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 Second Amendment
Well this is strangely one of the shortest Amendments, and though this might seem minor the punctuation in how its written has cause an unbelievable amount of headache for us as a society. On the Surface its pretty straightforward. If the Fecal mater hits the fan a civilian militia can be called up and will augment the standing military. If necessary local civilians can keep the peace inside their own states territories or municipalities should emergencies arise.
But that's the thing. See some people have use Militia to mean the National Guard (it's not a Militia by the way) and they are armed, so why should a private citizen need guns? Another argument revolves around the words "well regulated" which could be taken to mean that you can throw on so many regulations that getting a gun is prohibitive. In both arguments it is an argument of semantics and not really about the spirit of the actual Amendment.
In theory, if I organized a group of individuals and trained them how to fight, with the express purpose of only doing legitimate Militia work in times of crisis, I could (again in theory) arm them with just about anything. I don't know why a private citizen would need a Ma Deuce, but should the goose well and truly be cooked a .50 Cal would probably come in handy. I'm not sure how practical it would be, but we're just dealing with theory.
The simple fact is that you have a right to arm yourself. It is assumed that a reasonable citizen will know when and where and what circumstances to discharge or draw a firearm, and ultimately I think that's the main problem that Liberals have with this Amendment. It comes down to trust. Can you trust your fellow citizen to know what the hell they're doing? To be sure accidents, and crimes will happen. That's just what happens when it doesn't take 20 seconds to reload after each shot. Would the Founders still have written the Amendment this way had they known about the Kalashnikov? Actually. . . yes. There are about 3 million Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Marines right now. There are 300 Million Americans. The DoD can't oppress the people because simply put they would get their asses handed to them.
But this Amendment actually also saved us from Foreign invasion more than once. Take WWII. Hitler thought he'd *eventually* attack America but he wanted to have rested after the conquest of Europe Asia, and Africa. In essence he wanted to deal with America last. The Japanese which attacked America directly never had any plans to get anywhere near the mainland. They had planned to strike at (but not hold) the Panama Canal, and a potentially interdict shipping to Hawaii, but setting foot on the US mainland never entered into any tactical or strategic Doctrine that has survived history. Indeed Admiral Isuroko Yamamoto, the Pearl Harbor architect himself thought the idea was mindlessly suicidal because "there would be a gun behind every blade of grass". The entire war aim of the Japanese Empire was to bring America to the bargaining table, to to dominate it.
My take is rather simple. Look at all the societies that have tried to ban the citizen from owning firearms. They are either brutal dictatorships or have unbelievably high crime rates. Indeed like it or not there is a direct correlation between crime, and especially violent crime, and private Gun ownership. I believe it would be a wise policy to teach every child gun safety regardless of if their parents own any guns. This would prevent children from having Negligent Discharges that kill or wound those nearby. Further I believe that every effort should be made to make ammo cheap so that a citizen can afford to hone their skills. Training is the key to preventing Spray and Pray massacres where you hit everything but the target.
It must be noted that the Laws regarding Guns will only be followed by law abiding citizens. I could potentially obtain quite a few rifles that are quite illegal for me to have. I personally would feel no qualms about doing so, mainly because I have had the proper training. Imagine if someone did not or did not follow the law as I do? both would be dangerous combinations. Adding further laws when such people cause problems will also not solve the problem only exacerbate it.
I want to leave you with this thought about this Amendment. Why is the Right to Bare Arms the 2nd? Why not the 3rd or the 5th? keeping in mind that America had already failed as a state (the articles of the Confederation were a disaster) you have to further understand that this right was meant as a safeguard for the First Amendment. If the Government of the United States became destructive to the Freedoms of the Individual than this Amendment would be a safeguard. The dangers that go along with this Amendment, are painfully obvious, but they were deemed, in the minds of the Founders, worth the risk. Indeed the Revolution would not have been possible without Minutemen, and other such Militias. Should the need ever arise, every citizen is given the Right to defend his Rights.