A Look at the Second Amendment


Mason Longhurst, Associate Editor

“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”. This single sentence is the entirety of the Second Amendment, a clause that has recently been causing debate in America. 

To better understand the debate surrounding the Second Amendment, I’ve asked one of our Constitutional experts here at AHS, Mr. Hymas, a few questions. Mr. Hymas, as well as Mr. Hancock, take part in the Constitution Civility Series every month. If you’d like to learn more about the Constitution, look for the debates every month.


Question 1: 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?

Mr. Hymas: “Why the founders included the Second Amendment is debatable – and that’s what is so great about America. Here we get to freely debate and promote our ideas and work for their support and perpetuation. My opinion is that the 2nd amendment was included by the founders to recognize and establish the God-given right to protect oneself against another seeking to take your life, liberty, or property against your will. There are other reasonable explanations out there – most of which are extremely interesting to consider.”


Question 2: 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?

Mr. Hymas: “The Supreme Court has had various rulings throughout the years to limit or establish boundaries on firearm use. I am of the opinion that the clear and simple language of the Second Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” means exactly what it says. People have the right to own, carry, and use firearms to protect themselves. … I think reasonable considerations such as age, mental health, previous offenders of the law, etc., should limit firearm ownership. … But I think, had society accepted the founders’ intent of creating a free people who were armed, our world would generally be a safer place.”

Question 3: Why do you think gun control is controversial?

Mr. Hymas: “I think it is controversial because the stakes are so high. Life and death hangs in the balance. I also believe it has been a topic that has been highly polarized by both sides because it tends to be an emotional topic and emotional topics draw attention, money, and support.”