The Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment
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.
No words have caused more controversy, been so misunderstood, and caused general chaos as these words right here.
What exactly did the Founders mean?
Did the Founders mean that all individuals could bear arms, or only militias? Was the Second Amendment a compromise meant to allow the states to quell slave rebellions? Was it meant to allow people to hunt, or shoot for sport? Was it meant to give the people a means of defense against a tyrannical government?
Gun control advocates argue the first part, while gun rights advocates argue the second part.
The only truly important question is: How did the Founders feel about it?
1. The State Constitutional Ratification Debates (Updated June 11, 2013)
2. The Congressional Debates (Added June 4, 2013)
3. The Founding Fathers (Part One) (Added June 11, 2013)
4. The Founding Fathers (Part Two) (Added June 11, 2013)
5. Conclusions (Added June 11, 2013)