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Historical Perspectives. The U.S. Constitution. Teacher Information. by Elaine Lopez. Historical Perspectives. How have ideas in the Constitution as changed by amendment and interpretation, and other laws, affected relationships between individuals and government?.

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Historical Perspectives

The U.S. Constitution

Teacher Information

by Elaine Lopez

Historical Perspectives

How have ideas in the Constitution as changed by amendment and interpretation, and other laws, affected relationships between individuals and government?

(MOSTD. IV.C, 1.2;1.3;1.6;1.10)

Historical Perspectives

Amendment II - Right to keep and bear arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.

What was the intent of this amendment and how has it changed over time?

Historical Perspectives

At the time of the writing of the Constitution, citizen militias, what eventually became the National Guard, were a major part of what made this country free. The authors did not want their government, or any future government, to take from the people their ability to defend themselves against aggressors, from the inside or out.


Back to Question

Historical Perspectives

Has our thinking changed

regarding the

2nd Amendment?

Historical Perspectives

Allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes, and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. (NRA)

We should not do away with the 2nd Amendment. People want to change it, but that will never happen, nor should it. We've gotten on fine with the amendment the way it is since it was adopted. Leave it to the people of any one time to interpret it as they might, and let it foster a healthy debate among Americans.


Historical Perspectives

Then, arms, or more rightly, muzzle-loaded muskets, were an essential part of the defense of freedom. If the authors had any foreknowledge of the types of weapons people would be able to buy nowadays, they may have wanted to rethink this amendment.

But if the interpretation of it is that the people have the right to bear arms so that a militia force, capable of beating back an external threat, can be properly maintained, then you have to admit, it is pretty out dated now. Even a militia as a deterrent to internal tyranny is out of sync with the reality of the United States of America.


Historical Perspectives

How do you feel the 2nd Amendment should be interpreted?

Reread the INTENT of the amendment as written by the founding fathers.

As you respond to the above question, discuss whether our interpretation today is what was intended in 1791. Are you on the PRO side or the CON side? Explain.

6th Grade Social Studies

MAP Attack


To navigate through the slides, just click on the screen. This will automatically take you to the next slide.

There are some pages that have special instructions for viewing answers, so be alert to them.

Please take time to preview each lesson before using with your class, so you know how to navigate through it. Thanks

Back to beginning

by Elaine Lopez