The Right To Bear Arms

Depiction: Battle on Concord Bridge

The purpose behind the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by our Founding Fathers was written into our Constitution after a very heavy discussion between both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. This heavy discussion was centered around the Army. The Anti-Federalists feared a standing army being used to oppress the people. As a result, this gave birth to the Second Amendment, deeming a militia of the States being necessary for the security of a free State.

However, the debate did not end there. The United States Congress had authority over the regulation of the militia as per Article I Section 8 Clauses 15&16.

There were still strong fears among the Anti-Federalists that the Federal Government could use this authority and manipulate the Militia against the States and against the People. (See the Militia Act of 1903 and see that their fears came to be reality).

As a result, the Anti-Federalists wanted the clause "The Right of the People to keep and bear arms" be included into the Second Amendment.

Federalists thought this clause was redundant, as it was "self evident" that the people have a natural right to be free and defend themselves. The People had just fought a revolutionary war against the strongest empire on the planet and won because of having adequate ability to fight.

Despite the redundancy, the Federalists readily agreed, as they too saw the dangers of a potential standing army, and did not want to see another "Lexington & Concord" and guaranteed the protection of the right to bear arms.

In conclusion, through the extensive debate over the right to bear arms, the purpose for this right is not so simple as to say it is for personal and home defense. The right to bear arms is so that We The People can be adequately armed to resist a standing army if need be. |Jessie Rude

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