Nonsense, an editorial screed by the New Yorker is meaningless. And if you want to bring context into it, you'll lose even harder.
Firstly, judicial review wasn't even a principle until Marbury v Madison in 1803. So we're talking about the 19th century only.
In cases in the 19th Century, the Supreme Court ruled pretty much only that the Second Amendment does not bar state regulation of firearms. (For example, in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 553 (1875), the Court stated that the Second Amendment âoehas no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government,â and in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 265 (1886), the Court reiterated that the Second Amendment âoeis a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the National government, and not upon that of the States.â )
Although most of the rights in the Bill of Rights have been selectively incorporated into the rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment and thus cannot be impaired by state governments, the Second Amendment has never been so incorporated.
It's only since 1939 United States v Miller, that federal court decisions considering the Second Amendment have largely interpreted it as preserving the authority of the states to maintain militias - not the '150 year history' stated in the deliberately-misleading text of the quoted article.
(much of the above is clipped verbatim from http://www.loc.gov/law/help/se...)
In fact, it's ONLY in the latter 20th Century that we've even HAD this debate, as all constitutional commentary and understanding previous to that was universal in its understanding of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right, *not* dependent on being in a militia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...
Of course, you further disregard that according to the US code, all males from 17-44 *are* by default in the militia. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311)