Thursday, August 14, 2014
The wording of the second Amendment seems curiously liable to ambiguity or imprecision.
"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."
It's that third phrase that's the niggling problem: "[comma]...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,..."
The purport of the locution's semantics lends itself to the conclusion that this phrase is meant to modify the first phrase of the sentence -- "A well regulated Militia[comma]..." -- rather than to introduce an additional clause as the object of the verb "[not] infringed". Again, this does not seem to be clearly and explicitly denoted, but only to be reasonably inferred as the likelier meaning. If so, it means that this right of the people is defined by "A...Militia" and does not extend beyond it.
Of course, I am only analyzing the logic of the semantics, distinct from what has been gleaned through legal application and interpretation that has occurred over the past two and a quarter centuries.