Well, here I go again. I'm kind of on the rampage these days over so many things. I'm totally sick over all the violence and commotion and savagery that's taken ahold of New Orleans. I've heard these reports of people running around with firearms and terrorizing those who don't have them. They have even fired on a helicopter. It's clear to me that these outlaws are DOMESTIC TERRORISTS. Maybe they should set the National Guard loose on them and allow them to treat them as such, and if that means killing them, well, so be it. Desperation is no excuse for terrorism. These barbarians are only taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit. That's not the American way, and it's not the HUMAN way.
All that said, let's look at the Second Amendment to our Constitution.
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.
The country's founders intended to make the Constitution vague so that it could grow with time and the interpretation of it could be adjusted to changing times. It's a wonderful document that way. I do believe that the Second Amendment was probably intended to protect the rights of the Colonists to have 'arms' so that they could defend their Independence from attacks from England or other countries trying to regain a hold on claims to America.
But the founders also looked far enough ahead to ensure that this right to "keep and bear arms" would be protected in the case that some future government or regime (think dictatorship or some other extremist group) might become so corrupt and powerful as to try to overtake the country and totally destroy the Republic. In that case the 'regular' people would still have the right to own and bear arms to protect themselves, band together in militias, and fight for their freedom. In this sense I think it does still apply to the people in general.
However, I also believe it's important to regulate the ownership of guns to certain people who have forfeited their rights by committing crimes or otherwise demonstrated the inability to handle the responsibility of gun ownership. My rights end where someone else's begin. That applies to all rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution. With great freedoms come great responsibilities. To totally ban gun ownership would be about as successful as the Prohibition on alcohol.
What the Second Amendment does not guarantee is the right for thugs to bear arms and terrorize their fellow citizens. And the 'well regulated militia' is basically the National Guard. I think the Second Amendment gives the National Guard the right to do what it needs to do to protect the People. Those gun-toting gangs are nothing but threats to the security of the free State. Let's declare war on them.