People keep making this ridiculous argument that the wording of the 2nd Amendment permits the government to put any and all restrictions on the possession (keeping) and carrying (bearing) of firearms (arms) so long as someone, somewhere is allowed to keep something, even if it’s only a tethered cork popgun. Any such restrictions are not an “infringement” because “well-regulated.”
Freedon loving people, when faced with that, often argue the meaning of “militia” and “well-regulated” as understood by those who wrote the 2nd Amendment, but the flaw in the argument is much more basic than that. The problem is, simply put, that in no case except the 2nd Amendment itself would a sentence with that grammatical structure be interpreted in that way.
“A well-read electorate, being necessary to the wise exercise of the franchise, the right of the publishers to print and distribute books, shall not be infringed.”
Who has the right to print and distribute books? The electorate or publishers? (Note, I’m not asking who should, or who only does, simply who the sentence says has the right.
“A system of voluntary exchanges regulated by prices, being necessary to the most efficient allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses, the right of businesses, to engage in trade, shall not be infringed.”
Who has the right to engage in trade? Businesses (Same caveat as before)? Or system of voluntary exchanges regulated by prices?
“Sweetened condensed milk, being necessary for a good key lime pie, the right of farmers to keep and raise cows shall not be infringed.”
Who’s right of keeping and raising cows is being asserted? Sweetened condensed milk? Or farmers.
“the shipping of goods and services across the country, being necessary for a healthy economy, the right of people to move freely, shall not be infringed.”
Who has the right to move freely? Shipping of goods and services? Or the people?
In any of the above cases the literate individual would consider the first “option” ridiculous.
Likewise: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Who has the right to keep and bear arms? A well-regulated militia? Or the people?”
Clearly, unquestionably, and brutally, the answer is “the people.” The only reason an argument otherwise is even brought up is that some people want so desperately for it to be otherwise. They want to restrict private ownership of firearms, with outright prohibition as the end goal as many leaders of the movement have stated often enough, but they know they haven’t got the support to actually amend the Constitution. So they grasp at any straw, no matter how ridiculous, to try to claim that their restrictions are allowed.
And they repeat it often enough that people start to believe it.