The courts in this nation have seldom been asked to rule on the Second Amendment,
and have agreed to rule on it even less often. In one of the most often quoted
rulings, the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Cruickshank, the gun
control people quote: the right of the people to bear arms "is not a right
granted by the Constitution." They refuse to use the next sentence, which
says "Neither is it in any manner dependent on that instrument for its
existence." In other words, the right to keep and bear arms is a God-granted
liberty of a free people to protect themselves. It is important to remember
that the right to keep and bear arms is not a right granted by the Constitution.
It is a right protected by the Constitution.
The First Amendment to the Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Note that the amendment does not establish any right, but states that the rights mentioned must not be abridged.
The Second Amendment states "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." Let's take a look at just what that means, in English.
The subject of the sentence is "the right of the people." The verb is "shall not be infringed." The phrase "keep and bear arms" is an infinitive phrase modifying "right." The part about "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state" is a nominative absolute establishing the case of the subject "the right of the people." Because the militia is composed of the "whole body", this Amendment pertains to all of us.