Do You Know When The Second Amendment Was Ratified?

When Was The Second Amendment Ratified?

Image via National Center for Constitutional Studies

When it comes to Americans remembering important dates, public education fails too often. For instance, if you think the American Revolution began in 1776, you should attend an Appleseed Heritage and Marksmanship event. And if you think the 2A came about in 1789, you almost nailed it. Actually, the world-famous American Second Amendment received ratification into law on December 15th, 1791.

Frankly, I admit that my recollection of constitutional history placed the Bill of Rights at 1789. However, ratification didn’t happen until better than two years later.

Yes, the Second Amendment ranks as one of the most widely-known Constitutional Amendments in America today.  Frankly, it’s well-known around the world.  That says something in a country where about a third of Americans do not know the Vice-President’s name. (Is it ‘Buy a shotgun‘ Joe Biden? Nope. Not any more!)

When Was The Second Amendment Ratified?

Image via military.com

Today, the very pro-gun Mike Pence serves as the United States of America’s Vice-President. And he flies in Air Force Two.

When Was The Second Amendment Ratified?

Image via Twitter

Other times, he stands at the ready to cast the deciding vote in the U.S. Senate. That includes nominations to the Supreme Court. Above, earlier this year, he waves at those dead-set opposed to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination outside the U.S. Capitol building. Moments earlier, Kavanaugh was cofirmed as Associate Justice Kavanaugh.

Tired of winning yet?  I’m not.

At the same time, the Washington Times claims that 37% of Americans can’t name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment. Can you name them? (Speech, Assembly, Petition, Religion and Press.)

Meanwhile, anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows the Second Amendment recognizes Americans’ gun rights. And with our gun rights come our self-defense rights.

And while a lot of folks have tried twisting themselves into pretzels over the meaning of the Second Amendment’s 27 words, it became the law of the land in 1791. Specifically, on December 15, 1791 with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s vote to ratify the Bill of Rights.

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.

Sadly, it took Massachusetts, Connecticut and Georgia until 1939 to get around to ratifying the Bill of Rights. Make of that what you will. Not that their approval mattered after December 15, 1791.

And speaking of the U.S. Supreme Court: Thankfully, the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision reaffirmed most of the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Yes, Virginia, the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Of course, this gutted many of the fake arguments of the civilian disarmament cabal. And those of the federal governments’ representatives in various anti-gun presidential administrations.

Also noteworthy; the subsequent decision in the also-landmark civil rights case McDonald v. City of Chicago incorporated the Heller decision to the fifty states. That proved another major blow to promoters of big gun control schemes, including those in Congress.

For me, as a civil rights activist, I proudly hang the first page of the McDonald decision signed by the lead plaintiff, Otis McDonald himself, on my wall.

Just as American gun owners should know the events of the first day of the American Revolution, April 19, 1775, we too should recall December 15, 1791. After all, the Second Amendment recognizes our gun ownership rights. If its ratification had not happened, America might not still exist.

And if not for great Americans like Dick Heller and Otis McDonald, American politicians and courts might still treat “the people” in the Second Amendment differently than we do “the people” in the rest of the Constitution.

comments

  1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    let’s get scrutinizing.

  2. avatar Roh-Dog says:

    God-given, Man-enumerated, right.

  3. avatar Kenneth says:

    “if you think the American Revolution began in 1776, you should attend an Appleseed Heritage and Marksmanship event. ”
    Or, alternatively, one could just read a bit:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_of_Lexington_and_Concord
    Happy learning and Happy New Year!

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      You’re apposed to quality marksmanship instruction with a does no REAL (not gov’t school nonhistory instruction)?

    2. avatar Kenneth says:

      I’m not opposed to any form of knowledge gathering. My only point was that there are easier ways to learn about simple things, like history, than signing up for a class somewhere.
      Travel, rooms, meals… seems like a lot of expense and time just to find out that L&C, the first armed battle of the Revolutionary war, happened in 1775. They taught this in elementary school when I went, back in the day when we walked to school. Uphill. Both ways.

  4. avatar B says:

    “Ratified” means Officially Validated.

    “Keep” means Personally Possess, “Bear” means Carrying With You, “Arms” means any weapon.

    Validated on December 15th 1791, The Right of the People to Personally Possess and Carry Weapons, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

    No pretzels about it.

    🇺🇸

  5. Yes I do, December 15th, 1791

  6. avatar Hammer says:

    I’m all for educating the public, as I know plenty of people (even avid gun owners…) who think 2A is part of the Constitution and not the Bill of Rights. Then again, I know a number of “Constitutionalists” who knew very little about the actual Constitution, Bill of Rights, or a number of other founding documents and principles, eager as they are to twist these things to suit their own present-day political bias.

