Arguably, one of the most talked about amendments and overall policy legislation pieces of modern-day politics. Now, more than ever, the testing and judgement of the Right to Bear Arms has placed the American people at opposing ends. As the amendment is written, 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 (United States Const., amendment II), the interpretation of the amendment has been sporadic throughout history.
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The term ‘militia’ has been understood in vastly different manners, yet the Supreme Court has only given a legitimate stance on this issue in recent years. It is important to not only look at the history behind the Second amendment, but it is also essential to examine what precedents and future outcomes can arise with weaponry and technology advancements, and where and how government regulations come into play.
In United States history, there have been very minimal cases brought to the Supreme Court regarding the Second Amendment. Therefore, the few decisions made how been made surrounding the culture of the U.S. at the time of the case. And, as it is known, with a new Supreme Court comes different interpretations, goals, and motives for a decision. The increased jurisdiction and power of the Supreme Court has played a factor and most likely will play more of a factor in the future context of the amendment as a whole and its effects of present and prospective society.
In regard to the history of this amendment, the first real Supreme Court case was with the case of United States v. Cruikshank. This was during the Louisiana election in 1872, and, at the time, the Republican and Democratic political parties became hostile towards one another. On Easter Sunday, what became known as the Colfax Massacre took place. A group of black Republicans were shot by democrats that belonged to a militia, and the perpetrators were charged with violating the 1870 Enforcement Act, meant to decrease KKK terrorism.
The Supreme Court had a plethora of factors to consider when they heard this case. When it came down to it, the Court only really looked at the applications of the Second Amendment and what their verdict would be based on their interpretation. When the decision was made, the Court sided with the defendants, using the Right to Assemble and Right to Bear Arms as their reasoning. The Court stated that these amendments, along with the fourteenth, were put in place to restrict the federal government from infringing upon the rights of the people, and that it did not apply directly to individuals or the states (Federal Justice Center). Rights were then granted to the people and not on a national level. This narrow interpretation emphasized the pro-gun rights attitudes of many Americans,
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