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The Founders were declaring that we are all equal, and that we are defined by rights that we are born with, not given to us by government.Among those rights is the right to pursue happiness--to live our lives as we think best, as long as we respect the right of all other individuals to do the same.
To protect the basic rights of Americans--rights which each person possesses and that are guaranteed, but not granted, by any government--the framers added the first ten amendments to the Constitution as a package.
Those amendments have come to be known as the Bill of Rights.
In 1776, America's Founders came together in Philadelphia to draw up a "Declaration of Independence," ending political ties to Great Britain.
Written by Thomas Jefferson, it is the fundamental statement of people's rights and what government is and from what source it derives its powers: WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.
They and their contemporaries were firearm owners, hunters and in some cases gun collectors (George Washington and Thomas Jefferson exchanged letters about their collections).
They had just finished winning their freedoms with gun in hand, and would, in their next session, pass legislation requiring most male citizens to buy and own at least one firearm and 30 rounds of ammunition.
However, they did have a tradition of protecting individual rights from government.
Those rights were set forth in a number of documents, including the Magna Carta and the English Declaration of Rights.
The Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, was created to specifically describe the powers of government and the rights of individuals government was not allowed to infringe.
Some people claim that there is no individual right to own firearms.