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Where should the proper lines be drawn with respect to modern firearms, all of which employ technologies largely unimagined by the framers?[25] Societal, as well as technological, changes raise questions for advocates of the individual rights view of the Second Amendment.

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The framers had firsthand experience with such a phenomenon, but they lived in an age when the weapon likely to be found in private hands, the single shot musket or pistol, did not differ considerably from its military counterpart.

Although the armies of the day possessed heavier weapons rarely found in private hands, battles were fought predominately by infantry or cavalry with weapons not considerably different from those employed by private citizens for personal protection or hunting.[18] Battles in which privately armed citizens vanquished regular troops, or at least gave "a good account of themselves," were not only conceivable--they happened.[19] Modern warfare has, of course, introduced an array of weapons that no government is likely to permit ownership by the public at large[20] and that few advocates of the individual rights view would claim as part of the public domain.[21] The balance of power has shifted considerably and largely to the side of governments and their standing armies.

If, instead, the federal government has plenary power to define militia membership and chooses to confine such membership to the federally controlled National Guard, does the Second Amendment become a dead letter under the collective rights theory?

If the collective rights theory raises difficult questions, the individual rights theory raises perhaps even more difficult, and perhaps more interesting ones.

They argue that the framers also contemplated a right to individual and community protection.[13] This view embodies the individual rights theory.

This debate has raised often profound questions, but questions generally treated hastily, if at all, by the community of constitutional scholars.[14] For example, if one accepts the collective rights view of the Amendment, serious questions arise concerning whether the federal government's integration of the National Guard into the Army and, later, the Air Force have not in all but name destroyed the very institutional independence of the militia that is at the heart of what the collective rights theorists see as the framers' intentions.[15] Even the gun control debate is not completely resolved by an acceptance of the collective rights theory.In the eighteenth century, the chief vehicle for law enforcement was the posse comitatus, and the major American military force was the militia of the whole.While these institutions are still recognized by modern law,[26] they lie dormant in late twentieth-century America.It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, ...and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, The often strident debate over the Second Amendment[2] is like few others in American constitutional discourse and historiography.This article explores Second Amendment issues in light of the Afro-American experience, concluding that the individual rights theory comports better with the history of the right to bear arms in England and Colonial and post-Revolutionary America.

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