The Founders of our republic did not think an armed citizenry was the product of a childish infatuation with guns or a response to life on the frontier, and the philosophers who guided them can help us to see why the right to arms continues to deserve its place in our fundamental law. The U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment, is a device designed to frustrate the domineering tendencies of the politically ambitious, and the right to keep and bear arms is a vital element of the liberal order that our Founders handed down to us. The Second Amendment also plays an important role in fostering the kind of civic virtue that resists the cowardly urge to trade liberty for an illusion of safety. Armed citizens take responsibility for their own security, thereby exhibiting and cultivating the self-reliance and vigorous spirit that are ultimately indispensable for genuine self-government.

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