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Right to Bear Arms - Conversation Starter 3 - A Well-Regulated Militia

Focus Questions

1. In your opinion, do you think that the artist agrees that handguns are necessary to "the security of a free State?" Why?

2. The anachronism in this cartoon of the founders talking about handguns implies that handguns were not intended to be covered by the Second Amendment. To what extent does interpretation of their words depend upon whether or not the founders could have foreseen future technological developments?

3. The beginning of the Second Amendment—"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State"—is sometimes called the preamble to the amendment. A preamble might be used to limit what follows (i.e., the right to keep and bear arms applies only to persons organized in a well regulated militia). It might also simply explain why the right is protected (i.e., it's important for citizens to be able to organize into militias, so their right to keep and bear arms should be protected). What interpretation of the Second Amendment's preamble to you think this cartoon favors? Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Why?