On the subject of providing context for the first ten amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, we see that the founders intended for them (aside from the clearly expressed intent of the tenth amendment) to be about the rights of individuals. For example, the First Amendment, which talks about freedom of speech, is all about protecting the individual right to free speech, not a collective right of states or any other government entity. As interpreted by the Supreme Court, this also holds true for the Second Amendment.
Dr. Ben Carson in his recent speech at the annual NRA Convention also correctly stated the reasons behind the Second Amendment based on related writings of the founding fathers. These were:
To fight against foreign invasion with an armed citizenry
To prevent tyranny from the government
Dr. Carson also stated a third and arguably the most relevant reason for the Second Amendment for most citizens, which is to enable individuals to defend themselves.
With the exception of misguided individuals and a few tyrannical states (i.e. - the state of Maryland under former Governor O'Malley), the individual right to bear arms is undisputable. It should not be treated as a political football and even more importantly, as the Second Amendment explicitly states, it must not be infringed.
Of course, there are still some pertinent issues regarding the extent in which the amendment applies. For example, does the right to bear arms mean you have the right to keep a nuclear weapon at home? Or how do we reconcile this individual right with the need to protect public safety? This is where the debate gets interesting. I will be blogging on these issues soon......