© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Right to Bear Arms

Right to Bear Arms

Discussion and Essay Questions

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching the Right to Bear ArmsTeacher Pass

Teaching the Right to Bear Arms Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Discussion and Essay Questions

  1. Meaning of the Second Amendment
  2. United States v. Cruikshank
    • According to this case, what was the purpose of the Second Amendment?
      • What did it protect? What did it not protect?
      • What power did the states hold under this interpretation of the Second Amendment?
      • What responsibilities did the states hold?
    • What is the doctrine of incorporation and how does it affect the Second Amendment?
  3. United States v. Miller
    • Summarize the ruling in United States v. Miller.
      • How did the Court define “the people”?
        • How did this definition affect individual gun rights?
      • How did the Court open the door to an individual right to own certain types of guns?
        • More precisely, who served in the militia?
          • Who exactly were (and were not) part of "the people"?
        • What sorts of guns were covered under this interpretation of the Second Amendment?
  4. District of Columbia v. Heller
    • How would you summarize this decision?
    • In what ways did it deviate from previous decisions?
      • What right did the Court say the Second Amendment guarantees?
      • What are the limitations on that right?
    • Why is it significant that this ruling applied to a Washington, D.C. law?
    • What impact will this ruling have on state laws?