One of the most significant events that influenced the development of a democratic state in the US is the well-known Bill of Rights. Many historians think that the reason of adding the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights is the strongest motive for people to enjoy the legalized right to buy and bear arms, and in this way defend themselves from oppression and danger. It is a fact that the Second Amendment to the Constitution is important to the American nation, as it provided people with the legal possibility to keep and tolerate arms. In some way, it has protected the Americans from foreign and domestic enemies. As the task of the paper is to write about the Second Amendment, the historical proceedings that led to its adoption are considered first. The paper also performs the Supreme Court's analysis of the Second Amendment since the time it was adopted; it also depicts some court cases related to the Amendment.
Firstly, it should be mentioned that the Second Amendment regulates the right to buy, keep, and own arms by all citizens of the United States. The document was adopted in 1791; nevertheless, the idea traces its roots back to Medieval England, before issuing of the Magna Carta. It is known that the Bill of Rights of 1689 granted Protestants the right to be the owners of weapons and bear arms freely. The situation with Catholics was different as they were denied the same right. In times of the colonial era, a number of English colonies tried to regulate guns and weapon rights on their own, but the Virginia Declaration of Rights asserted that weapon rights should be well regulated for protecting the democratic state. For many years, the political leaders of the United States had not had any possibility to initiate and pass the Amendment on their own. As an alternative, they realized that an armed and trained citizenry could build a strong, undefeated army. That is why General George Washington created special regulations for army forces and militia. Consequently, each healthy man in a good physical form should have become a member of this army force. Secondly, the Second Amendment states, 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 (Head n. p.). That is why the question of the interpretation of what is written in one of the ten chapters of the Bill of Rights is not obvious. The Amendment has given rise to many discussions and interpretations; therefore, quite few decisions of the Supreme Court relied on the document. One should always take into consideration three major interpretations of the Second Amendment. The first one is the civilian militia interpretation; it states that the Second Amendment gives benefits for a militia system that is no longer in the position. The second interpretation is the individual rights interpretation; it proves that the Amendment was developed in order to protect the individual right to own arms and protect himself. The third interpretation deals with the median issue. It states that the Second Amendment does not guarantee the individual right to have and bear arms; it restricts and regulate this right. (Hardy n. p.). If one takes into consideration these three theories, the elucidation of this Amendment is somewhere between those who are sure that it protects right for each individual to possess guns and those people who not. It is definite now that the Supreme Court has feinted by stating that possessing weapon is not a basic right of every person: it has interfered with federal rules concerning regulation of certain weapons and power of the state to endorse firearm control procedures.
In order to analyze the two court cases that are considered relevant to the Amendment, one has to remember that the only Supreme Court decision in the history of the US that has touched the subject of the Second Amendment is U.S. v. Miller case (1939). This was the last time when the Court used the Amendment seriously. In U.S. v. Miller case, the Court employed an interpretation of the Second Amendment that it protected the individual's right to own and bear arms, but only for those people who would be valuable for a citizen militia. (Supreme Court Cases n. p.)
The first court case to be mentioned is the Parker v. District of Columbia case that took place in March 2007. On June 26, 2008, the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision since 1939 interpreting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals partly abolished the firearm forbid in Washington, D.C., because it violated the Second Amendment's pledge of an individual right to own the weapon. In addition, it stated that two provisions of District of Columbia, one that forbade handguns and one that requested a license for keeping arms in homes, were to be protected (Supreme Court Cases n. p.). The second case is Presser v. People of Illinois (1886). The Court found Herman Presser guilty of taking part in a parade with armed men without legal authorization. The defendant asserted that Illinois law defied requirements and rights of the Constitution together with the Second Amendment. The Court, however, can control and issue regulations concerning military bodies that also include any parading actions. The Court re-affirmed that the Second Amendment was functional for the limitation of the national government only. Nevertheless, the Court admitted that it was unquestionably true that all citizens were allowed to own arms and the State cannot forbid citizens to keep and bear arms, even if the Second Amendment is considered (Supreme Court Cases n. p.)
In conclusion, though the justification of the Bill of Rights does not stand on the absolute importance of basic freedoms in the USA, it may show people how the founding fathers explained the amendments. There were two objectives in adopting the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The first point was identifying the significance of a militia to a free democratic state; the second idea was guaranteeing a personal right to own and bear arms. After some court cases dealing with the Second Amendment, Congress has justified greater limitations on manufacturing, trading, transporting, and possessing weapon.
Hardy, David T. Is the Second Amendment the Second Most Important? The Order of the Bill of Rights Is an Argument for Gun Control. Slate.com. Web. 20 Dec 2012.
Supreme Court Cases. GunControl.com. Web. 8 Aug 2010. //www.guncite.com/gc2ndsup.html.