Thoughts on the wording of the Second Amendment
Most of the controversy over the Second Amendment arises from the fact that it has both a "militia clause," stating that a well regulated militia is essential, and then the "right to arms" clause. Prof. Volokh's article The Commonplace Second Amendment points out that the use of a prefatory clause stating a purpose was quite common in State constitution drafting of the time. (This makes sense. The idea of judicial review, of a court striking down laws as unconstitutional, was undeveloped at the time. As the Jefferson-Madison letters on the idea of a bill of rights suggest, a bill of rights could be seen as establishing certain rights beyond controversy, not to guide the courts, but to let the people know clearly when rights had been infringed, so that they might vote the scoundrels out, rise up in arms, or otherwise react en masse. So why not state why a right was important?)
It turns out Jame's Madison's original version of the Bill of Rights, as introduced in Congress, had several "purpose" clauses in it:
"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.
The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the Legislature by petitions, or remonstrances, for redress of their grievances.
In suits at common law, between man and man, the trial by jury, as one of the best securities to the rights of the people, ought to remain inviolate."