The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
November 8, 2023

  In May 2019, Nosh began as a humble restaurant co-op with just three people. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, while many businesses...

Trujillo: What does the second amendment really mean?

“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.” That is our second amendment in its entirety.

There are two parts to the amendment. One part of the amendment concerns a well regulated Militia and another concerns the right to keep and bear arms.


The amendment was created to assert the need for State’s rights. The Founding Fathers loved the idea of State’s Rights because they didn’t want different parts of the country to feel as though the federal laws didn’t apply to them. So keeping this in mind, they wanted to set the precedent for a state sponsored militia. As an extension to the rule, they added that in order to maintain a militia, it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

This Bill of Rights will always read as a reaction to oppression from the British and the second amendment should be no different. In 1774, the British banned imports on firearms and gunpowder and went on to confiscate guns and gunpowder into the year 1775. The Bill of Rights was written in 1789 and the founding fathers would not have forgotten about when their firearms got confiscated. They needed them for an uprising and wanted to create a government that could be overthrown if it got out of control, which that would be impossible today. The military is too strong and sophisticated for that.

So yes, NRA, you are right that the constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, but that sentence was written in the 1780’s when the guns available took 30 seconds to load. They were also so inaccurate that when a tight formation of men were walking towards the Americans in the Battle of Bunker Hill, George Washington famously had to tell his men to wait until they could see the whites of the enemy’s eyes before firing. In today’s day in age, we had a lone sniper shoot 12 trained police officers from a building at least 100 feet away.

Technology has advanced, but rather than learn from what has happened and create laws that might help protect people from mentally ill citizens using their arms to hurt others, our congressmen continue to make laws that allow for less restrictions for gun owners. They fought background checks, which the majority of the country was for, for years. Some continue to say that “a good guy with a gun can beat a bad guy with a gun” while law enforcement officials and prior examples of a “good guy” intervening say that’s a terrible idea (“We don’t know who the good guy is versus who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting”). They say that guns are the best way to protect your home from intruders, but hiding and calling the police actually is the best way to protect your property and life.

So if all of the reasons people give for continuing the status quo with guns are either incorrect or misguided, then why don’t we do something about it? The NRA won’t allow us. They spent a ludicrous $3,605,564 on lobbying in 2015 and $1,190,442 on candidates in the 2012 election cycle. Whether you like it or not, money talks, and the NRA is dictating policy among those that take money from them.

Even as another shooting happened at a mall in Washington, nothing will change. Congress will continue to shoot down any proposed gun regulations. The NRA will continue to infect the minds of the nation with their propaganda. The second amendment will continue to be misunderstood. People will continue to die all because we created machines with the sole purpose of killing people and we are convinced that they aren’t dangerous.

View Comments (3)
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (3)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Jim_MacklinOct 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    There are several factual errors and some omissions that Brody Trujillio made in writing his monograph.
    The power to the States to have militia was covered in the 1788 Constitution, Art 1, Section 8
    To provide for
    organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing
    such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United
    States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the
    Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the
    discipline prescribed by Congress;

    The Bill of Rights deals solely with the rights of individuals. It was demanded by The Founders including George Mason and Patrick Henry. It was written in 1789. AS ratified by the States as the Second Amendment it clarified the Founders distrust of a Select Militia and protects the right of the people t form a militia when circumstances such as described in the Declaration of Independence demand.
    Patrick Henry’s comments on militia and the rights of the people during the Virginia Ratification Debates are instructive.

    Recall that the Revolutionary War began with the Battle at Concord and Lexington when the British marched to confiscate powder and arms. That explains why the word KEEP is included in teh Second Amendment. The word BEAR is more easily understood, it means to carry and use arms.

    But is the right limited to some collective authority of the government? The answer to that was in the Senate drafting the amendment. Due to the limitations of quill and ink, every word spoken in the Senate was not recorded. However, motions, amendments and votes were written down so that a legislative history , legislative intent , was known.

    It was proposed to insert the words FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE into the text of the amendment after the word arms and before the words Shall not be infringed. This amendment was rejected creating the legislative intent to protect the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes.

    The Second Amendment was ratified with one comma. In 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union they copied the Second Amendment and included it in their State constitutions.

    When the Supreme Court heard the MILLER case in 1939 they did not have a trial transcript to review, so the Court remanded the case for the trial which had been summarily dismissed so that they would have something to decide. The only thing the Court was certain about was that “when the militia was called, they were expected to appear bearing their private arms” of modern kind suitable for military service.

    Justice Scalia got almost everything correctly when he wrote the HELLER decision in 2008.

  • D

    doninlaSep 27, 2016 at 10:32 am

    You really don’t know much or anything about firearms do you? Or about people. There are only 150,000 army troops in the US, there are 100,000,000 gun owners. 83% or all gun killings are gang and drug related. in Chicago 1,500 people do 90% of the carnage. You don’t have a gun problem, you have a poverty and lack of jobs problem.

  • M

    MikeSep 27, 2016 at 10:18 am

    The 2nd Amendment is an individual right to keep and bear arms. It also gives us the collective right to form militias, which can not happen without the individual right. It has been proven that the term “well regulated” means that the militias be stocked and in good working order, which has nothing to to with State control. The term “free state” is not about a State or territory, it is the state of being free. Maybe the author should study a bit more about our history as a nation, then read The Federalist Papers to see the original intent of the 2A.