    But personally, I wish you would stick to objective education and not use it as a platform to praise the current administration, or promote more partisan division, which is arguably the single biggest toxic issue in our current situation.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      By “…partisan division…”, do you mean those willing to give up their rights at the expense of my rights?

      1. avatar Hammer says:

        I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you know full well that’s not what I mean. But nice try.

    2. avatar Aleric says:

      The only think Toxic about this administration is the fact that the previous Admin under Hussein broke every federal law there was to SPY on a political rival during an election and colluded with the DNC to stop him from getting elected. Every person involved needs to be in a federal prison, that includes Hussein, the heads of the FBI at that time, the Clintons, the members of the DNC heads, and everyone in every government office that assisted them without question. ONLY THEN will America be free.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Fake news.

        If the previous administration broke all those federal laws as you claim why didn’t the Republican Congress or attorney general or president charge or convict any member of the administration over the past eight years?

        It seems the current administration is loaded with treasonous individuals who are now paying the price with indictments and convictions and guilty pleas.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          You are confusing lack of action with a lack of actionable deeds. Just because someone has never gotten a speeding ticket does not mean they have never sped.
          As for why the actors were never prosecuted, it is because the Republican congress is, as a whole, comprised of non-vertebrates.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “As for why the actors were never prosecuted,…”

          Why not admit the truth? Only a racist would criticize the first black president. Even not criticizing Obama was racist.

        3. avatar John H Haley says:

          Miner49, your comment reeks of liberal arrogance. “We’re getting away with it, so we must be innocent.” That’s twisted. And you’re not content to be getting away with it, now you want that accepted as proof of innocence, and to rub conservatives’ noses in your unconvicted criminality. You cannot be that uninformed. The crimes – Bengazi, unsecure and missing confidential emails, the pay-for-play Clinton Foundation, the pallets of cash in the Iran deal, the Clinton dossier on Trump, the FBI use of the totally fake dossier in FISA courts to get warrants to spy on American citizens for political reasons, the spies they put in the Trump campaign, the total continuing war on our elected President by unelected permanent bureaucrats in the FBI and the DOJ, the 20+ agents such as “Smirk” Strzok fired or transferred/demoted, and now the 19,000+ text messages erased (OK, “lost” due to a “technical glitch” while in the hands of the FBI, the most advanced and lavishly funded police/intel agency on the planet) from Stroke’s phone before turning it over to the inspector general, etc., etc., etc. All fine with you?

          The awesome boldness of the last mentioned act, the transparency of that “technical glitch” lie, is quite telling. Enough alone to conclusively demonstrate total corruption. ONLY in a climate of “we’re untouchable, we can get away with anything, we know it because we’ve been doing it for years” would such obvious destruction of evidence be contemplated, let alone actually carried out and covered with such a thin lie. It’s a clear stick-in-the-eye to Lady Justice (the blindfolded lady holding the scales of justice).

          Unfortunately, even when Republicans win elections and are placed at the head of these permanent bureaucracies (aka “deep state”) they don’t – Trump excepted, and even he is unduly restrained by the dem media’s anti-Trump torrent – play by the same for-keeps hardball rules the Dems do. The agencies are full of dems because the dems love government, and any position (media, academia) where they can control others, while conservatives are generally averse to government and just want to be left alone to enjoy freedom WITHOUT infringing on the rights of others. Right now, it is obvious that the unelected Federal law enforcement agencies are working overtime against the elected President. That in itself should be criminal – it is the essence of treason.

          As for your “indictments and guilty pleas,” you need to read Sidney Powell’s “Licensed to Lie” or at least familiarize yourself with certain real-world facts: 1) A prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, 2) The ugly manufactured crime business that is a “process crime.” 3) The fact that an incredible 97% of indictments in the Federal machinery result in convictions. If they “come for you,” with their limitless resources and time, you’re toast. Period. You could ask Conrad Black. Or Enron. Or Arthur Anderson (once one of the “big eight” accounting firms). Or Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. And on and on and on.

          Wondrously (and routinely!), some of the parties guilty of gross prosecutorial abuse (suborning perjury and such) in those reversed (too late to matter, the process is the punishment) decisions are on Muller’s team now. We no longer have a government of laws. It is of men. Highly politicized Dem/Libs, to whom the law is nothing, all is political.

