Second Amendment to the US Constitution
Probably everyone knows that the “Second Amendment” to the US Constitution, adopted on December 15, 1791, guarantees US citizens the right to possess and bear arms.
But few people know that the same amendment allows realizing the right of the United States people to an armed revolt, mentioned in the text of the Declaration of Independence, in the event that the US government grossly violates the rights of Americans and the Constitution. Then the government will have armed forces against the unarmed population. In this way, the founding fathers made the right equal for both parties.
One of the founding fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton (January 9, 1788), defined the concept of “well-organized militia” that existed at the time the following quote:
Participation in military affairs takes time and practice. This occupation demands not days or weeks. It is necessary to involve the broad masses of farmers and other classes of citizens in military training, which should occur as often as necessary in order to achieve the required degree of perfection necessary for them to be described as a well-organized militia.
The problem of interpretation of the Second Amendment, of the “right of the people” is to determine how it differs from the assembly freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment and the right to a security described to the Fourth Amendment.
Starting from at least the second half of the 19th century, the Second Amendment provokes many discussions, in some cases ended with the trials of the US Supreme Court. One of the first cases of the Second Amendment the US Supreme Court was dated back to 1820.
In most cases, American courts have two approaches in interpreting the Second Amendment – the “individual” approach, meaning the right of individuals to keep and bear arms privately, and the “collective”, as the rights of citizens to take part in a “well-organized militia”. In this case, it is usually assumed that such militia independently provides itself with weapons and ammunition, which corresponds to the model that has historically been established in the USA.
Today in the US, the population has 270 million pieces of legal firearms or about 89 trunks per 100 people. This is the highest rate (armed population) in the world. Considering the illegal weapons, its number is over 300 million.
It is allowed for the purchase of a long-barreled non-automatic weapon if you are over 18 years, short-barreled if you are over 21 years. A special license is required for carrying short-barreled weapons in most states, for which you need to undergo additional testing and pay a fee, and in some states – to undergo special training courses.
Each year, about 2.5 million Americans use weapons for self-defense, and in 8% of cases, this results in the death or injury of the criminal. Citizens in the United States kill two times more criminals than the police (while the percentage of injuries or deaths of random people is 5 times lower than that of the police).