I appreciate Steve Showalter’s explanation of the history of the Second Amendment. I think he did a fair and accurate summary of its history. I would add that one other factor in the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision is that the other nine rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are individual rights. Hence it stands to reason that the founding fathers intended for the Second Amendment to be an individual right as well.
I think we should also clarify the often used/misused phrase “assault weapons.” The term was originally misused in 1993 to promote passage of the 1994 “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” Proponents were attempting to equate guns designed for military use with ordinary guns owned by many law abiding citizens. Fully automatic military use guns have been highly regulated since 1934 and are never used in crimes (although they are frequently visible in Hollywood movies.) Anti-gunners, though, have intentionally misled people to think that semi-automatic sport weapons that look like military weapons are scary and too lethal for hunting or self-defense. This is akin to saying cars and trucks that resemble military vehicles ought to be banned because they look like military hardware. The fact is, though, that semi-automatic weapons are the overwhelming gun of choice for most sportsmen and are not as lethal as fully automatic guns.
I think any gun debate ought to rely on facts and logic instead of fear and exaggeration. Calling commonly owned, semi-automatic guns “assault weapons” is dishonest and inflammatory. Americans deserve better.