While listening to people on radio discuss the subject of gun control, I have heard more than a few of them say that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms. It does no such thing.
As Charles C. W. Cooke wrote:
American liberties, including the right to bear arms, pre-exist the federal government, and are defined and protected in the same document from which the state derives its authority and its structure. In a free republic, the people cannot be disarmed by the government, for they are its employers, and they did not give up their individual rights when they consented to its creation. There is no clause in our charters of liberty that allows for the people to be deprived of their freedom if and when a few individuals abuse theirs.
The 2nd Amendment does not give us the right to keep and bear arms. It merely makes explicit the fact that the government does not have the power to infringe on that already existing right.