In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment
protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while
it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms.
If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it
remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth
century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787
and 1791 states such a thesis.
-- Stephen P. Halbrook, "That Every Man Be Armed", 1984
The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history concept, and
wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and
court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates
that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen
to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner....