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In the eighteenth century, the chief vehicle for law enforcement was the posse comitatus, and the major American military force was the militia of the whole.While these institutions are still recognized by modern law, they lie dormant in late twentieth-century America.Professional police forces and a standing military establishment assisted by semi-professional auxiliaries--the reserves and the National Guard--have largely assumed the roles of public protection and national security.
Where should the proper lines be drawn with respect to modern firearms, all of which employ technologies largely unimagined by the framers?
 Societal, as well as technological, changes raise questions for advocates of the individual rights view of the Second Amendment.
Yet, the effect of social change on the question of the Second Amendment is a two-edged sword.
If one of the motivating purposes behind the Second Amendment was to provide a popular check against potential governmental excess, then does the professionalization of national and community security make the right to keep and bear arms even more important in the modern context?
If, instead, the federal government has plenary power to define militia membership and chooses to confine such membership to the federally controlled National Guard, does the Second Amendment become a dead letter under the collective rights theory?