I grew up in Alabama, and in Alabama and the south in general; it's not uncommon for a very young boy to go hunting with his uncle, father, grandfather or other male relatives or neighbors. At a very young age we are taught the importance of gun safety and a healthy respect for guns in general. These lessons are important lessons to learn, especially if you're going to be someone that plans to use and be around weapons on a regular basis. I grew up watching my maternal and paternal relatives in Mississippi and Alabama handle weapons daily. It just wasn't uncommon for me to watch my relatives go out with guns and come home with a dead critter for dinner, something with four paws that had been alive just an hour or so before.
Most of the people I knew growing up owned guns. The right to keep and bear arms, often referred as the right to bear arms or the right to have arms; is the assertion that people have a personal right to weapons for individual use, or a collective right to bear arms in a militia, or both. In this context, "arms" refers to a variety of weapons and armor and to "bear arms" meant to wage war.
There are those people out there that will tell you that this reference to the rights of American citizens to bare arms refers to automatic weapons and handguns. But the reality is that the second amendment to the United States Constitution was proposed on September 25th 1789 and enacted on December 15th 1791. If I'm not mistaken the worlds first wannabe automatic weapon was the Gatling gun, I say that because the weapon wasn't actually automatic. The Gatling gun was designed in 1861 during the U.S. Civil War. However, in 1862, the U.S. government did not purchase any, for the Gatling guns lacked triggers and were far too heavy to be set up quickly in combat. Even when Dr. Gatling improved the design, it still lacked the desired trigger and weighed an unwieldy 90 lbs. They were only put into limited service late in the war by the Union army.The first actual automatic machine gun was the recoil-operated Maxim gun, designed in 1884; which used linked (belt) ammunition, as well as a single barrel and offered automatic loading. This concept of using bullet energy would also drive the development all nearly all other semi and fully-automatic firearms of 20th century.
I will also tell you unequivocally that a hunter doesn't need a handgun or an automatic weapon to hunt Bambi; nor does he need that type of firepower to hunt Porky or Bugs Bunny. All he really needs is a rifle and if he wants to hunt a duck or a turkey, all he needs is a shotgun.....that usually does the trick.
I mention all of this to say that when our founding fathers sat down and subscribed to the right to bare arms, there is no way that they could have possibly been talking about automatic weapons; nor could they have known about the deadly potential of citizens toting handguns in the coming centuries. Back in the 18th century a pistol was a gentleman's weapon. A weapon usually designated for duels........between gentlemen.
While I believe in the right of law abiding Americans to carry rifles and shotguns, I believe that the use of automatic weapons and handguns should be restricted to the military and the police. I believe that anyone else that carries a handgun or an automatic weapon should be considered armed and dangerous and subject to arrest and imprisonment.
Guns don't kill people, stupid assed people carrying guns kill people. But if people weren't allowed to carry handguns and automatic weapons, then those guns wouldn't be used to kill people.