Madison’s very organization shows the right to arms was seen as an individual right and not as militia-related. Madison’s draft did not take the format with which we are today familiar, that of a numbered list of amendments following the Constitution. Rather, his draft designated where, within the Constitution, each provision was to be inserted.
For example, his provisions relating to the House of Representatives were to be inserted in Article I, Section 2. An unsuccessful proposal to forbid States to infringe the rights of conscience was to be inserted in Article I, Section 10, alongside its other “Restrictions Upon Powers of States.” Provisions relating to jury trial, grand juries, and appeals were to be placed in Article III.
Thus, if Madison had seen the future Second Amendment as militia-related, he would have designated its place next to the Militia Clauses in Article I, Section 8.
Instead Madison grouped it with freedom of speech, press, assembly and other individual rights, and designated their place in Article I, Section 9, right after “No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.” Madison’s arrangement is compelling evidence that he did not view the right to arms as a guarantee relating to States and militias; its militia reference was explanation, not an operative part of its guarantee.
David T. Hardy
Brief of amicus curiae, Academics for the Second Amendment
[Sometime this month the Supreme Court will settle “the question”. We know the correct answer. We’ve known it all along. We just had trouble convincing those bigots who didn’t want to confront reality. Nearly everyone expects the court to deliver us an easily wielded “clue by four” on at least this one point. I just hope we have the wisdom to use it correctly and not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.–Joe]