In the wake of the Orlando shootings I am seeing all sorts of calls for gun control again, most, at some point quoting "A Well Regulated Militia" as an explanation on why gun control is necessary and proper.
Here's my theory on that - Everyone reads that clause wrong, either trying to use it to restrain the individual right or an an explanation that the militia is made up of the people thus guaranteeing the individual right.
I think it's an explanation of why the right is there - it's there for the same reason as the 3rd amendment (no quartering of troops). At the time that the Amendment was written the founders had just finished a multi-year war which started in part when Boston was forcibly occupied, and efforts were made to disarm the local militia. The founders wanted to make sure that a despotic state couldn't do that again so they include an article that guaranteed the right to possess weapons that could be used against the army or militia. In other words the people had the right to bear arms in order to keep the army in line.
Regulating the militia and preserving the security of a free state.
In Federalist 46 Madison backs up the regular army portion of this reasoning. The rest is just inference on my part, but I like it because then I am justified in my belief that I can own a small tactical nuke.
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