As I’ve said many times, I am a supporter of the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. I do think it confers an individual right to bear arms. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be any limitations on that right, just as we have libel, perjury and fraud exceptions to free speech. And it certainly doesn’t mean what David Barton claims it means, which is that an individual can own any weapons that the government has:
The Second Amendment is not to arm you less than it is to arm the government. Because what specifically happened was if the Americans had not been able to go home and grab their guns off the mantel over the fireplace, they could not have taken on the British coming after them.
The British was their government and the Americans had to have equal firepower with whoever was coming after them and that’s why they went to Fort Ticonderoga and got all the British cannons and came back and used those. That was just individual citizens doing that.
So the purpose of the Second Amendment was you have got to be able to defend yourself, your rights, period against anybody and that sometimes means it may be your government coming after you. So if the government has got AR-15s, guess what? The people can have AR-15s … Whatever the government’s got, you’ve got to be able to defend yourself against. So there was no limitation on what you could or couldn’t do with the Second Amendment; it was a self-defense amendment and if everybody is coming at you AR-15s, you don’t defend yourself with BB guns, you get AR-15s.
By this “reasoning,” any individual could own anything from RPGs to tanks to tactical nuclear weapons. That is twilight zone thinking.