This summer several mass shootings occurred in the United States. In July, a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and wounding 58. In early August, six were killed and three were injured at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In late August, a shooter opened fire in front of the Empire State Building, and in their attempts to stop him, police may have shot and wounded 9 bystanders. After these tragic events, the debate regarding the interpretation of the Second Amendment has again come into the national spotlight. With impending elections in November, local, state, and national government officials and organizations have contributed to the dialogue.
STUDENT ACTIVITY open this file to get links to news articles you are to read thinking about these questions
o Students should think about these questions on their own as they read:
What right does the Second Amendment protect?
No right in the Bill of Rights is considered absolute. What limits on
firearms has the Supreme Court ruled are constitutional? What limits on
firearms do you believe are constitutional?
History is clear that the first ten amendments to the Constitution were adopted to secure certain common law rights of the people, against invasion by the Federal Government. — Bell v. Hood, 71 F. Supp., 813, 816 (1947) U.S.D.C., So. Dist. CA.
Reading these articles as well as some news media review the questions to consider and write an essay with your responses.
- 9 things you didn't know
- The original intent of the 2nd amendment
- Controling GUNS to control the murder rates
- Gun Control doesn't save lives
1. What right does the Second Amendment to the Constitution protect? Do you think this
protection is necessary? Why or why not?
2. Why did the Founders include the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights? Do you
think that their reasons are still valid today? Why or why not?
3. What has the Supreme Court ruled about the meaning of the Second Amendment? Do
you agree with their reasoning and conclusions?
4. What types of restrictions have local and state governments put on weapons? What
laws have local and state governments proposed? Do you support or oppose these
5. What laws would you propose regarding gun control? How do you think the public
would react to your ideas?
6. Why do you think gun control is controversial?
7. During the Empire State Building shooting, it is believed that police officers fired shots
at the accused shooter and accidentally wounded nine bystanders. A grand jury is now
reviewing evidence in this case to determine whether the officers should stand charges.
How does this knowledge impact your understanding of the Second Amendment? How
does it impact your opinion on gun control regulations?
Bill of Rights Institute
Did these men believe in their convictions? Read what happened to them after they signed the Declaration of Independence