“The Second Amendment was meant to accomplish two distinct goals, each perceived as crucial to the maintenance of liberty. First, it was meant to guarantee the individual’s right to have arms for self-defense and self-preservation. Such an individual right was a legacy of the English bill of rights. This is also plain from American colonial practice, the debates over the constitution, and state proposals for what was to become the Second Amendment. . . .
The second and related objective concerned the militia, and it is the coupling of these two objectives that has caused the most confusion. The customary American militia necessitated an armed public, and Madison’s original version of the amendment, as well as those suggested by the states, describe the militia as either “composed of” or “including” the body of the people. A select militia was regarded as little better than a standing army. ”‘