The 2nd Amendment: 'Necessary to the Security of a Free State'

The 2nd Amendment: 'Necessary to the Security of a Free State'

Among the amendments contained within the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers only designated the 2nd Amendment as “necessary to the security of a free state.” 

Does this mean they had a low view of the other rights protected by the remainder of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution? Far from it, they understood that without the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment the exercise of all other would crumble over time. 

In other words, the right to keep and bear arms guarantees or lends integrity to the right to freedom of speech and religion (1st Amendment), and to the right to possess private property and security “in our persons, houses, papers, and effects” (3rd and 4th Amendment), and so on. 

The phrase “necessary to the security of a free state” tells us that while the other amendments are protecting their specific rights, the 2nd Amendment is protecting the right to keep and bear arms and all the other rights as well.

Think about it this way — in a wagon wheel there are many spokes. Think of each of those spokes as a different amendment in the Bill of Rights. There is a spoke for freedom of speech and religion, for states’ rights (10th Amendment), for protection from cruel and unusual punishment (8th Amendment), and so on. But all these various spokes would fall to the ground without being held in place by a hub in the center of the wheel. 

That hub is the 2nd Amendment, which represents the only right our Founders described as “necessary to the security of a free state.” Take it away, and the rest of the Bill of Rights will collapse in time, guaranteed. 

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