SNIP And also, never, ever forget that the first line of the second amendment reads as follows...
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 word that so many people overlook is regulated.
If I may, I would like to broaden a little bit.
"Regulated" actually meant something a little different in those days. It did not mean only having a variety of rules,restrictions,and regulations. Its concept included "operating properly" or "working correctly".
Even today, that meaning has carried forward a bit and can still be seen peeking through:
3. To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning.
4. To put or maintain in order: regulate one's eating habits.
One can, with a little inspection, discernthe similarities and connections between proper functioning, orderliness, rules, and even laws.
In terms of a militia, being discussed in the context of rights to arms and preservation against tyranny, it is unlikely the Framers meant a "well-restricted" militia is necessary to the security of a free
My reading has shown me that "well-regulated" as applied to the militia meant drilled and practiced and ready to go when called. Put into and maintained in a condition for proper functioning. Maintained in a degree of readiness beyond just a rifle in the closet. If they were going to drill (marching in formations, deploying in formations, changing formations to respond to circumstances on the battlefield, practicing firing and loadingon command, etc), if they were going to drill, there was going to also have to be some organization and some officers established.
Thus, I no longer believe well-regulated means having lots of restrictions on guns, nor even the militia.
Especially when I see the connections between regulated, orderliness, proper functioning, and so forth. There is just no way the huge burden of thevast number of laws and regulations on guns actually promote the proper functioning of anything. They aremeant only to restrict, restrict, restrict.
If I recall correctly, at one time a regulation for the militia included a specification as to how much shot, powder, and perhaps flints each qualified male was required to keep, or perhaps bring with him to drill. And it was mandated that he had to keep his gun in working order/repair. Thoserules area regulating that promotes proper functioning.
The breakdown is the government's failure to maintain the militia in its proper condition and functioning. The vast sea of restrictions is just further movement in the opposite direction from what was contemplated by the first part of the 2nd Amendment.
Now gentle reader, in light of this information, I invite you to compare newly the meanings of the words "restrict" and "shall not be infringed". Makes even more sense now, doesn't it?
Is there really any conflict between "well-regulated" and "shall not be infringed"?
Do these two ideas not mesh nicelyin thecontext of theSecond Amendment,in the context of thatstatement about a right, about preserving against tyranny, about the security of not just any old state, but a free
Funny hownot having the correctmeaning of one single word can skew things. Funny how things make a lot more sense once thatmeaning is used.
One more little point. Inlaw, asI understand it, whenasentence can be read more than one way, it isproper to give it the meaning that gives effect to the rest of the text. Not the meaning that makes other parts of thetext nugatory (of little or no importance, invalid, having no force).
Does interpreting"well-regulated" as "well restricted" not render "shall not be infringed" nugatory?