Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"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."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense

By The Heritage Foundation -4/18/2014


Contemporary debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment-is it a collective right or an individual right?-would have been incomprehensible to the Founders. Everyone at the time agreed that the federal government had no power to infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Contemporary debates for the most part also fail to address the essential question of why the right to bear arms was enshrined in the Constitution in the first place. The right to self-defense and to the means of defending oneself is a basic natural right that grows out of the right to life. The Second Amendment therefore does not grant the people a new right; it merely recognizes the inalienable natural right to self-defense. Lawmakers may outlaw certain types of weapons, but they may not disarm the citizenry.
"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".

 -Amendment II
Modern debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. This question, however, was apparently never even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted. Early discussions took the basic meaning of the amendment for granted and focused instead on whether it added anything significant to the original Constitution. The debate later shifted because of changes in the Constitution and in constitutional law and because legislatures began to regulate firearms in ways undreamed of in our early history. 

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