In Greek and Roman mythology, a palladium or palladion was an image of great antiquity on which the safety of a city was said to depend. "Palladium" especially signified the wooden statue (xoanon) of Pallas Athena that Odysseus and Diomedes stole from the citadel of Troy and which was later taken to the future site of Rome by Aeneas.
That leads us to this great figure in American history and understanding the rights and responsibilities of free men to be armed and trained in the use of arms.
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story was one of the most influential early commentators on the U.S. Constitution. If you've enjoyed recent historical movies, you might remember him from the Amistad case. The quote below about the 2nd Amendment is from his "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, vol. 3 at pp. 746-747 (1833). (emphasis added)
"§ 1890. The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time ofanding armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facilee means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, thought this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How is it practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
Ya get that?
"...and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
Freemen or serfs? Sheep or Sheepdog.
We all gotta choose.
Speaking of sheep and sheepdogs, here's great pic to illustrate. h/t lex