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Five types of gun laws that the founding members adhered to

The second amendment is one of the most frequently cited provisions in the U.S. Constitution, but also one of the worst terms. The 27 words that make up the Second Amendment seem to amaze modern Americans left and right. Ironically, those on both sides of our contemporary political spectrum see the Second Amendment as an obstacle to robust arms regulation. Supporters of gun rights – mostly, but not exclusively, on the right – believe that the Second Amendment bans many forms of gun regulation. On the left, frustration over the lack of progress with modern arms control leads to periodic calls to revoke the amendment. Both of these beliefs ignore an irrefutable historical truth. The drafters and adopters of the Second Amendment were generally ardent proponents of the idea of ​​well-regulated freedom. Without strong governments and effective laws, they believed, freedom inevitably degenerated into debauchery and eventually anarchy. Zealous students of history, especially Roman history, the Federalists who wrote the Constitution realized that tyranny was more often the result of anarchy, not of a strong government. I have been researching the history of arms regulation and the Second Amendment for the past two decades. When I started this research, most people assumed that regulation was a relatively recent phenomenon, something related to the rise of great government in the modern era. While the founding generation certainly appreciated the idea of ​​an armed population, they were also ardent supporters of arms regulations. Consider these five categories of gun laws that the founders endorsed. 1: Registration U.S. gun rights advocates are currently opposed to any form of registration – although such schemes are common in every other industrial democracy – and usually argue that registration violates the Second Amendment. This assertion is also difficult to reconcile with the history of the founding of the country. All the colonies – apart from Pennsylvania dominated by Quaker, the colony in which religious pacifists blocked the creation of a militia – enlisted local citizens, white men between the ages of 16-60, for state-regulated military citizens. is. The colonies and then the newly independent states kept up with the weapons needed in the military service. Men can be fined if they report to a monster without a well-maintained weapon in working condition. 2: Public bearing The modern gun rights movement has aggressively pursued the goal of extending the right to bear firearms in public. The American colonies inherited a variety of restrictions that developed under English common law. In 18th-century England, armed travel was limited to a few well-defined opportunities, such as assisting justice of the peace and constables. Members of the upper classes also had a limited exception to travel with weapons. Concealed weapons such as handguns were subject to even stricter restrictions. The city of London has completely banned the transport of these weapons. The American Revolution did not sweep away English common law. In fact, most colonies adopted common law as interpreted before independence in the colonies, including the prohibition of travel armaments in populated areas. There was therefore no general right to armed travel when the Second Amendment was adopted, and certainly no right to travel with concealed weapons. Such a right only came into being in the United States in the South African slave decades after the Second Amendment was adopted. The market revolution of the early 19th century made cheap and reliable handguns available. The southern homicide rate has risen as a result. In other parts of the country, the traditional English restrictions on armed travel continued with one important change. U.S. law has recognized an exception to this prohibition for individuals with good reason to fear an impending threat. By the end of the century, the ban on public transportation was the legal norm, not the exception. 3: Stand-your-ground laws Under traditional English common law, one had the right to withdraw and not to stand your ground. Lethal violence was only justified if no other alternative was possible. One had to retreat, until retreat was no longer possible, before an attacker was killed. The use of lethal force was only justified in the house, where you did not have to retreat under the so-called castle ladder, or the idea that ‘a man’s house is his castle’. The emergence of a more aggressive view of the right of self-defense in public, which is your position, has slowly emerged in the decades since the Civil War. 4: Laws on Safe Storage Although some advocates of gun rights try to demonize the government, it is important to recognize that one of the most important rights that citizens enjoy is the freedom to elect representatives who can pass laws on health and public safety. to promote. This is the basis for the idea of ​​orderly freedom. The regulation of gun powder and firearms stems from the exercise of this basic freedom. In 1786, Boston acted according to this legal principle and prohibited the storage of a loaded firearm in any domestic dwelling in the city. Guns had to be unloaded, which made sense because the black powder used in firearms during this period was corrosive. Loaded rifles also pose a particular danger in cases of fire, as they can fire and injure innocent bystanders and those who fight fires. 5: Loyalty Ethics One of the most common assertions one hears in the modern Second Amendment debate is the assertion that the founders incorporated this provision into the Constitution to enable a right of revolution. But even this claim is based on a serious misunderstanding about the role that the right to bear arms played in American constitutional theory. In fact, during the American Revolution, the founders engaged in major disarmament of the civilian population. The right to bear arms was subject to the swearing of a loyal oath to the government. Individuals who refused to take such an oath were disarmed. The notion that the Second Amendment is understood to protect the right to take up arms against the government is absurd. The Constitution itself defines such an act as treason. Arms regulation and gun ownership have always coexisted in American history. The second amendment does not pose any obstacle to the introduction of meaningful weapons laws. Failure to do so is not the fault of the Constitution; it’s us. This article was published from The Conversation, a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. Read more: * Why Trump’s idea of ​​arming teachers may miss the point * How US gun control compares to the rest of the world * How dangerous people get their guns in America As a researcher at the John Glenn School of Public Policy in Ohio State, Cornell was the principal investigator for a project funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation to investigate the history of gun regulation. Some of the research cited in this essay was done under the award.