The meaning of the phrase “well-regulated” in the 2nd amendment

From: Brian T. Halonen <halonen@csd.uwm.edu>

The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

1709: “If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations.”

1714: “The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world.”

1812: “The equation of time … is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial.”

1848: “A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor.”

1862: “It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding.”

The Birth of Democracy

First, we must accept that that the purpose of the Second Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights is so people can protect themselves from a potentially hostile future government. There is nothing else that guarantees the continuation of the Republic. People need to be well armed so that Government forces will respect and fear them.