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Created - January 3, 2000
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Grammar and the Second Amendment

Any competent sixth grade school student should be able to parse the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and understand it with clarity.

Firstly, it is over punctuated. There are two extraneous commas, and certain nouns are capitalized in the writing style of the time. The punctuation does not change the meaning of the sentence.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"A well regulated Militia" is a nominative absolute.

"..being necessary to the security of a free State" is a participial phrase modifying "Militia".

The subject of the sentence is "the right of the people". The prepositional phrase "of the people" modifies "right".

" keep and bear Arms" is an infinitive phrase modifying "right".

"..shall not be infringed" is a verb phrase, with "not" as an adverb modifying the verb phrase "shall be infringed".

This right is a declaration of the right of the people considered as individuals. It is established as unalienable and consequently, no majority has the authority to deprive them of it.