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The big problem, for me, is the clarity of the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The traditional argument in favor of gun control has been that this is a collective right, accorded to state militias. This has always struck me as a real stretch, if not a total dodge. I’ve never been able to understand why the Founders would stick a collective right into the middle of the greatest charter of individual rights and freedoms ever written—and give it such pride of place, the No. 2 position, right behind such bedrock freedoms as speech and religion. Even Barack Obama, a longtime advocate of gun control—but also a one-time professor of constitutional law—has said he believes the amendment confers an individual right to gun ownership.

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