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Old 09-10-2019, 10:42 PM
ralfy's Avatar
ralfy is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 698
Here's what I gathered about 2A:

It had three goals: to support individual ownership of guns (which is based on the natural right to defend oneself), to allow states to form or maintain their own militias (to be used for many tasks, including policing and slave patrols), to allow the government to use the same militias to supplement the standing army (which several wanted to keep small) against various threats (hence, Art. 1 Sec. 8 and the Militia Acts, with the latter calling for mandatory military service for males). At least that's I remember from what framers were debating on as it was being drafted.

Even during the Revolutionary War, some military leaders were complaining about a lack of training and equipment among some militias. After the War of 1812, more felt the need for a larger standing army and standardized training of reserves, as they were seeing the same among European counterparts. The same probably applied to the formation of police forces that were separate from military units.

With that, police forces and the National Guard were formed, and the military grew and relied more on reserves as it became more complex (with the growing use of the Navy, the formation of an Air Force, etc.) and mechanized.

In the end, 2A in terms of the second and third reasons became less relevant as the gov't relied on reserves and conscription rather than on militias but is still helpful because it can be used to justify mandatory military service.

That leaves the first point, which if based on the natural right of self-defense exists even without the 2A.