The Second Amendment,like all other articles in the ORIGINAL Bill of Rights,was intended to set limitations on the new government,as SSGN DOC explained above.
However,Doc,I see you and I'll raise ya one.
These rights are seen to be "natural rights",and they are based in the immutable truth that human beings are created with certain characteristics,such as the instinctive will of self defense and the intellect to have one's own opinion.
"The people have certain natural rights which are retained by them when they enter into Society, such are the rights of Conscience in matters of religion; of acquiring property and of pursuing happiness & Safety; of Speaking, writing and publishing their Sentiments with decency and freedom; of peaceably assembling to consult their common good, and of applying Government by petition or remonstrance for redress of grievances. Of these rights therefore they Shall not be deprived by the Government of the united states."
-Roger Sherman(Sherman was a Founder, Senator, and lawyer)
Some of the Founders believed these rights to have come from God:
"Rights come from GOD not the state. You have rights antecedent to any earthly governments rights that can not be repealed or restrained by human laws. Rights derived from the great legislator: God."
And they believed that these rights were unassailable by government,having come from a higher power then mankind and any form of society or governing body that mankind can create himself:
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
—Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775
Of these rights,the right to self defense has been seen as part of instinctual human behavior and thus as an immutable truth,since antiquity:
"There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice; not by instruction but by natural intuition: I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right."
-Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC) Roman Orator and Statesman at the trial of T. Annius Milo in 52 BC
These rights cannot be "taken",even by a majority of the populace using the power of government to try to do so.
The majority,being a construct of mankind like government, has no legitimate power to deprive anyone of these rights.
Even if the majority were to amend the Constitution against the 2A,the right of self defense,and the right to arms since we use them as a tool using species,is not void.It is just violated.
"There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.... In fact it is only reestablishing under another name a more specious form, force as the measure of right...."
— James Madison, letter to James Monroe, October 5, 1786
They cannot be legitimately deprived for what some might call "just cause":
"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."
They can only be rightfully violated -not taken- upon due process of law, in the case of an individual who has violated the rights of others, where the punishment is confinement so that one does not have the ability to act upon their rights, or death; which removes the individual from the issue altogether.
The Second Amendment itself directs the government,ALL government,I might add,as the states are signatories to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,that it may not infringe on th right of the people to keep and bear arms.
The popular colloquialism "the Second Amendment is my carry permit" is both appropriate and inappropriate in different ways.
First of all it is appropriate in asserting that the Second Amendment does in fact guarantee the right of the people to bear (carry) arms.
It is inappropriate in that it defines the 2A as a "permit",which it is not.
As you said,its a restriction on government power.
But as it is a colloquial statement made in light of the current status quo of a privilege granted by permit (permission) of government to bear arms in todays Amerika,its entirely righteous.
But fair warning- if you try to act on this inalienable right without first seeking permission,you will find very quickly on which side of the spectrum our current government resides consisting of, on the one hand, a government that abides by the natural rights of citizens, and on the other, a government that violates them at will.
Brave men standing on principle will choose to disobey illegitimate "laws",but they will need their bravery to do so.
Abraham Lincoln was a statist,big government pig that was closer to a modern day grand poobah of the KKK then any "great emancipator".
“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”
Source:Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146.)
The fact that this government has chosen to erect a palace for his worship in DC shows in truth and without doubt its inclinations for total centralized power.
The fact that millions of people are "educated" into believing him to be some "benevolent emancipator" rather then the racist tyrant that levied war on the states PROVES that pooblik skewel is nothing less then an indoctrination center.
He bent the states into obedience by use of arms,and in so doing warped the consensual nature of the contract that formed this union beyond anything the word "consensual" can be used- and as the federal government had asserted force to dominate the states and deprive them of sovereignty in the 1800's,it used force to dominate the individual and deprive them of liberty in the 1900's,and is still doing so to both today.
So of course,the big government types LOVE Lincoln.
The federal government simply wouldn't be the giant,bloated and bastardized illegitimacy it is today without him.