I’ve read several comments recently about Second Amendment language and they’re all slightly misinformed. A great read would be that of David Hardy of the University of Virginia Law and Politics, “The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of Rights.”
The term “a well regulated militia” goes back to 13th century England, when all landowners were required to possess a longbow and be “regulated,” or be accurate and trained with it, and teach all sons the “regulated” use of it beginning at age 7. And “militia” referred to the able-bodied citizenry, not a military body. The reference and meaning of “regulated” has changed over the centuries, but still maintains the original meaning with regard to watchmakers.
The “well regulated militia” statement was fashioned from the Virginia folks, while “the right to keep and bear arms” was derived primarily from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. They were quite separate terms which became combined in the Second Amendment.
Make no mistake: the Second Amendment was meant to mean that the able-bodied citizenry shall always possess the right to keep and bear arms, which shall not be infringed on. Remember, crazy people don’t care at all about more laws that infringe on law-abiding citizens.