The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. — James Madison, Speech introducing amendments in the House of Representatives, June 8, 1789
Article the Fifth.
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed…
— Amendments Proposed by the House of Representatives, August 24, 1789
Article the Fourth.
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.
— Amendments proposed by the Senate, September 14, 1789
Article the Fourth.
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. — Amendments Proposed to the States, September 28, 1789
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 Bill of Rights, as ratified by the states, December 15, 1791
Of course, the Founding Fathers realized that private ownership of firearms was a necessary tool of survival, especially by settlers in wilderness areas of the country. The second amendment plainly states that citizens shall have a right to possess firearms; nor have I ever implied otherwise.
At the time, federal regiments, the navy, the marines, were disbanded after the Revolutionary War was concluded. States had distrust toward a standing army—as opposed to a citizen militia.
“As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, THEY OUGHT NOT to be kept up.”
—State constitutions of Pennsylvania and North Carolina
“Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not be raised or kept up WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE LEGISLATURE.”
—Bill of rights in state constitutions of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware and Maryland (with some minor alteration of the direct quote). [Note: An army is at the discretion of the state legislature, not Congress.]
In the Federalist #24, Alexander Hamilton treats the subject extensively.
“TO THE POWERS PROPOSED to be conferred upon the federal government, in respect to the creation and direction of the national forces, I have met with but one specific objection, which is, that proper provision has not been made against the existence of standing armies in time of peace….”
I don’t see how I could have misquoted the 2nd amendment in the context intended by the Founding Fathers.
In conclusion, AndyA, there are a good number of people who would hurt my feelings if they called me a liar. Fortunately for me, you are not one of them.
Your habitual derisive invective applied to smarter people than me—including other subscribers to this site—puts me in good company.