The Second Amendment reads in full: “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.”
There are two clauses that comprise the Second Amendment, an operative clause, and a prefatory clause.
Operative clause: "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The operative clause is the actual protected right; kind of the ‘meat and potatoes.’ The court wrote: “1. Operative Clause. a. 'Right of the People.’ [used 3 times in Bill of Rights] … All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not 'collective’ rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.” (p.5).
Prefatory clause: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”
The prefatory clause is the lead-in that “announces a purpose” for the operative clause. The court stated: “The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms”(Heller law syllabus p.1).
The court also stated: “The Amendment could be rephrased, 'Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.'” (Heller law syllabus p.3, emphasis added).
Notice how nothing in the 2nd Amendment gives any right to anyone but the people with regards to keeping and bearing arms. It doesn’t say that the militia has the right to keep and bear arms, that right is granted exclusively to the people, nor does it say that the right is contingent upon being in a militia or subject to any form of government oversight. Notice that it also does not mention any limit on the types or amounts of arms the people have the right to keep and bear.
Okay, let's make it so simple that even a liberal can understand: "A well schooled electorate being necessary to the education of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed”.
Does that mean that only those in the electorate have the right to keep and read books, or is that right given to the people? Of course the people have the right to keep and read books, just as the people have every right to keep and bear arms.
If you think that the Founding Fathers only intended for the 2nd Amendment to apply to muskets, then surely you must agree that your 1st Amendment rights only extend to what you write on parchment with a quill pen, what you print using a hand operated movable type press, or how far your voice can carry from the center of town, since those were the means of communication in use during the time of the Founding Fathers.”
H/T Konan The Bar Barron
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