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Letter: The Second Amendment

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

"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 reason for this amendment is unique in the Bill of Rights, as it contains a preface explaining it: Militias are necessary for the security of a free State. We cannot read the words "free State" here as a reference to the several states that make up the Union. This term in 18th century political discourse meant a free country or free polity.

As a general matter, the idea of collective rights was unknown to the Framers of the Constitution, and, there is James Madison’s own testimony that the provisions of the Bill of Rights relate—first—to private rights. The theory of collective rights is the invention of the Progressive founders of the administrative state, who sought to supplant the principles of limited government embodied in the Constitution.

We need to remember the reason for the ex...

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