The Second Amendment | BRI’s Homework Help Series
What are the origins of the Second Amendment, and how has it been interpreted throughout U.S. history? This Homework Help video explores the history of the Second Amendment as well as the Supreme Court interpretations of it that shape current discussions on the topic of gun control.
Second Amendment Viewing Guide Answer Key
Answer key for the Second Amendment viewing guide.
How Has the Second Amendment Been Interpreted?
For much of American history, the Supreme Court had very little to say about the Second Amendment until 2008 when the Court heard arguments in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. Richard Heller challenged the city's total ban on handguns on Second Amendment grounds. The Court agreed with Heller finding the ban unconstitutional.
The Second Amendment and Traveling with Firearms
The Supreme Court has not heard a case concerning the Second Amendment for nearly a decade, leading Justice Clarence Thomas to deem it a “constitutional orphan.” However, with the retirement of the moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy-and the appointment of the more pro-gun rights Justice Kavanaugh- the high court has now decided to hear a case on firearms.
Teaching the Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment
Every day we are inundated with arguments concerning the Second Amendment. Whether it is the various positions of the presidential candidates, referenda and bills in the several states, or comments from the numerous public interest groups on all sides of the issue, it is a conversation that is impossible to avoid. The Bill of Rights Institute has prepared videos, resources, and activities that will help you incorporate these topics into your classroom!
Discussing Controversial Topics: The Second Amendment
In July of 2012, a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and wounding 58. In early August of that year, six were killed and three were injured at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In late August, a shooter opened fire in front of the Empire State Building, and nine bystanders were wounded in the ensuing shootout with the police. After these tragic events, the debate regarding the interpretation of the Second Amendment again came into the national spotlight in the lead up to the elections in November. Use this activity to discuss this controversial issue with your students.