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Which Constitutional Amendment Grants All Americans the Right to Own a Gun?

Updated on September 14, 2019

The above title unquestionably abbreviates, condenses, and tightly encapsulates a vitally important question that encompasses a much broader set of sub-questions and or categories in which to my knowledge, have yet to be adequately answered by any one individual, impartial group or organization, or legitimate legal body. The Supreme Court rendered and subsequently continue to re-affirm an extremely controversial decision in which many legal scholars would suggest inadvertently convoluted, or mistakenly commingled, two distinct passages within the very same amendment to essentially create a brand new meaning of the sentence by ignoring or altering the proper grammatical structure. One in which many knowledgeable esquires and lay persons alike, firmly believe does not correspond with, nor accurately reflects our founder's original intent either expressed or implied.

If this subject piques your interest as you scan through the page, and it should because the ramifications significantly impact our daily lives both directly and indirectly, simply take a moment to read the brief 2nd Amendment passage below and decide for yourself if indeed, you, and all other fellow citizens have the inherent legal right to own a firearm regardless of circumstance. Not withstanding of course potential legal issues such as incarceration which may inhibit or completely strip these and all other Constitutional Rights from an individual either permanently or until a predetermined time certain in the future. My approach when writing this article, which is of course based upon a rather highly contentious subject, was inspired from a purely nonpartisan standpoint, and in the past I've based all my personal voting decisions exclusively on the fundamental issues and corresponding ideas of individual candidates, and I've never been influenced in the least by any particular political party's ingrained, non-negotiable underlying philosophy or beliefs. I have personally owned firearms in the past and have friends, acquaintances, and also family members who indulge by exercising current ownership rights for various reasons that run the entire gambit. However, this close association with firearm owners does not temper my curiosity when it comes to exploring and subsequently challenging the integrity and or legitimacy of such an important subject. I personally believe it's my right and obligation as an American to pursue the truth. I now invite you to read on and decide for yourself without being subjected to the influential factors associated with the Supreme Court's verbatim decision.

As we perpetually transition seamlessly from one election cycle to the next, which always seems to be in full illustrious bloom despite substantial breathers and time gaps in between, I decided, as I always do when the cable airwaves begin to routinely transmit their distinct versions of individual candidate platforms, to research the most important issues that command the undivided attention of the majority of Americans regardless of historical political party affiliation. This discovery of new knowledge or academic "Re-enforcement", which always enhances my existing basic understanding by either corroborating, casting doubt upon, or completely disproving certain facts or theories, or in some cases, completely discounts a subject in totality, always ensures that I'm well prepared and fully capable of making the most educated decisions possible once I enter the designated voting venue, and proceed to exercise my inherent, uncontested constitutional right of casting a preference for respective candidates.

Needless to say, I've always based these important voting decisions on factual data pertaining to the issues that most effect my quality of life and other meaningful considerations, and not necessarily on a particular candidate's unwavering personal philosophy, conviction, or deeply rooted beliefs, regardless of how righteous they may seem at first glance. I believe I'm like most Americans in this regard, give me some good, sound, workable solutions and ideas designed to solve or strengthen currently pending and future issues, and I will tend to lean in your general direction despite party affiliation. The best ideas, in my opinion, come from the in depth study of tangible factual data and evidence which ultimately leads to an enlightened decision making process. This unquestionably takes top priority when evaluating each individual candidate, not necessarily their personal beliefs and or faith based reliance or dependence. Although these considerations can indeed play an integral or even deciding roll in the voting process for some Americans. On a more cynical note, unfortunately, we as American voters must also factor in the "Money Flow" element that inevitably reveals which special interest entity is supporting each respective candidate. With this said, and with proper disclosure established as it relates to my personal view on the subject, let's briefly explore the "Right to Bear Arms" segment of the 2nd Amendment.

- A subtle inconspicuous three foot tall memorial stands at Huntington Beach California in commemoration - A simple message is hand carved into a small piece of wood - "ALL GAVE SOME & SOME GAVE ALL"  -
- A subtle inconspicuous three foot tall memorial stands at Huntington Beach California in commemoration - A simple message is hand carved into a small piece of wood - "ALL GAVE SOME & SOME GAVE ALL" -

Time to take an in depth look at what had always been, and presumably always will be, a cornerstone of the GOP platform. A small, fragile brick within a much larger foundation that is based predominantly upon a Supreme Court interpretation, decision, and subsequent opinion as it relates to the 2nd Amendment and the contents therein. More specifically, a narrow focus on the very liberal legal interpretation and subsequent affirmation of a twenty seven word sentence contained within, that now grants every American citizen, regardless of their association, or lack there of, with an organized militia such as the National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force etc., the right to own and or possess a gun. Or, in constitutional verbiage, "The Right To Bear Arms". A legal opinion in which the GOP in general, vehemently support as an accurate conclusion.

