Many Americans at the time of the constitution’s ratification feared that this national government – to be run by an equally unprecedented office of “President” – would become a new source of tyranny, replacing the British crown they had just overthrown. Accordingly, they sought protections from potential tyranny, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right “to keep and bear arms.” While, to some, the notion may seem quaint today, the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the individual right to bear arms ensured that the new national government would not be able to oppress the American people. That guarantee cannot now be read out of the Bill of Rights simply because times have changed.
Lawrence G. Keane
Brief of The National Shooting Sports Foundation, inc., as amicus curiae in support of respondent.
[For people that claim the U.S. is a “living document” that need not be amended to change the meaning ask them if that applies to the 13th Amendment as well.–Joe]