The effort of the federal government is to tame the Second Amendment. Instead of honoring its original intent, for obvious reasons, they seek to tame it. Like the Justice Breyer quote of a few weeks ago wherein Breyer suggests that DC gun owners can go to Maryland to shoot targets and the like it is a red flag signalling their intent.
There is and always has been but one purpose of the Second Amendment, self defense against an oppressive government, especially to counter a standing army. The real definition in question is not what constitutes a "militia" as they try to claim, but what constitutes "a standing army." I suggest that what our founders thought constituted a standing army we would now consider a modern police force.
With that in mind, let us take a look at some quotes of the founders of the nation. Much of what is quoted is from my book The Constitutionalist: Rights To Die For. In every case the right to keep and bear arms is a COUNTER to a standing army, rather than the means of establishing a militia, or a standing army.
Now, much has changed since the birth of this nation and I think few would argue that a standing military force is a necessity born of technological advancements and the advancements in oceanic and air travel, but the attendant oppression is also undeniable.
Madison wrote: "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty."
Samuel Bryan, a member of 23 Pennsylvanians who refused to sign the Constitution until it contained greater protections against oppression wrote: "...the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them..."
Virginia's Convention to ratify the Constitution made numerous suggestions for improvement and offered this: "That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided..."
Hamilton's view was for a force made up of citizens to react to emergencies. He wrote: "(the force) will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens."
It seems to me that there is no question that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to defend the people's rights from oppressive government, a standing army being the logical extension of governmental power. One cannot stress too much the environment under which these quotes were written, they were drafted in response to those things they knew had been obstacles to their own ability to secure liberty.
To assume anything else is intellectual dishonesty, but then when have liberals, statists, collectivists or Marxists ever been concerned with the truth? Theirs is a method, a tactic, to achieve disarmament. The current tactic is to ridicule the desire for gun ownership, to present it as a ridiculous fetish as easily satisfied by providing them with air guns. This is their method, beware and be prepared. It will come down to a contest of visions.