Presently in our nation, a controversy is shelling around the issue of gun control. Civilian ownership of firearms has for more than two hundred years been the very cornerstone upon which the liberty of the public has been supported. The very reason that Americans have never suffered a tyranny on the scale of Nazi-Germany has been due to the proliferation of firearms in the hands of the general public.
There are two major sides to this debate, one being the collective side, which feels that the right was given for collective purposes only. This side is in favor of having stricter gun control laws, as they feel that by having stricter laws the number of crimes that are being committed with guns will be reduced and thus save lives. However, while gun control laws may decrease criminals” access to guns, the same laws restricts gun owning citizens who abide by the law; these citizens make up a great majority of the opposing side of this argument. These people argue that the law was made with the individual citizens in mind. This group believes that the Amendment should be interpreted to guarantee citizens free access to firearms. One major group that is in strong opposition of stricter gun control laws is the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA argues that having stricter gun control laws will only hinder law-abiding citizens. .
The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights 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” (Amendment II 1791).
In order to understand that right, the modern reader must understand the semantics of the eighteenth century. The term “Well Regulated” meant well trained according to James Madison, the principle author of the Constitution. The term militia, according to the Militia Act of 1792, referred to all able-bodied male citizens. The meaning then of the Second Amendment is made quite clear.