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The Mythic Meanings of the Second AmendmentTaming Political Violence in a Constitutional Republic$
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David C. Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300095623

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300095623.001.0001

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The History of the Second Amendment

The History of the Second Amendment

(p.39) 2 The History of the Second Amendment
The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment

David C. Williams

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the history of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In 1776, the American colonies declared independence from the British Empire by claiming the popular right to throw off the shackles of a corrupt government and to create a new one. The chapter argues that an army was needed in order to protect the newly established government from the forces of the British Empire and other external threats, but that raising a standing army posed a threat to the citizens, who feared that it may turn the government into a tyrannical regime. To make things fair, the Framers proposed to give the right to bear arms for all American citizens. These events served as the framework for what is known as the Second Amendment.

Keywords:   independence, government, bear arms, Second Amendment, Constitution

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