"What is the Second Amendment?
It is recognition of a right.
Parse that sentence again: Rights can be either recognized or abrogated but they cannot be granted.
In order to grant something, you first must have it. The State does not possess the right to the people's self-defense (by definition) against either personal tyranny (e.g. a thug breaking into their home) or government tyranny (e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc.)
You either accept that you, and everyone else, have an unalienable right to self defense or you do not.
If you do, then the right to possess weapons suitable for self-defense (which most-certainly includes any sort of small arm such as a pistol) is inherently encompassed within that right.
The NRA, the Brady folks and others all in fact argue over nonsense. They argue over "reasonable restrictions." But there are no reasonable restrictions when it comes to peaceable exercise of a right.
Great stuff from Karl Denninger