The Bill of Rights allows Americans the right to bear arms. But that wasn’t always the case. It was a right originally set up only to protect citizens from the federal government.
Not until the Civil War, when southern states infringed on the individual rights of free slaved, did the Bill of Rights begin to incorporate state governments in the 14th Amendment.
The Daily Constitution walks us through the timeline, leading up to last weekend’s shooting rampage in Tuscon, which left six people dead and 14 others — including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — injured.
Before you take a side in the gun rights battle that’s raging across the nation, review the history of the 14th Amendment and how we got to where we are.