- Below is the "Right to Bear Arms" excerpt verbatim from the 2nd Amendment -


  • As you can clearly see, there is no "Period" after the word "State" which would indicate a pause in thought or new subject. Moreover, if you apply simple grammatical criteria to this portion of the Amendment in which our forefathers were quite adept, the only logical conclusion one could possibly draw, is that the sentence is continuous and not to be separated, indicating one seamless, connected, and uninterrupted thought. Moreover, if it is one sentence, in my opinion, It clearly states in unequivocal terms, an individual, as a requirement or prerequisite to owning a gun, "Firearm" or "Arms", is to first become affiliated with a "Well Regulated Militia". Any other interpretation might be considered a stretch or extremely liberal by any measure. Many Constitutional Scholars believe the drafters would have inserted a "Period" after the word "State" if the intent was to separate the two thoughts, hence, possibly altering the meaning and or subsequent interpretation. For many who are knowledgeable on the subject, this excerpt is considered clear, concise, and unambiguous, and it's almost inconceivable that it can possibly be interpreted any other way than how it reads verbatim, adhering to the fundamental rules of proper English Grammar -

What do you think?

After reading the above passage it does appear as if the literal interpretation clearly states the enlistment, and or, affiliation with, a "Well Regulated Militia" such as the armed forces which are organized to protect the security of a state or country, as a requirement or prerequisite to legally exercise gun ownership rights. I would have to assume the vast majority of nonpartisan casual observers would tend to agree with this reasonable conclusion as well. However, we as a civil society must respect and adhere to certain decisions handed down to us by supreme entities regardless of what influential, and or, political factors may have been in play at the time of its deliberation and subsequent rulings.

I am well aware as I'll assume most Americans are, of the intense scrutiny this one sentence has been subjected to over the decades. A few precisely crafted words that were carefully drafted by our forefathers and meticulously inserted into the body of our U.S. Constitution over two centuries ago, and what they might think of its present day interpretation. It had endured throughout the years only to be translated and converted by a judicial body into what many scholars and considerable percentage of the general public, consider to be an extremely liberal interpretation. Which leaves us with the following question, what do you think? Does this sentence in its literal reading, automatically and without condition precedent, grant all Americans, regardless of regulated militia affiliation, the right to own a gun or firearm? Is there a clear distinction between the literal interpretation and or what was determined to be the "Spirit of the Law" as defined by any one individual and or ruling body? Are they one in the same? Synonymous? Only you can be the ultimate judge.

NOTE: After a substantial amount of web based due diligence and subsequent careful analysis of the "Right To Bear Arms" clause contained within the 2nd Amendment, unfortunately, I'm still left with an unsatisfied and empty feeling which only inspires me to continue on with my rigorous quest to find the elusive passage within the U.S. Constitution that explicitly articulates our unconditional right to own and possess a gun - I have yet to discover this excerpt however, I will continue to update my personal data base as facts flow in regarding this pressing topic and report my findings to the world in future editions - You can compare my input with your basic understanding & knowledge, then maybe together, we can solve this enduring mystery - A.P.
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    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      22 months ago from > California

      UPDATE ~ Although the CONSTITUTION Bans ALL Guns unless you are affiliated with a "Well Regulated Militia" such as the ARMED Forces, Beto NEVER said he's taking your "Guns" as republicans are now LYING about, he said he's taking your "Weapons of War", rapid fire machine guns designed to kill in masses and confiscating these murdering piles of iron is absolutely the SANE thing to do ~

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      5 years ago from > California

      Too Bad George Washington NEVER said that Ken ~ Here's what he did say in reference to Maintaining an ARMY i.e. a "Well Regulated MILITIA" to Secure OUR Independance from a Foreign Force, a Fact which is CLEARLY Written & Articulated in OUR Constitution ~

      " A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essential, particularly for military supplies."

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      5 years ago from Florida

      A Free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.

