the same. A Report of the Commission of the Freedmens Bureau in 1866 stated plainly: The civil law of Kentucky prohibits the colored man from bearing arms. II, we turn first to the meaning of the. The limited discussion of the Second Amendment in Cruikshank supports, if anything, the individual-rights interpretation. To be sure, Congress need not conscript every able-bodied man into the militia, because nothing in Article I suggests that in exercising its power to organize, discipline, and arm the militia, Congress must focus upon the entire body. 2d 744, 755756 (1978).
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Another three StatesMississippi, Connecticut, and Alabamaused the even more individualistic phrasing that each citizen has the right to bear arms in defence of himself and the State. Dumbauld, The Bill of Rights and What It Means Today 51 (1957. . The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. 70, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 233, 236. Congress is given the power to provide for calling forth the militia, 8,.
The Second Amendment precursors, by contrast, referred to the individual English right already codified in two (and probably four) State constitutions. Respondent argues that it protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. The opinion explained that the right is not a right granted by the Constitution or in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.