One of the most hot-button topics in politics right now is gun control, and any weekly reader of my blog knows that I like to weigh in on hot-button issues. So, I would like to take this opportunity to explain why you have your Second Amendment right, and why it is so important that you do have it.
As you probably know, the Second Amendment states that "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." A lot of people, mainly those on the left, have come to think of these arms as being inherently bad. It is true that gun violence is a problem in the United States, but the solution here is not to get rid of guns. There is actually a very good reason for you to have the right to bear arms.
Anyone who has recently taken a government class likely recognizes the names Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Both were philosophers who greatly affected the way the Constitution was set up. The short version of Hobbes' ideas (you can find more here) is that if there is no government, everyone is living in a state of nature, which essentially guarantees that life will be very short, and dangerous while it lasts. Of course, his conclusion was that there must be a powerful government to prevent the chaos of the state of nature.
Later, Locke went on to modify the state of nature thought experiment. His theory was that everyone has the natural right to life, liberty, and property- even in the state of nature. However, there is no way of enforcing those rights in the state of nature, meaning that government was absolutely necessary. Locke stated that the only way a government can be moral is if it protects its citizens' natural rights, and never infringes upon them. So, if a government fails to protect its citizens' collective life, liberty, and property, the people have the responsibility to overthrow that government.
The founding fathers of America, particularly Thomas Jefferson, studied these ideas and thought they were the key to a good constitution. Obviously, the idea of the American Revolution itself is given merit in Locke's theory. When thinking about how important it was for the colonies to be able to revolt, they added in the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms guarantees that if we ever had a government denying us our life, liberty, or property (think: the Boston Massacre, the quartering of soldiers) we could do the same as the founding fathers and protect our rights ourselves.
The reason for the Second Amendment is anything but sinister. Americans have the right to own guns so that if the government ever becomes oppressive, we will be able to do something about it. If we had no weapons, there would be no possible way for us to protect ourselves from an inevitably powerful government. Of course, I'm not advocating for an armed overthrow of the government, but if we ever did find ourselves in an overwhelmingly oppressive society, we could do something. Petitions will not protect you from Big Brother. Neither will peaceful protests or boycotting. The only insurance we have for our own protection against the government is their inability to take away the right to bear arms. Think about that next time a leftist politician advocates for banning guns.