Up till now I've mainly asked questions. It's time I stated what my theory is and why.
I'd first like to point out that I've read thousands of posts and comments, for the most part from pro-gun writers, numerous articles and several books including ones by Professors Lott and Kleck. Although I don't think of myself as an expert by any stretch, this is what I've concluded, at least this is my opinion at this point. Feel free to consider it a work in progress.
In the late 18th century the 2nd Amendment was understood to guarantee the right to bear arms in order for small communities of men to band together, forming a militia, in order to protect themselves from standing armies, invading forces or federal government oppression. There was no such thing as the right to bear arms in order to protect oneself or one's home. The purpose was a collective one.
It's difficult to compare that society with today's. The factors at work back then have no relevance today except for extreme Libertarians and those referred to as "threepers." These are folks who really believe in protecting themselves from the federal government. Even they are wrong, however, they're really operating out of paranoia, grandiosity and fantasy, but at least for them it makes some sense. For the rest, the 90+% of gun owners, claiming the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is nothing more than a manipulation, a wilful distortion in order to enjoy their "defense of last resort," as Denis Henigan calls it.
What's your opinion? Am I on the right track? Please leave a comment.