Owen H: Can any of the originalists out there point to where the Constitution specifically enumerates a right of armed self defense? I mean, the 2nd doesn’t say individual self-defense, it talks about defending the nation.
Allan Walstad: This has been gone over so many times on earlier VC threads over the years. 2A says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The language “shall not be infringed” explicitly indicates a pre-existing right, not one in any way created by the Constitution. The security of a free state, mentioned in the preamble, surely includes the security of the people, not just the borders or the organs of government. Even such a twisted anti-gun propagandist as historian Saul Cornell doesn’t aver that 2A is about defending the nation, rather his joke of an interpretation is that it was a bone thrown out to the states, that their militia units could not be disarmed by the feds. Shall we believe that 2A simply means you have a right to a gun while serving in the military?? Is there some sinister likelihood of the government sending troops into battle without arms? So are we to believe then that 2A means you can have a gun locked up somewhere for when called up by the government to defend the borders and the organs of government, but if brigands invade your community or home, attack you and your neighbors, rob your property and rape your kids you can’t use the gun for defense because the “security of a free state” has nothing directly to do with the security of the people in it?