      - George Washington

      The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      - 2nd Amendment

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      8 years ago from > California

      You have some valid points "Really", however I believe a condition precedent to legal firearm ownership as clearly stated within the primary sentence of the 2nd Amendment is "Enlistment" and active service in a "Well Regulated Militia", an organized group which is traditionally comprised of scores of individuals -

      I believe a "Well Regulated Militia" would be considered an army, navy, air force or any other organized, well trained, and tightly controlled fighting force specifically designed to protect our United States of America from an Earthly Foreign Invader or Pseudo-Altruistic Hostile Alien Force -

      If we accept this generalized interpretation or universally acknowledged premise, everything else falls into precise place rather swiftly and efficiently - If we regard the "United States Army" as the epitome of a "Well Regulated Militia", we must accept all incidental and appurtenant factors which all citizens must abide by to become an official member upon enlistment - The army does not issue a weapon to an enlisted person while he/she is merely contemplating joining the forces, nor does the army issue a weapon concurrent with a new troop signing the enlistment agreement - To my knowledge, in order to protect the integrity of the army and to ensure the safety of all personnel or citizens both enlisted and civilian, the cadet is issued a weapon only after attending boot camp where proper orientation and training can be administered - And that makes perfect sense -

      I believe the same basic concept applies to a "Civilian" or any other "Militia" as articulated in the 2nd Amendment - It must be well regulated and controlled to be effective and optimally operable and most importantly legal, and the issuance of arms to members who have come together in unified fashion to achieve a common self defense goal is a "Post Militia Membership" right thereby rendering clearly defined restrictions on "The Right to Bear Arms" as written and contained within the specific clause -

      Membership in a well regulated and intended "Militia" is a condition precedent which must be met prior to your arms rights becoming effective -

      If non-militia affiliated individual firearm ownership was an absolute unconditional right without pre-requisites to be met, the 2nd Amendment would explicitly reflect this sentiment, but it does not - Your right to bear arms will forever be inseparably associated with a "Well Regulated Militia" and the charter or articles of operation contained therein -

      NOTE of APPRECIATION - Your passion for this subject is duly acknowledged "Really", and I sincerely appreciate the time you've expended to craft intelligently designed entries in response to my article - I believe a genuine meeting of the minds regarding this important subject may be conditional upon conquering what may seem like an insurmountable "Belief Based" obstacle, but never an impossible outcome -

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I accept that explanation and definition as an interpretation. What was meant by my statement of "U.S. Citizenship" means that as Legal and Law Abiding U.S. Citizens we are as a whole the Militia, the Well Regulated portion applies only in that under the Governing Laws of the USA (and/or State) we are all agreeing and complying with regulations that are what make the fabric of our society. Such as Gun, Criminal, Tax, Property, etc. Laws and Regulations. Those that have been found to not be in compliance with these Laws and Regulations have been stripped of these rights we speak of. Though no formal tightly knit Chain of Command is apparent from a broad view, the citizen is responsible for the efficacy of their skills as a member of the "Citizen Brigade", which is why Institutions exist for the purpose of training in Self Defense and Combat Tactics which are completely available to the public and are often taught by Former or Active Military and Law Enforcement but certainly by Certified Instructors. We are regulated everyday with Traffic Enforcement, Safety Enforcement, etc. by our Local Governments Law Enforcement; We are Trained in many ways how to respond to Natural Disasters, National Disasters, even Violent Crimes. As I speak of this interpretation it should be known that I believe the Citizen as a member of the Citizen Brigade is the lowest in the Chain of Command and is truly only in existence for the slim to null chance that the U.S.A. Homeland were invaded by massive assaulting Armies; this would involve the Citizens actually fighting for their lives and way of life. This, I believe is what the founding members of this Country meant, not for everyone to run around with weapons but rather be responsible patriots and not be left in a situation where if the Military needed assistance they would not have it.

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      8 years ago from > California

      Even though our legal briefs seem to be as irreversibly divergent as the massive divide between Senator Mitch McConnell and the definition of the word "Sanity", welcome to the conversation "Really" -

      The word "Militia" is certainly not "Fuzzy" in the least to me - I have a clear understanding of the expressed and implied definition and explicit intent of our founders for inclusion of this precise word within the context of our 2nd Amendment -

      Actually, your definition conveniently excluded the words "organized" "trained" et al other verbiage which is either expressed or innately accepted as components which are integral to the term "Militia" in proper context - But even if we unconditionally accept your loosely interpreted definition, that would still exclude 99% of Americans from legal arms ownership because "Militia" implies the involvement of more than one individual and 99% of gun owners to my knowledge are not members of a "Militia of Ordinary Citizens" - I understand your argument suggests each individual citizen is "Automatically" a militia and therefore possesses the right to own firearms which is an incredible stretch of the imagination to say the least -

