conclusion the court said that convicted felons lose their right to possess a firearm. I agree with this decision. I feel that if you were ever convicted of a crime, you should lose some rights, especially the right to own a firearm. By keeping firearms away from felons, you can help reduce a great number of crimes.
In closing, I feel that the second amendment does give us the right to own and bear firearms. But, I agree with many of the court decisions in their attempt to curtail it. For example, I agree that if you were ever convicted of a crime that you should not be able to own a firearm, I also agree that you should not be able to obtain a non common weapon such as a nuclear bomb, and I agree that people with firearms should not be allowed to march in a city or town. But I do feel that an individual has the right to own a weapon and that a group of citizens should be allowed to form a militia, and I do support the second amendment and the right to bear arms.