“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.” Amendment II: United States Constitution Ratified December 15, 1791
The 2nd Amendment is obviously a very heated topic.
But there are a bunch of actual facts [vs. alternative ones] we can hopefully agree on that could help provide a framework:
- The founders [mostly James Madison] were extremely deliberate in writing the Bill of Rights. [A total of 462 words]
- The 2nd Amendment is wholly about the right to keep [own] and bear [carry] arms [guns].
- The founders believed arms warranted their own Amendment.
- The founders chose to make it the 2nd Amendment. [Right behind freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press.]
- The founders were insanely discerning about every. single. word. written into the 2nd Amendment. [27 words]
- The founders used a precious two of those words on “well”, and “regulated”.
- The word “regulated” [or any of it’s derivatives] appears no where else in the Bill of Rights.
- The words “well regulated” are found no where else in any Amendment to the Constitution.
- The word “Militia” is restrictive. [However broadly interpreted, it most certainly cannot mean “everyone”. “Militia” describes a sub-group of the whole. Otherwise it would prove superfluous.]
The immortal 27-word sentence is bordering on nonsensical, but I do think it’s fair to conclude two general principles:
One, the founders of the United States intended for guns to be legal.
And two, the founders of the United States intended for guns to be regulated. well.