Question: Why was the Bill of Rights added to our U.S. Constitution?
You probably need an answer to the question because few Americans are predisposed to read and study our common history and our Constitution.
The first Constitution was a confederacy of 13 states. This was done because the Founding Fathers did not want another powerful central government that would abuse their natural rights, as did King George III. But, a confederacy did not serve to actually protect the newly formed Union.
Founding Father James Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution. Admiral Chester Nimitz would later state, “The bulwarks of our liberty are men and women who read and think.” Madison was a thinker who recognized the base elements of the tyranny of a strong central government.
Years ago, while discussing our rights with some high school boys at an event in the new Rockwall High School cafetorium, I outlined the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments, and I asked, “Why do you think we were given the Bill of Rights?” One bright young man answered, “For our protection.” I next asked, “Protection from what?” That same student thought for a moment. His countenance changed as he replied, “From the government?” Yes, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments, were added to the Constitution to protect us from a strong central government.
The 2nd Amendment is short and easily understood by an elementary-age student. It says:
“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.”
The Militia was the whole body of the people. The verb to infringe means (1) to break a rule or regulation, (2) to interfere with, (3) to commit a breach or infraction.
Synonyms are to break, to disobey, and to poach [trespass].
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin infringere ‘to break off’, from frangere ‘to break’
A simple review of the enumerated powers of the federal government under Article I, Section 8 includes no federal power to regulate firearm ownership.
The 10th Amendment reserves all powers over regulating firearms to the states.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
“RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defence† of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”
What have you learned? What empowers the federal government to regulate firearms?