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Gun Fight: Does the 2nd Amendment stand test of time?

In 27 words, America's founding fathers shaped gun rights for centuries, not knowing how the Second Amendment would divide the country centuries later.

The Second Amendment reads, "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."

Gun rights proponent and gun store owner, Paul Paradis says, "I have the right to protect myself."

On the other side of the issue, Katie Barrett, running for Colorado's House District 45, says, "We've really got hung up on the shall not be infringed. I do not want my neighbor to have a bazooka."

Their opinions are just that; opinions. Constitutional professor at the University of Denver, David Kopel says the Bill of Rights, was meant to stand the test of time.

"It would be a document that would provide the United States with a stable free, government able to survive over the long-term."

Many have asked if our founding fathers knew their term 'arms' would include guns like AR-15s, large-capacity magazines or semi-automatic weapons.

Sociology and criminology professor Trent Steidley says they kept their writing vague on purpose.

"It does bear on arms, broadly defined as more modern types of weapons, so semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic hand-guns these are all kinds of things that fall into the preview of it," Steidley said.

The Constitution was written 232 years ago, and since then, the Second Amendment's validity and relevance have been questioned in our current climate.

Steidley asks, "Do we want to change what we think about gun rights?"

Eleven years ago, the very question was asked. In Washington D.C. versus Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the 2nd Amendment, hundreds of years later still protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, even if they couldn't imagine what 'arms' would look like.

"It's living in the sense [that] it's not tied to one type of technology. It expresses eternal principals of good government, one of which is, the people should be stronger than the government, and not vice-versa," Kopel explains.

Despite its challenge, the tension between the pro and anti-gun groups still boils over.

Dudley Brown with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says, "My constitution doesn't actually say there should be restrictions."

His thought process is challenged by people like Jillian Freeland, running for Colorado's 5th Congressional District, who says, "We need federal level regulation. It's not going to change on its own."

Even though they can't agree, Steidley says both sides will have to come together.

"We have democratic processes in place to talk about these things. Reasonable people are going to disagree about the limits of those things. That's up to us as Americans to try and work out together."

Otherwise, these words written in the constitution, "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," will be left for more interpretation.

Local News / News

Krystal Story

Krystal is a reporter for KRDO.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ask the people of Hong Kong and Venezuela if they would like to have a Second amendment. I guarantee they would love the ability to defend themselves; instead their only option is to be slaughtered by their government. You can take my guns from my cold dead hands.

  2. The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.
    Jeff Cooper

    It appears that the murder rate inside prisons is ten times higher than that outside prisons. It must be due to all those Kalashnikov rifles that are issued to prisoners upon their incarceration.
    Jeff Cooper

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