While Mr. Herbert Mitgang is certainly entitled to his opinion, 1 am disappointed that American Heritage would print such a patently biased, even childish, comment on the Second Amendment. I happen to agree with that large body of constitutional scholars who disagrees with his interpretation.
It seems obvious that the word people which appears in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments and in the Fourteenth as citizens refers to individual, not collective, rights. Certainly no one would argue that only groups could peaceably assemble, “be secure in their persons,” retain unenumerated rights, or have powers reserved to them. Why should protection of person, property, and state be different?
Additionally, in Article XIV it is obvious that any unjust laws shall not be made or enforced against individuals as well as collective bodies.
While I concur in thinking that the Bill of Rights is constantly perverted to promote just one side of an argument, it seems obvious that any perversion of the Second Amendment has been encouraged by those who would deny us individual freedoms.