The meaning of the phrase "well-regulated" in the 2nd amendment
The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary,
and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:
1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated
Appetites and worthy Inclinations."
1714: "The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in
1812: "The equation of time ... is the adjustment of the difference of
time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial."
1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated
person will blame the Mayor."
1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a
1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every
well-regulated American embryo city."
The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789,
and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of
something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was
calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight
of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd
amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the
founders wrote it.