The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution contains one sentence, the only subject of which is a “well regulated Militia.” Here it is: “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 Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791. In 1876, the Supreme Court ruled and clarified that the “individual right to bear arms was not granted by the Constitution”.
Again, in 1939, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.” The Court then explained that the Framers included the Second Amendment to ensure the effectiveness of the military for the existing (1791), thirteen state militias. The Federal and State governments at that time did not furnish arms to members of the state militias (mostly referred to today as the National Guard) and the members at that time thereof were expected to furnish their own weapons when called to perform their civic duty to protect the state. The interpretations of 1876 and 1939 clarified the original meanings of the Second Amendment for well over 200 years, in that it referred only to “well regulated” state militias as it was 240 years ago.
Fast forward to 2008, when certain members of Congress, influenced by large “campaign donations” from the NRA and certain NRA friendly Supreme Court Justices who were appointed by U.S. Presidents, former members of the NRA themselves, ruled that bearing arms was an individual right. Unbelievably, the Court even suggested that the United States Constitution would not disallow regulations prohibiting criminals and the mentally ill from firearm possession. We should all work to have this 2008 interpretation, so favored by the money-hungry gun manufacturing industry, reversed, even if a clarifying constitutional amendment becomes necessary to amend the Second Amendment.