“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.”
Whenever a gun grabber discusses Heller vs. DC, they’re quick to point out that the argument made focused on the second half of the amendment – “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”.
They somehow read the prefatory clause, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” as intending for only the National Guard to keep and bear arms.
Let’s unpack that argument a bit. First, it ignores conveniently the fact that the National Guard was not in existence when the Bill of Rights was ratified. The militia was understood to be the entirety of the adult male population, a understanding that was soon legally established via legislation.
Indeed, the second Militia Act of 1792 required each adult male to equip himself with a military grade weapon, ammunition and sundries.
Let’s also take a bit of a look at history, and the security of a free State. Recall that the Constitution gives the Congress the power to raise armies, and maintain a Navy. The Founding Fathers were deeply distrustful of a standing army. Why, you ask? Because their experience with a standing army was with that of the British Army and its regiments. And note I use the word regiment deliberately, as its etymology is linked to regis, or king. Literally regiments were in the service of the King. The British army in the colonies was not just a military force, it was the arm of oppression used by the crown to enforce its edicts upon our people. The Founding Fathers knew that any large standing army would have the potential to similarly become such an oppressor.
I would remind them that the American Revolution literally started with an attempt at gun confiscation.