    3. avatar Old Rogue says:

      “…I know plenty of people (even avid gun owners…) who think 2A is part of the Constitution and not the Bill of Rights.”
      I don’t understand the distinction you are trying to make. The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, and they are, therefore, a part of The Constitution. Also, there is no mention of ‘Bill of Rights’ within the Constitution.

    4. avatar RMS1911 says:

      “I’m all for educating the public, as I know plenty of people (even avid gun owners…) who think 2A is part of the Constitution and not the Bill of Rights.”
      1 educate yourself first
      2 I bet you think all amendments are the bill of Rights not just the first ten
      3 all amendments ARE part of the Constitution

    5. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Once ratified, an Amendment becomes part of the Constitution, so 2A *IS* part of the Constitution.

  7. avatar Gregolas says:

    Great article Jon. Envious of your signed Decision. Thank you.

  8. avatar AZgunner says:

    Can we at least proof read the article titles?

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      They done got a 6th grade education.

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      No shit. This is downright terrible TTAG. Come on, this is basic English. I’m not normally one to complain about grammar but this is pure garbage. TTAG should be embarrassed.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        maybe he’s been hanging around st. sabina’s.

  9. avatar Sam I Am says:

    This is a nice article, but….

    Yeah, but……

    Our natural, human right to self-defense resulted in constitutional protection. Our right to self-defense was not spawned by the Second Amendment.

    Heller/McDonald resulted in no more than a “tip o’ the hat” to our preexisting civil right to self-defense, and RTKBA. Both are honored more in the breach than in compliance; lower courts, and state/local governments continue to do as they please in refining just what the decisions actually mean (as in, the words do not mean what they appear to mean). While Heller/McDonald are important decisions, they are largely impotent.

    Just to be petty, isn’t the author at the center of certain laws restricting “gun rights” in Illinois (or maybe just Chiraq)? Or do I have the wrong John Bosch in mind?

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      My bad….John Boch, not Bosch.

    2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      “Just to be petty, isn’t the author at the center of certain laws restricting “gun rights” in Illinois (or maybe just Chiraq)? Or do I have the wrong John Bosch in mind?”

      If If I remember correctly this author is the one who was appointed to the white house 2 Amendment council,see my above post.They the council if that is indeed the role they play,may want to provide Mr. Trump some form of guidance on the document they are supposedly to guide him on.

  10. avatar ironicatbest says:

    American’s have a right to bear arns? Well sorta , kinda, maybe

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Only with Government approval.

    2. avatar UsedtobePun says:

      Yeah, we sure do love to tout that “right”, but then squirm, snivel and squeal about the “law” and working within the framework of said “law” every time one is passed that infringes on said ‘”right”.

      What if we lived in a culture and society where the collective version of depriving people of their rights were just as odious and criminal as when an individual does so? What a novel thought…

      Instead we praise and relish the “government” who gets to collectively deprive everyone of their rights because they are given the authority to do so…it’s insane.

      And the author is happy, happy I tell you, that even though certain states were downright sluggish to confirm their citizens’ right to bear arms, well by golly it didn’t matter because those states had less collective authority to tell those people what to do than the fedgov! Brilliant!

  11. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I knew it was ratified in 1791, forgot the exact date.

    And it’s not just a Constitutionally protected civil right, it’s a universal human right. Humans have created and used weapons for about two million years. We would not have evolved into the beings we are today if we had not. We would have gone extinct. We have no claws, no teeth useful for defense, no shells or armor, no quills or poison. We walk on two feet, so we can’t flee from larger predators and we can’t catch smaller prey. We are pathetic bags of meat.

    Every organism on the planet has natural defense mechanisms, even plants and bacteria. Otherwise, they go extinct and most do. Extinction is the rule; survival is the exception. Our natural defense mechanisms are big brains and manual dexterity. Attributes, unique to us, that allow us to make and use tools. No tool is more essential than a weapon.

    To be human is to be armed.

    1. avatar ironicatbest says:

      I’d imagine the people of a million years ago were a lot tougher then we are now. Killing a Mastodon with a rock tied to a stick musta took some doing. We can push buttons good though

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        We can talk to Alexa.

    2. avatar EnDangerEd says:

      Some us us are armed, even if we do not have a firearm on us at the moment, but we have cognitive skills that if properly applied will create whatever weapon is needed. Seems that many DEMS are disarming themselves in places called “Colleges”… Strange. Many have been reduced to sticks and stones, think I’ll stay with 00 buck for the long haul.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        They are armed with Safe Spaces.

    3. avatar Flying Fish says:

      And without an opposable thumb, I would not be able to operate the grip safety on my 1911.

