I ran across this quote today:
“A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind . . . Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.”
~ Thomas Jefferson, Letter to his nephew Peter Carr
August 19, 1785.
What was that again about how the founding fathers intended the Second Amendment to protect the National Guard?
Update by sammy: In addition to Scott’s point that arms are for the people, consider this: Peter Carr was the fourth child of Jefferson’s younger sister Martha and a ward of TJ’s. TJ wrote many letters to his young charge, advising him on all manner of concerns including religion, politics, finance, etc. The full text of the letter from which the above quote comes can be found here.
Peter Carr was born in 1770. So TJ’s advice to a nephew and ward is to carry his gun about on walks and exercise with it as much as possible and is given to a boy of 15 years.