Page 2, House of Representatives’ Original Proposal for a Bill of Rights, August 24, 1789.
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Page two of the original seventeen amendments passed in 1789 and later changed to the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Credit: Library of Congress

How different might American history have been had the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights included the language in Article the Fifth of this seventeen-article draft, passed by the House of Representatives in August 1789?  Championed by the Pennsylvania representatives, the original amendment read: “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

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