This lesson will engage students in the history of the Second Amendment and how its meaning and importance have changed over time. Students will examine various eras in U.S. history that shaped the debate: the American Revolution; the Civil War and Reconstruction; the 1930s and Prohibition; the assassinations in the 1960s; and the Supreme Court decisions in D.C. v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). Finally, students will be challenged to rewrite the amendment to make it more accessible to the world today.
The meaning of the Second Amendment has long been debated. In two rulings, the Supreme Court has decided that an individual has the right to own a gun for personal use and that the Second Amendment “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
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