Second Amendment must be read in full context

In the context of the debate on the Second Amendment and gun control, I wonder how many people have actually read the language of the Second Amendment itself.

For the record, the Second Amendment reads as follows: “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.”

Guns rights advocates seem only to quote the second half of this language, however it is clear that the framers of the Constitution intended the right to bear arms to be read in the context of the first half.

When the Second Amendment was written, there were no permanent state or federal armed forces and it seems clear that the right to bear arms was necessary for defense against enemies of the “State,” not one another.

So my questions are:

* In what sense is the individual owner of arms part of a “well regulated militia”?

* Isn’t the “well regulated militia” in fact the National Guard?

* In what sense is the individual owner of arms involved in maintaining the “security of a free State”?

* Why are strict constructionist justices ignoring the most important part of the Second Amendment?

I therefore ask why is all of the discourse today related to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and not the very meaning of the Second Amendment?

Robert Diener