"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." Second Amendment, United States Constitution
"The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied." Article VI, Section 24 of the South Dakota Constitution
The second amendment is part of the bill of rights which as a whole spells out a list of individual rights that our government is prohibited from encroaching. The militia, for a community in those days, were all the able bodied people. The civil rights abuses, by the British during the Revolutionary War, were fresh in our founders minds when they drafted the bill of rights. The intent was to keep guns in the hands of the common people. They knew that the right of a citizen to have the ability to protect their family, person, or property from unwanted attack, or to obtain food through hunting, was essential to preserving freedom.
I believe that every law abiding adult citizen has the individual right to own, keep, possess, and bear arms. I own many firearms and am an accomplished marksman. I am a member of the National Rifle Association, the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, a long time marksmanship instructor, and a hunter.
Firearms in the hands of law abiding South Dakotans, Americans, has been instrumental in the growth, success, and security of our great state and country.
For 23 1/2 years I swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. I did not take that oath lightly or blindly. The language above is very clear and the wisdom sound to this old Marine and retired cop.