Protecting the Second
CTN body text:In 1787, after a terrible American Revolution was fought and won, our Forefathers began deliberations in a Constitutional Convention to create a plan detailing how the US government would operate. These Founding Fathers were people from all walks of life with the admiration of those they represented. Ordinary respected people in extraordinary times created a masterpiece and the future greatest nation on earth.
They took lessons from history; from English and French philosophers, lawyers, politicians, statesmen, and the Iroquois nation. The colonists’ experiences with repression were considered. Several of the Bill of Rights’ Amendments were a direct response to tyrannical actions ordered by King George.
Our Forefathers understood that their Revolution was only successful because the common people owned weapons equal with the British soldiers they fought. If our Forefathers had fought England using crossbows or matchlock muskets, we might still be under English rule today. Our Forefathers felt so strongly about this guard against tyranny that they enshrined this guarantee for future generations as the Second Amendment to the Constitution. “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 US Supreme Court agreed with this interpretation in 1939 with United States v. Miller (307 U.S. 174). Miller was charged with violating the National Firearms Act of 1934 with a shotgun with barrel length less than 18 inches. The government prosecutor’s argument stated:
- The Second Amendment protects only the ownership of military-type weapons appropriate for use in an organized militia.
- A “shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches” was never used in any militia organization.
The Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment as an individual’s right to bear arms of military-type: “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.”