Mr. Speaker, the Bill of Rights confers liberties on individuals to protect us from government power. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the second amendment. It states, "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The second amendment confers two rights; it allows individuals to bear arms, and it allows for a state militia, or the National Guard.

There are several reasons for the second amendment. But notice the phrase, "the right to bear arms." This is a military term. The colonists, who all owned firearms, were somewhat fearful of a strong Federal Government that would be oppressive and totalitarian. So it seems they wanted the right to protect themselves, individually and also collectively, through militias from not only outlaws but an outlaw Federal Government.

As the Supreme Court decides if the government can ban gun ownership, it would do well to adopt a lower court opinion which said, "The right to bear arms was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense; the latter being understood as a resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredation of a tyrannical government."

And that's just the way it is.