The Second Amendment: Simplified and Explained

United States Constitution

Jack Smith
3 min readNov 16, 2020

The Second Amendment is the second text in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment protects the right to not only keep and store items but to also bear it. It is also called ‘Amendment 2’ and ‘2A’.

Main Text of the Second Amendment

“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.”

Second Amendment History

The Second Amendment was ratified in the Bill of Rights in response to British soldiers taking over Americans houses and attacking them during the War of Independence. It was used to allow Americans to stop British soldiers taking over their house and property.

It was also ruled during the Civil Rights era in many states that African Americans can use guns to defend against groups like the KKK from attacking them.

What Does the Second Amendment Allow

The Second Amendment allows, all non-convicted citizens, the right to purchase, store, bear and use a firearm to defend themselves, their house, their community and their state from a tyrannical government and/or other physical threats to life.

“Well Regulated Militia”

Since the ratification of 2A, Americans have debated the meaning of a “Well Regulated Militia” and if it 2A still holds up in the 21st century.

The crux of the debate is whether the amendment protects the right of private individuals to keep and bear arms, or whether it instead protects a collective right that should be exercised only through formal militia units.

One side of the argument believes a “well regulated militia” refers to the Military, National Guard or S.W.A.T/Counter Terrorism Police Units.

The other side of the argument believes a “well regulated militia” refers to citizens part of groups defending their community as a militia.

Their has been different legal cases and rulings that have ruled on both sides of the argument. Because of this, there is no definitive on what a “well regulated militia” mean.

If you want to know what the general consensus in your state is. Research past rulings within your state. Most “red”/Republican states tend to lean more on the side of citizen groups defending their community however you should still research more.

Examples of What it Does Cover

  • Someone attacking you
  • Someone mugging you
  • Armed robbery
  • Threats to life whilst holding a deadly weapon

Examples of What it Does NOT Cover

  • Someone on your lawn, posing no imminent threat
  • Someone threatening you, posing no imminent threat
  • Unarmed shoplift
  • A verbal dispute
  • the following examples are subject to legal argument, please seek legal advice online or with a lawyer if you own a firearm.

For a more in depth analysis of the Second Amendment, click here.