The primary reason for the Second Amendment has never been hunting, or “sporting purposes,” or self-defense against criminals. It was written to ensure that the militia in our Republic—essentially everyone of age, shape, and rudimentary mental faculties—would never be denied the use of military-grade arms for the defense of their communities.
Against whom? Marauding savages. Foreign armies. Domestic despots. Tyrannical government.
Why should civilians own military-grade weapons and be proficient in their use? To make sure the various governments of the United States (federal, state, or local) face the credible threat of lethal force from the civilian population, so that there will cannot be the wholesale slaughter of innocents by the government on these shores.
This need didn’t end in 1781 when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, or in 1865 when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, or in 1946 when the McMinn County Sheriff’s Department surrendered in Athens, Tennessee.
As long as men dream of lording over other men, civilians must have military-grade small arms.
Never again must truly mean “never again,” and the Second Amendment provides that protection.