Linguists, historians and many other qualified pundits have debated the meaning of the 27 words of the second Amendment to the US constitution, but they have ignored possibly the most important clue to understanding its meaning - the penultimate draft of the final version of the amendment and what it said about the meaning and parallelism of the words 'Militia' and 'people'.
After countless revisions of the 2nd Amendment guaranteeing the right to bear ams, the version put forward by the Anti-Federalists, one of the two opposing forces of state and federal government, clearly laid out the individual right to bear arms. To wit:
"The people have a right to bear arms for the defence 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, unless for crimes committed, or for real danger of public injury from individuals."
This draft finally became:
"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."
What can we deduce from the difference between these two? The word "PEOPLE" was left in the final version but the phrase "OR ANY OF THEM" included by the state's rights advocates, was eliminated by the victorius Federalists. The majority finally agreed that the individual should not be permitted to buy and own a gun without proper supervision of a militia or the State. While the DC ban on handguns has temporarily affirmed the the individual right to bear arms, I believe that the Supreme Court will eventually get it right, once the dogma and influence of the NRA is counterbalanced with the reason of wiser men and women.
John Adams made it clear why the penultimate draft was rejected when he wrote eloquently that he believed the "uncontrolled individual discretion to own and use guns" has the potential to "demolish every institution, and lay the law prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man — it is a dissolution of the government."
If John Adams walked the streets of Detroit and many other big US cities after dark, he would find his prediction had come true - with too many guns, many of them concealable, denying good men and women of the enjoyment of liberty without security systems, guns under the bed, heavily armed police roaming the streets, and the government watching through CCTV cameras for the out-of-control militia of the NRA's USA.
The time has come to right the wrong interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution regarding the individual right to arm one's self, and to free the people of the tyranny of concealed and uncontrolled arms.