A friend emailed:
There’s an interesting dimension to the 2nd Amendment arguments that unfortunately I can’t find the link to. Briefly, the thread goes that an individual’s right to bear arms (hunting and self-defense I’d guess) predates the Constitution, and that the Founding Fathers were very particular about protecting what they called inalienable rights (like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) from infringement by government.In his latest column George Will notes Justice Scalia cited what my friend most likely had in mind when he referred to "an individual's right to bear arms [that] predates the Constitution[.]
I think that is what this OP-FOR blogger is getting at here.
...In an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who believes that construing the Constitution should begin, and often end, with analysis of what the text meant to its authors, the court affirmed the individual right. Scalia cited the ancient British right -- deemed a pre-existing, inherent, natural right, not one created by government -- of individuals to own arms as protection against tyrannical government and life's other hazards. Scalia also cited American state constitutional protections of the right to arms, protections written contemporaneously with the drafting of the Second Amendment. (emphasis added)...Will's entire column's here.