To understand the Second Amendment (1791) it is important to know the time when it was ratified. The new nation had just established the first viable democratic republic. The Founders were concerned that reactionary forces within the country or colonial powers without would destroy the fledgling democracy. There was no standing army. It seemed that an armed militia would be a protection. Also, colonists did not use their muskets to target practice on school children. So what could go wrong? Now we have strong democratic institutions and a strong military. What is a threat to democracy today? One would be fabulously wealthy individuals and organizations such as the NRA which can bend government policy toward their interest. Those who cling to their guns are deluded if they think they will keep them free.