Pre-Heller, anyway, there was a debate about the meaning of "well-regulated militia" in the Second Amendment. One side contended that it meant "tightly controlled and subject to much regulation" and the other contended it meant "orderly," trained, that manner of thing.
I just made a little discovery. In the Framing period, "well-regulated democracy" was sometimes used, in the sense of an orderly, organized democracy, and not in the sense of subject to many regulations.
Future chief justice John Marshall, in the Virginia ratifying convention, said
"We, sir, idolize democracy. Those who oppose it have bestowed eulogiums on monarchy. We prefer this system to any monarchy because we are convinced that it has a greater tendency to secure our liberty and promote our happiness. We admire it because we think it a well-regulated democracy: it is recommended to the good people of this country: they are, through us, to declare whether it be such a plan of government as will establish and secure their freedom."
An English translation of Baron De Montesquieu's "The Spirit of the Laws" states:
"Such is the difference between a well-regulated democracy and one that is not so, that in the former
men are equal only as citizens, but in the latter they are equal also as magistrates, as senators, as
judges, as fathers, as husbands, or as masters."