    4. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I can mostly agree with you there, although brain size isn’t necessarily indicative of higher intelligence, per se. There’s a decent correlation with mere body size, as it takes more general, though not “advanced” brain power just to operate a larger body’s musculoskeletal system, organs, etc.

      Think of it more as a matter of quality, not quantity, in that the number of neurons in a guven brain, not its overall size, drives what we regard as intelligence. Indeed, Neanderthal brains were larger than those of modern human. Again, that species also had a larger body to contend with, but not necessarily a more sophisticated brain. Your cell phone in the palm of your hand, after all, is more powerful than was your first PC, no doubt.

  12. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Yes the same year Vermont was accepted as the 14 th. state to the union,1791.

  13. avatar Gman says:

    Heller is an abomination. Scalia’s common use test is absolutely unconstitutional. There are no limits to rights. Placing tests upon a right makes it a privilege subject to all sorts of future abuse. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. The militia is mandated in the body of the Constitution three times. We the People cannot ensure a free state if we are not equally as well armed than any modern army, including ours. It is our constitutional duty to have both modern arms and sufficient ammunition, and to be trained and effective in their use.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      “Heller is an abomination. Scalia’s common use test is absolutely unconstitutional. There are no limits to rights.”

      Scalia’s UnConstitutional abomination will haunt the Republic,should it be kept for the next hundred years.

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    Sure buddy…we’re screwed in ILLinois. Hell Rauner signed a 72 hour “cooling off period”. In force in 2 daze. A republitard thing. Whut are we winning?!?

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Trump and his Republicrats can shove wining up their you know where,think differently,show where the Republic has won a thing in the last two years.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Greenconfused – your “Republicrats” HATE Pres Trump. These are the swampie RINOs that ally with the progtrads of the dem party.

        1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          That is why you have idiots like John Kasich, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Mitch mcConnell, Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham.

  15. avatar Dog of War says:

    Well I’d argue that the 2A hasn’t yet been ratified fully at all. Even thought we supposedly have the 2nd Amendment, states likes Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and California are still allowed to wear it down until it’s almost meaninglessness by the fact that the courts hold the 10th amendment above the 2nd. Are there any other amendment’s that get treated with as much disrespect at the state level like the 2A?

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    “Do You Know When Was The Second Amendment Was Ratified?”

    The headline would have been better if it was written in some language approximating English.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Ebonics?No. Redneckians? Maybe.

  17. Another problem with “Heller” is the implicit acceptance of rights that are something other than individual. All rights are individual rights. “Individual rights” is a tautology. And rights are not cumulative: a group, specifically “society”, has no more rights than each individual in it has.

    1. In the heat of the moment I used “tautology” when I should have typed “redundancy”. Sorry.

      1. avatar Perry says:

        We all pray for the return of the “Edit” link.

        1. avatar Flying Fish says:

          Amen!

    2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Nowadays all rights are for the collective and actually the Bill of Rights only applies to the freedoms and privileges enjoyed by the Global Elite and the Deep State.

  18. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Sadly, it took Massachusetts, Connecticut and Georgia until 1939 to get around to ratifying the Bill of Rights.
    In the case of the two New England States, I am not sure that ever really did happen.

  19. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Everybody knows that only white Southern States ratified the 2A so they could chase and shoot Negro slaves.
    Of course the Dred Scott decision was sort of more about gun control and Negroes, rather than slavery.

  20. avatar Michael says:

    The communists have hit the political reset button and the pointer is stuck (temporarily) on 1935. They are busily rewriting history and tearing down monuments. Education is hard at work, pimping that everything American is bad and everything communist is good…”slavery IS freedom = destruction of the middle class (socialism for everyone), war IS peace = perpetual war on terrorism, (terrorists = whoever the government says they are, this week) and love IS hate = 51% – 49% election results = speaks for itself (the left and right wings are both attached to the same dying bird)”. Orwell left out Big Brothers’ most important “IS”, ignorance IS knowledge… -30-

  21. avatar M10 says:

    Sorry, no comments on the article. I couldn’t get past the egregious grammar in the headline.

  22. avatar sredford says:

    Excellent history lesson on 2nd amendment
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rhBwHiLcTG8&t=0s&index=2&list=PL5eoPl4SEtaS9E2likL6ySQuoROp4hcyM

    Has great background history, some bad words but spot on with reasoning and intent

  23. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Seems like a basic English course might be in order before your constitution course.

  24. avatar Sharpshooter says:

    “And with our gun rights come our self-defense rights.”
    Totally backasswards.

