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Thus, the philosophy underlying the second amendment not only guaranteed the states' right to keep armed forces, but obviated any need for a massive federal military which might defeat them if they found it necessary to revolt. This state's right analysis renders the amendment little more than a holdover from an era of constitutional philosophy that received its death knell in the decision rendered at Appomattox Courthouse.
Though it yet lingers in the Constitution, it does not (for it was never against confiscation of arms.
State's right analyses have tended not to come to grips with these obstacles; if they focus on the amendment's wording at all, it is only on the word "militia," assuming that the Framers meant "militia" to refer to "a particular military force," i.e., the states' home reserve, now federalized as the National Guard. In fact, though not unknown in the 18th Century, that usage was wholly secondary to the one Webster classifies as now least used.
"The whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service." As the paragraphs below demonstrate, the Framers' understanding of the meaning of "militia" and the other phrases of the second amendment seriously embarrasses the state's right argument.
Indeed, the evidence suggests it was precisely by protecting the individual that the Framers intended to protect the militia. In thus yielding to the primary strength of the opposing argument, individual right advocates define the burden that the exclusively state's right theorist must bear.
For example: (1) Since the amendment contains no express limitation on the kind of "arms" guaranteed, why does it only protect possession of ordinary small arms (rifles, shotguns, handguns)?
(3) Since the amendment guarantees an (apparently unqualified) right to "bear" as well as to "keep" arms, how can individual right proponents endorse concealed-carry proscriptions?
(4) Conversely, if all these controls are consistent with the gun-owner groups' position, how can they contend that registration and licensing requirements are not?
Proponents of the exclusively state's right view see the amendment as responding to article I, section 8, clauses 15 and 16, of the original Constitution.
Those clauses give Congress the power to call out the militia and "to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining" it.