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Does the 2nd Amendment Cover All Types of Weapons?

Originally published under Ask Mr. History. Published Online: June 25, 2013 
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Does the Second Amendment support the NRA's stance on individual ownership of all types of weapons?


? ? ?

Dear E.C.T.

If you check the original Second Amendment, you will note that it only applies to the right to maintain arms for use in a "well-ordered militia," on the apparent assumption that in the Founding Fathers' conception of a well-ordered democratic society, the only need for firearms would be against the hostile British, French and Spanish colonies lying to the north or southwest, or from the Native Americans. Later, more specific adjuncts were added by the legislature and Supreme Court as shown on the attached full description.

Obviously the Founding Fathers failed to consider the possibility of a young man taking his mother's perfectly legal, above-board gun, shooting her in the face with it, stealing the rest of her perfectly legal arsenal, and trying to assuage his dissatisfaction with life by killing every six-year-old child he could shoot. Forgive them their naiveté.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History


3 Responses to “Does the 2nd Amendment Cover All Types of Weapons?”

  1. 1
    Michael Confoy says:

    Guess that means I can't legally own a rocket launcher or Harpoon missile. Darn.

  2. 2
    T.L.Rouhier says:

    When a parent has a child that is in such a mental state that they are preparing to send that child to an institution then they should have all weapons locked securely away. No amendment or law will make this happen unless the person wants to do it.

  3. 3
    Robert Brown says:

    At last someone has answered the question about the USA 2nd Amendment. We who live outside the USA view the USA firearms issue with pure incredulity, as it appears to be totally out of control; especially in an otherwise 'civilised' society.

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