"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" (Bill of Rights, Article II).
The Second Amendment has been a major issue in American politics. In question is the intent of this Amendment. Was it meant to insure that people in general have arms for personal service, or was it intended to insure arms for military service?.
The preamble of the United States Constitution clearly states its objective: to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
The bill of rights is the set of amendments to the constitution intended to secure these objectives for the individual citizens of the United States. The second amendment was written in the wake of the revolutionary war, when the ability to raise arms against the imperial force made the new republic possible. Securing the ownership of arms, as a right, was central to creating a government that would not infringe on the liberty of its citizens. The use of arms, however, is the last option reserved when all other attempts at the preservation of liberty have failed.
Today we live in a much different world than that of our founders. The rise of the United States into world dominance, the shift of population into the cities, and the increase of drug use and violence has produced great change in our society. Americans once feared the loss of the free state would come from foreign invasion or political corruption, but now the greatest threat is the violence we see on the evening news. The increase in violence and murder has sparked the greatest debate over gun ownership in our nation's history. The second amendment has been reinterpreted by those who feel the mere presents of guns have led to increased violence. I believe that the threat violence poses to personal liberty is the best reason to protect gun rights.