The Second Amendment reads, "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." At the founding, the core connotation of the phrase "bear arms" was military. Soldiers and militiamen "bore arms," whereas hunters or homeowners simply carried guns, firearms, or weapons. Almost every founding-era state constitution that featured the phrase "bear arms" was referring to soldiers and militiamen and not to private gun use by an individual in a home or on a hunt. The central image was of Minutemen bearing guns, not Daniel Boone gunning bears.
The word militia in the amendment's opening clause confirms this military thrust, as does the counterbalancing word, people, in the closing clause. At the founding, these two paired words were roughly synonymous. In a sound republic, the militia was composed of the people—the voters. As a rule, those who bore arms in defense of the state should vote and those who voted should bear arms. So, too, voters should generally serve on juries. Militias, grand juries, and trial juries were all close cousins.