With the recent shooting in Las Vegas, there has been a lot of discussions on the second amendment and whether it is still current to modern day society. There have been many political figures who have came out in opposition of gun ownership immediately following the shooting and others who have stood by their right to the second amendment. So let’s take a closer look at the second amendment and what it means to our society.
The Second Amendment is composed of only 27 words, but they 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.”
This amendment was written in the Constitution back in 1791, and the vernacular truly shows it was written back then. The last time most people heard the word militia in a sentence, it was used to describe the United States militia during the American Revolution. So when taking a closer look at the definition, people start to pick and choose who this amendment refers to. Many folks look at the very beginning of the sentence, where it states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the state,” as it is only the right of the state to bear arms. This has been known as the collective rights theory, which asserts that individuals do not have the right to bear arms, only the state has this right. Furthermore, the state, and federal authorities have the right to regulate arms distribution without violating any constitutional right.
Now this is only one side of the argument, the other side looks at the particular phrasing in the amendment that states, the “right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This is more known as the “individual rights theory, where all individuals should have the right to own and keep their firearms. Also, this means that the state or federal government should not have the constitutional right to take away or regulate the firearms of individuals.
So where is the middle ground? Should the government be able to regulate certain limitations to the sale of firearms? Should there be extensive background checks for people with mental health issues or a criminal history? Regardless of what changes should be made, we all can mourn the loss of individuals who have lost their life due to gun violence. If you have any questions regarding the second amendment or any gun laws, feel free to contact the law offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo today.