I am trying to put together a piece on why hunting is not a right in relation to the Second Amendment. That is a proposition which is pretty apparent to anyone who is familiar with the history of hunting, which has long been a pursuit of nobility and the landed gentry. The people who had the time and access to the land to be able to hunt.
The firearm technology which was available at the time of the drafting of the US Constitution did not make hunting with firearms for subsistence a viable option. Especially since firearms were hand made.
And also not very accurate, unless one owned a rifle.
Rifles didn’t begin to appear until the 18th Century. The famed long rifle appeared in Pennsylvania around 1740. While more accurate, they were far from common. The Ferguson Rifle was a breech loading carbine used by the British forces in the War for Independence. Had these been common, the war probably would have gone in favour of the British. But:
Its superior firepower was unappreciated at the time because it was too expensive and took longer to produce – the four gunsmiths making Ferguson’s Ordnance Rifle could not make 100 in 6 months at four times the cost per arm of a musket.
Even muskets were expensive since they were handmade. I would bet that someone doing an honest cost comparison would find they would be in line with bespoke English guns.
I would add that the Horton guns ad that led to this is relatively cheap for a handmade English, as anyone familiar with marks such as Holland and Holland and Purdey will attest.
Even if we get away from the cost of owning a firearm at this time. we have the fact that farmers on the frontier were fairly busy with the tasks related to farming:especially clearing the land on the frontier.
So, given that deadly force was a last option in self-defence at the time of the founding (and up until fairly recently in the US), the cost of owning a firearm was probably prohibitive for the average person, and hunting was a pursuit of the idle rich, superfluous language is not a characteristic of legal documents at the time of the founding, and the legal maxim “expressio unius est exclusio alterius”: it seems that it is probably more likely than not that the founders were talking about the common defence when they stated “a well regulated militia” was necessary for the “security of the free state”.
Misquotations can be safely disregarded in this debate.