Does the 2nd Amendment Cover All Types of Weapons?

6/25/2013 • Ask Mr. History

Does the Second Amendment support the NRA’s stance on individual ownership of all types of weapons?


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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
World History Group
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