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.
Folks with all sort of agendas have attempted to interpret the amendment to fit their world view. Here are the most common misconceptions that liberals use.
1) The collectivist argument. Some argue that the amendment was meant only actually allow organized militias to arm. In other words, this was, in their view, never meant to be an individual right.
The simplest way to counter this argument is two fold. First, the phrase "the right of the people" is found in several different amendments. At no time is that interpreted to be anything but an individual right. If this is a collectivist right then so is the right to free speech which has the same type of language.
Second, look at how any of the founding fathers viewed the 2nd amendment and they all clearly saw it as an individual right.
Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."George Washington
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."George Mason
There is an endless stream of quotes like these two and you won't find one in which any founding father viewed the 2nd amendment as collectivist.
2) defenders of the 2nd amendment want defend a theoretical right and thus create real more crimes.
You will find so called progressives making such an argument. They say that whatever importance the 2nd amendment had once, it has outlived its value. Now, in their view, they see it merely contributing to the proliferation of guns, violence and crime.
Of course, there is absolutely no data that supports such a charge. Both Washington D.C. and Chicago have each had long term gun bans. Yet, both of those cities have also long held significantly high crime rates, murder rates, and violence with guns.
Furthermore, one only needs to remember what happened in New Orleans following Katrina to see that the 2nd amendment is NOT merely a theoretical right. Once lawlessness descended on the city, the only thing that protected anyone that had to stay was a firearm. There were roaming bands of thugs and gangs shooting anything in sight. The only protection any of those folks had was a gun.
3)2nd amendment proponents are heartless libertarians, sportsmen, and right wingers that don't care about violence in the inner city.
Anytime there is a violent shooting in any inner city, you will invariably find some liberal somewhere make the argument that this is proof that it is time for gun control laws. The reality is that violence in the inner cities is a complicated issue involving abject poverty, lack of education, lack of hope, and decayed and mistreated neighborhoods. Usually, the situation is complicated by the presence of gangs. These gangs wouldn't abide by any gun control law that was implemented regardless.
4) "Sensible" gun legislation is the right way to strike a balance between the individual right to own a gun and safety.
This sounds great in theory, however the legislation needs to be "sensible". Most are fierce defenders of the first amendment and yet we also all agree that no one can yell fire in a crowded theater unless there is a fire. That is a sensible restriction onto the first amendment.
The problem with so called "sensible" legislation is that it is vague. Proponents of sensible legislation almost never specify what specific sensible legislation there is. We can all agree that a psyczophrenic just out of a mental institution shouldn't own a gun. That is sensible. Beyond that, if someone has a sensible restriction, they must specify what that restriction is. Simply saying they are in favor of "sensible" restrictions is almost always means significant restrictions on this right.
5) We are the only country in the civilized world to allow guns, and it is proven that gun bans reduce violence worldwide. I will let the CATO institute respond.
This is one of the favorite arguments of gun control proponents, and yet the facts show that there is simply no correlation between gun control laws and murder or suicide rates across a wide spectrum of nations and cultures. In Israel and Switzerland, for example, a license to possess guns is available on demand to every law-abiding adult, and guns are easily obtainable in both nations. Both countries also allow widespread carrying of concealed firearms, and yet, admits Dr. Arthur Kellerman, one of the foremost medical advocates of gun control, Switzerland and Israel "have rates of homicide that are low despite rates of home firearm ownership that are at least as high as those in the United States." A comparison of crime rates within Europe reveals no correlation between access to guns and crime.
6) Folks don't need uzis, machine guns, and semi automatic weapons to protect themselves and anyone that demands all firearms be allowed is taking the right too far.
The reality is that the main purpose of the 2nd amendment is to protect the individual from invasion. What business is it of the government's to tell the individual what limit they should have on their firearms. Law abiding citizens should decide for themselves just how armed they want to be. They shouldn't have the government decide for them.
If anyone has any more, please share them. Also, check out similar lies and misconceptions on GITMO, Iraq, and gay marriage