The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution ends “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Had the intention been for this to be an absolute, unalienable right, like Life and Liberty, then this would be the complete Amendment. But there is more. It begins with “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” This statement of fact was true at the time.
So, why is this first part included? Certainly, the Framers were not in the habit of throwing in completely unrelated facts. It’s obvious that the need for a militia, which at the time would require members to bring their own weapons, necessitated the right to bear arms. This begs the question “What happens if a militia is no longer necessary to the security of a free state?”
Now, before all you gun owners get “up in arms,” I am not necessarily against private ownership of weapons. I am against the wide-spread abuse of the 2nd Amendment perpetrated by those who take the last part out of context and use it to prevent ANY kind of regulations or limitations, no matter how reasonable. Disagree? Ask yourself it it would make you nervous to learn that your neighbor was building an arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in his basement. If the answer is ‘yes’, then you agree that society has the right and obligation to impose at least some level of limitation on private ownership of weapons.