The Right to Bear Arms: What Does it Mean?

The term paper is a research paper, meaning I expect students will use both primary and secondary sources. In consultation with me, students will select a topic of importance concerning U.S. Constitutional history, research this topic, and in at                            least 18-full pages of text, produce a substantive and thoughtful paper. This paper should include a thesis statement, a substantive explanation of the findings and research, a summary, and all supporting documentation. The paper should be a flowing narrative, well-written and -organized, and logical. Students should feel free to consult with me regularly throughout the preparation of the paper. 

Students must use fully scholarly apparatus, the system described in Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Consult Turabian for all matters of form as well. If students don’t have a copy of this small book, seek it online and also Google Chicago Manual of Style.

-Here is my research proposal¦
The Right to Bear Arms: What does it Mean?
I propose to title my research paper œThe Right to Bear Arms: What Does it Mean?  When it comes to the Second Amendment it seems everyone is an expert.  And when they are not an expert, they seem to know of plenty of them that can prove their points.  Coming from a family of law enforcement who truly has no strong opinion for or against the right of an individual to possess firearms, I believe I can research this subject without any strong bias; rather a curious student of history interested only in what was said during the inclusion of the amendment as well as the events that surrounded it.  While I do believe this topic might too popular and perhaps has been œdone to death, I believe I can bring a factual, unbiased approach.

Was the point behind the Second Amendment for citizens to be able to keep handguns inside their homes?  For hunters to hunt?  For citizens to be able to fend off a tyrannical government?  I believe I have heard œyes to all of these questions from all kinds of experts.  While I am not naive I thinking I will find a clear, definitive answer.  But I believe I can research the evidence that we have available to be ab to make a responsible judgment on what the intent was behind the words: œA 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.