This essay is about the Second Amendment and whether its meaning was for personal gun use or military gun use. It is based on the book "Whose Right to Bear Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect?"

Essay by breezylearUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, December 2002

download word file, 2 pages 3.5

When the Constitution was first created, it lacked a bill of rights. The Anti-federalists believed that a bill of rights was necessary to protect the rights of the American citizens, so they used this as their reason for opposing the ratification of the Constitution. Although the Federalists thought that it was pointless to include one, James Madison went ahead and wrote up a properly worded Bill of Rights. By doing this, he hoped to quiet the fears of the Anti-federalists and cease their efforts to weaken the power of the new federal government. (12-15)

There are many amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. Each amendment protects a specific unalienable right of men. But, none were debated by the Federalists and the Anti-federalists as often as the second. The Second Amendment says, "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."

(65) What does this mean? According to the Federalists, it guaranteed a strong central government who had control of the militia. They believed a militia was needed to keep the country in order and protect citizens from tyranny, especially by the mob, outside invaders, and corrupt individuals within the government.

With guns in the hands of the individual, a militia was needed to stop rebellious citizens, the mob, from causing civic disorder. According to Lawrence Delbert Cress, Shay's Rebellion is a great example of how the militia is needed to keep the mob under control. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wanted to add the ability to tax to the Articles of Confederation's powers. Daniel Shay, a Revolutionary War officer, and the farmers of Massachusetts took up arms to prevent their farms from being seized by

creditors and arranged themselves into...