      A more accurate and complete summary I believe would be the following - A "Militia", as defined by several different universally accepted sources, is essentially an army or extension thereof which is well organized, trained, and has a built in chain of command element combined with several other components which foster adhesive characteristics, this would irrefutably disqualify an "Individual" who is not a member from owning arms simply for hunting, sport, or any other arbitrary purpose -

      "Militia" implies military, and military implies a force of many individuals which make up a tightly cohesive fighting unit deployed to protect and defend the United States of America and her sovereign governments both federal and state from foreign invaders or embedded insurgents who exhibit hostile intent toward our land or citizenry worldwide -

      The 2nd Amendment also explicitly states the militia must be "Well Regulated" which means specific Rules & Laws must be complied with as a condition precedent - Moreover, the word "Supervise" accompanies the term "Regulated" which obviously suggests there needs to be more than a solo individual involved for supervision to take place, therefore no militia exists if there is no "Supervision" and no gun rights exist for an individual citizen unless assigned by a "Militia" -

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      In case the definition of Militia is fuzzy to anyone, it clearly states in simple terms: All Physically Fit Ordinary Citizens, not part of an Armed Force though eligible by Law for Military Service comprise a Militia.

      So, Non-Military Personnel that are Regulated Law Abiding Citizens of the U.S.A. are it's own Militia. I call it "U.S. Citizenship". Here is the technical definition of Militia, glad I could help:

      mi·li·tia (m-lsh)


      1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.

      2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.

      3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      - Law abiding U.S. Citizens ARE "the People". Otherwise, the statement would read "...The Right of These Individuals to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.". If the intent of the Supreme Court was to alter the meaning by removing a period to place a comma, then they failed. The passage still reads with the interpretation that, "A Well Regulated Militia" actually has and always will be the Regulated Law Abiding Citizens of the United States of America.

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      8 years ago from > California

      Welcome neohiobiker - "Privately Funded" or Federally Funded" is parsing of semantics which is immaterial to the spirit and concrete fundamentals of this non-ambiguous law contained within the constitution - Moreover, the presence of "God "at the initial drafting of our supreme law is debatable, I'm confident he/she/it felt our original founders were quite capable of the task at hand without divine intervention and these thoughtful mortal individuals agreed it to be necessary to connect the words "Militia" and "Right to Bear Arms" within the tight context of the same sentence, without period betwixt -

      The Amendment explicitly states the association with a "Militia" as condition precedent, whether "Funded", "Voluntary" or otherwise, as an essential requirement which must be met prior to an individual's right to bear arms becoming effective - Refer to the verbatim clause within the body of my entry above which clearly states this assertion -

      I stand by my common sense interpretation but I do appreciate your participation -

      Alternative Prime

    • neohiobiker profile image


      8 years ago

      NO you are wrong. In the time of of founders a Militia was not a formal paid by the gov't Army It was a Volunteer Army made up by private Citizens and the most telling clue you will find about our (private citizens) to keep and bear arms is where this Article is found. It is found in our BILL OF RIGHTS the citizens rights by god and not man. If it was a state right or duty or the federal gov't it would have been stated else where. Period or not period Anti gunners will look for the slightest reason to take a citizens rights away the period doesn't change a thing. The BILL OF RIGHTS is written for the people not a GOV'T

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      8 years ago from > California

      Hello tamarwilhite & Welcome -

      I believe it's a little more complicated than the blanket, generalized statement you've articulated - The law dictates many variables which play into each individual self defense scenario, however, I believe your basic concept is acceptable in theory provided reasonable force is exercised by the person potentially in harms way -

      This is true unless of course you live in a regressive state like Florida where exercising common sense or applying the advantage of a "Walk Away Opportunity" to avert or mitigate the seriousness of an incident is no longer a requirement -

      Now, with the passage of related legislation, any person who legally owns a gun can essentially fire at will without cause in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or even Palm Beach - A disturbingly surreal, regressive, and undeniably radical law which now places all persons, both visitors and residents alike who live within the borders, at a higher risk of serious bodily injury -

      With that said, my contention still remains the same and it is the following - The Constitution of the United States does not grant every person the inherent, unconditional right to own a firearm - I believe this to be true even though it was established by the Supreme Court as constitutional - To my knowledge, the explicit verbiage which justifies indiscriminate and arbitrary firearm ownership is non-existent within the parchment upon which it was non-written -

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 

      9 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      We have a right to self defense. Guns are one of the best assurances of that.


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