Prof. Randy Barnett, in his excellent book “Restoring the Lost Constitution” talks at length about this point. Briefly, he argues that you have to think of this (as Weer’d mentions) like the rule for reading a contract. A contract means what the words meant to reasonable people at the time it was signed. If the words change meaning later, that has no effect. Never mind if the words still mean what they did but it’s merely the wishes of one of the parties that have changed.
So it is here. After all, the Constitution is the document that most deserves to be called “Contract with America”. So you have to read each article using the interpretation that normal persons reading it at the time of that article’s adoption would have used.
By the way, that means “original intent” is the wrong term. What matters is not the intent of those who wrote the text — often that’s only a guess and some of the people involved did not have honorable intent anyway. What matters is the common understanding of those who APPROVED the text — the voters who ratified it. And that is easy enough to find out, just read the newspaper discussions and meeting minutes of the time.
If you do this, it’s easy to see that those who oppose the individual rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment are dishonest and use fraudulent argument to justify their anti-American goals.
What isn’t said but I think should have been in the contract is a penalties clause. Something like those who passed and/or enforced laws which were later found to be unconstitutional would be held liable for all legal fees and treble damages.—Joe]