2nd Amendment is but one...
Whilst this forum is particularly focused on the 2nd Amendment, I thought it important to mention an important notion about all 10 of the original amendments to the Constitution that comprise what we now call the Bill of Rights. The BOR is commonly thought of as a laundry list of rights the Founders thought important to ensuring that citizens were assured of these rights. Actually, that is not exactly accurate. The BOR is not a list of rights at all, it is much more important than that. It's a bill of RESTRAINTS against the GOVERNMENT, proscribing behavior on the part of those who would drag us back into the tyranny the revolutionaries were trying to escape. The necessity of the 2nd amendment to truly keep this nation free cannot be overstated.
Without the ability to rise up against a tyranical government, or at least the possibility of it (no matter how unlikely), the citizens of any nation remain at the mercy of their leaders. In this country, we have slowly allowed many of our liberties to simply evaporate over the past 200 plus years, allowing government to control nearly every aspect of our lives, and yet we still think ourselves free... We are certainly more free than most other nations. Oppressive regimes typically own all the assets, control all the wealth and control the nations aresenals. The citizens know they cannot resist and so typically (with certain recent exceptions) stop trying and acquiesce.... Lest we think gun control legislation serves a "compelling government interest" in merely promoting public safety, think again. Indeed not a more tyrannical step be made by a government than the disarming of its citizens, no matter how innocuous the intent may seem
Recognizing the importance of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms I recently signed up for a concealed weapons training class. The instructor, whose name I can't immediately recall, is a very nice older gentleman, humorous, ernest, and very knowledgeable. His mantra is, "don't ever point a gun at something you don't want to kill or destroy." That pretty much says it like it is. He imbues in students the terrific responsibility that choosing to carry brings with it but teaches also a sincere respect for the privilege of carrying as well. Were it not for the 2nd Amendment, the government could have stepped in and taken nearly all of other liberties away in short order. The Founders knew this... they lived it. God bless them for having the vision to ensure that the government would be restrained in this manner. Now it's up to us to keep the government out of gun ownership as much as possible, lest we continue to let liberty slip away.