National Rifle Association of America

A little more thought on the 2nd Amendment

Discussions about the Second Amendment are almost always focused on a forensic parsing of its exact wording and a dissection of its historical context. Those approaches have not been persuasive to opposing sides.

I recommend a different approach. Perhaps it would be useful to first consider what the Second Amendment specifically does not say.

Here is what it does not say: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms.” Had it been written that way, then those who say that the arms right is derived from a (now outdated) need for local militias would have a good point. But that is not...