  25. avatar GS650G says:

    Delaware ratified it first to keep PA and MD from carving up the state between them.

  26. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    …I think YOUR wrong…Massachusetts still has “ratified” the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights…Especially the 2nd Amendment….Just ask (D=💩🚽💩🚽💩.), AG. Maura Healey, (R= RINO🐘🐘🐘🐘💩💩💩💩💩), Gov. Charlie “The Barker” Baker, and (D=🚽💩🚽💩🚽💩🚽💩💩👳👳👳👹👺), Elizabeth ” Pocahontas” Warren….

    1. avatar Aaron Walker says:

      Correction : auto-correct grammar issue without edit feature….
      *still HASN’T “Ratified”……..*

  27. avatar Parnell says:

    A bizarre but interesting fact about the Bill of Rights. Two states refused to ratify unless the Second Amendment was included. The two states – Virginia and New York.

  28. avatar Hoyden says:

    Point of pedantary political procedure.

    The BOR grants no rights. Rights are inalienable, they predate the state and all governance/government and are the condition of a free, self governing people.

    BOR outlines (sometimes limits) how the govt (of and by the peeps) may not infringe those (God given) rights.

    History since 1790’s has been a struggle to understand/limit/allow infringements of those inalienable rights, i.e. you cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theatre, SBR’s and sawed off shotguns are bannable, gay marriage is protected under the 14th amendment, etc.

  29. avatar Cadeyrn says:

    You kind of skipped over the really, really important part. The Bill of Rights was proposed because it became apparent that the Constitution itself would NOT be ratified by the necessary number of states without protection for individual liberties. Between December 1787 and January 1788 only five states—Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut – ratified the Constitution.

    Congress passed twelve items for the Bill of Rights in September, 1789 and it went to the states for ratification along with the Constitution. This swayed Virginia and New York to approve the package and Maryland softened their position based on the bare promise of the amendments. North Carolina and Rhode Island waited until they actually saw the amendments before they ratified the Constitution.

    So, yes, dear readers. Retention of the right to self-defense was critical to even forming a government for the states. For why would any of them agree to disarm when faced with such obvious threats in the world, on their borders, and on the frontier? They had seen the oppression of unarmed people in England and elsewhere in the world. They had seen the Redcoats come to take their means of hunting and defending themselves. They would not agree to be governed without recourse to force of arms.

  30. avatar Enuf says:

    Thursday. It was ratified on Thursday.

  31. avatar buddy says:

    it’s refreshing to see anything, anywhere on the internet, discussing anything regarding the constitution in a genuine American way, rather than just reinterpreting or claiming it antiquated, which is 90% of mentions by MSM, some more subtle than others.

  32. avatar Mr. Obvious says:

    It took the Supreme court 217 years to finally decide if the bill of rights was talking about individuals or Militias. It wasn’t a slam dunk decision…it was a 5-4 split decision. One of the paragraphs in that decision was that …and I am paraphrasing …was that even though the right was acknowledged, that didn’t mean that you as an individual could have any firearm you wanted… to do with as you please. In other words “THEY CAN BE REGULATED”….

    You have a right to bear arms, and the government has the right to say what kind and how many. They could limit you to a single shot rifle…and a one eyed dog…..LOL

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “You have a right to bear arms, and the government has the right to say what kind and how many. ”

      The founders left us an interesting conundrum regarding weapons, militia, and who does what, with which, and to whom. The base document of the constitution paces the responsibility for arming and equipping the militia in the hands of the Congress. The Second Amendment states the people cannot be disarmed, as the militia is required for both the States, and the central government. So, one reading of the matter states, yes, the central government can tell the the people (the militia) what sorts of arms will be provided to the people (militia).

      The Second Amendment is a modification of the base contract (Constitution), and supersedes in a manner that leaves arms in the hands of the people. But does that simply mean that once armed by the central government, there is no delegated authority for the central government to un-equip the people (militia)? Or does the Second Amendment also take back from Congress the authority to manage the weaponry of the people entirely?

      A second conundrum relates to the evolution of militia in the US. At one point, the central government created a law establishing “the National Guard”. Some argue the Guard is the official militia, since the “Minuteman” concept has long died out. Others argue that the Guard cannot be the militia (as addressed in the Constitution) because the central government can “nationalize” and take over the Guard for federal purposes. Yet, this power is specifically called out in the base Constitution.

      Oddly, the constitution (a document of “negative rights”) does not specifically state that “the people” retain the right to equip themselves as formations of militia (it may be implied in the 9th and 10th amendments, but the issue remains a divisive element in the nation.

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