The Freedom Of Speech, Religion, And Assembly ( Lepore ) Essay

1854 Words May 14th, 2015 8 Pages
According to Jill Lepore, a Harvard professor of United States History, a 1991 poll in the US found that people were more likely to know of the Second Amendment: the “right to bear arms” than they were to know the First: the freedom of speech, religion, and assembly (Lepore). This startling fact clearly shows that US citizens prioritize guns very highly, perhaps over our own freedom. However, the interpretation of the Second Amendment as the right of citizens to carry any and all types of guns wherever they want, is misconceived. The actual Amendment states “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”. At the time the Amendment was written, guns were completely different than today’s handguns, rifles, and shotguns, and could not cause nearly as much damage in such a short amount of time. Also, as seen from the entire Amendment, the citizen’s right to bear arms was referring to a militia rising to protect their state. The patriot’s revolution against British control would be the prime example of what James Madison had in mind when writing the Bill of Rights. According to Lepore, the 1970’s was when the National Rifle Association started to push the idea that the Second Amendment means anyone can carry a gun with them, instead of the people’s right to fight for the defense of all. The NRA influenced lawyers and the public to interpret the Second Amendment the way they wanted.…

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