GeneralOfDeath wrote:The 2nd ammendment is the only one to state a purpose for it's existance, which is where your confusion is coming from. A militia, such as existed in the 18th century, consisted of everyone and their dog who wanted to join bringing their own privately owned weapons. Think about this logically. When the 2nd was penned, a weapon was considered a nesecarry tool of survival in most of America, allowing one to hunt and to defend against thieves/indians.
Actually, when the 2nd Amendment was originally penned, it looked like this:
The people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers.
But this version was rejected! While most of the Bill of Rights were copied unchanged from the anti-Federalists' "Reasons of Dissent," they made some big changes to the 2nd Amendment. They very specifically took OUT any idea that the Constitutional justification for guns had anything to do with hunting or self-defense. The only reason for gun rights at the Constitutional level was for the state militias. Lesser gun regulation was handled by the states, and not a matter for Constitutional attention.
My point still stands, nontheless, that ownership of a weapon was one of the most sensible things possible in early America, and that regardless of all other circumstances and points of debate, the Second Ammendment reads the people
. Not the militia, not the militiamen, but the people. The citizens of America.