Constitution Countdown: Second Amendment

The Constitution Day, September 17, is the anniversary of the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. Though the Bill of Rights was not ratified until 1791, Sidelines will be breaking down one of the first ten amendments each day between now and September 17.

The Amendment:

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.

The Meaning:

The second amendment provides citizens the right to a “well regulated” militia so that the government does not possess all of the weaponry, ensuring a free state.

The Effect:

Arguably the most disputed amendment in modern politics, the second amendment, rather vaguely, defines the citizens’ right to bear arms. The ambiguous perimeters of “well regulated,” have led to political battles over how restricted a citizen’s gun ownership can be. However, the second amendment does secure the freedom of gun ownership (however restricted) to American citizens, which maintains the possibility of a militia uprising among the people and offers a certain sense of security against the government.

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To contact news editor Sarah Grace Taylor, email

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