“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.”
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not about hunting, target shooting or even defending your life or your home. Although these pursuits are certainly protected by that same right, they are not what the founding fathers had in mind when they talked about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Now we are constantly hearing about “military assault-type weapons” and “weapons of war,” and too often I hear gun owners and self-proclaimed supporters of the Second Amendment declare that “no one needs an AR-15 or AK-47!” And one democratic candidate for president finally just admitted it: “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”
The intent of the Second Amendment’s writers is clearly demonstrated in the use of the phrase: A well-regulated militia. The word “militia” comes from the same roots as military and militant and that means fighting wars. Of course, many have tried to define the term “well regulated militia” as the equivalent of today’s National Guard, but both history and just a little thought will inform even the most casual reader that this argument is spurious. The founders clearly wrote “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” and nowhere in the constitution or any founders’ writings was the phrase the people used to describe anything other than the people. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is nothing less than the right of American citizens to retain the means of overthrowing their government should it become necessary. Therefore, “military assault-type weapons” and “weapons of war” are exactly the kind of “arms” that the Second Amendment is talking about.