Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Second Amendment to the US Constitution in a nutshell

The Us constitution was created in September 17, 1787 and afforded certain rights to the citizens of the United States of America when it was ratified in 1788.

In 1789 amendments were made to the Constitution and these are known as the Bill of Rights and were ratified in 1791, thus enshrining them into the Constitution.

The second Amendment:
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.

It can be argued that the Second Amendment is the only amendment to the Constitution which states a purpose

The Second Amendment was put in place to protect States and their citizens from aggressions from the federal Government, and their right to bear arms to protect themselves form such threats.

The right to bear arms predates the Bill of Rights; the Second Amendment was based partially on the right to bear arms in English common-law, and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Which states that there will be no royal interference in the freedom of the people to have arms for their own defence as suitable to their class and as allowed by law (simultaneously restoring rights previously taken from Protestants by James II). This was in line with the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.

There have been many challenges to the Second Amendment to the Supreme Court of the United States

In United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875), the Supreme Court ruled that "[bearing arms for a lawful purpose] is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.", but also stated that the Second Amendment "has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government", as the amendment had not yet been ruled to limit the power of the states.

In United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the amendment "[protects arms that had a] reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia". This ruling has been widely described as ambiguous, and ignited a debate on whether the amendment protected an individual right, or a collective militia right.

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment "codified a pre-existing right" and that it "protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home" but also stated that "the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose". They also clarified that many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court are consistent with the Second Amendment. The plaintiff in Heller challenged the constitutionality of the Washington D.C. handgun ban, a statute that had stood for 32 years.

In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.
The plaintiff inMcDonald challenged the constitutionally of the Chicago handgun ban, which prohibited handgun possession by almost all private citizens.

Many people frown on the right of US citizens to own guns to protect their families, property and their way of life. It is most certainly a cultural trait and no doubt a controversial one, other cultures have subjectively controversial customs such as in Germany beer is such a vital part of the culture that the right to drink beer is even written into some labor contracts, and a beer with lunch in the factory cafeteria is taken for granted. This would be found to be unprofessional in some cultures to being punished by 160 lashes or even death for consuming alcohol in some countries.

It most certainly is an absolute right of US citizens to bear arms, and I for one hope that that does not ever change. But of course the "PC brigade" would rather see a good citizen retreat, be robbed, raped or murdered in their own home rather that own and use a gun to protect it.

I for one would be in favor of Ireland adopting a "Stand your ground" law like Florida as the The "Criminal Law, Defence and Dwelling Act 2011" law is no where strong enough.

It should be said that is the United States at the moment that the very people that are trying to disarm the populace are the very reason the Second Amendment exist.