The part of North America known as the United States has long had a gun culture. It’s one of our oddities that makes people from other countries shake their heads and wonder why we’re so gun-crazy. I’ve never liked this aspect of our character, but there you are; it’s enshrined in the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, which reads (as almost everyone knows):
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.
Is the first part of that amendment about a well-regulated militia the most important, or the second part about the peoples’ right to keep and bear arms? Who knows? Who can say for sure what the adopters of that amendment in 1791 really understood it to mean.
In fact, the who, what, where, when, why, and how of this amendment have…
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