Skip to comments.To all Gun Control Advocates: The "Militia" is not what you think it is.
Posted on 04/24/2007 7:13:04 PM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007
I'm sure many people at the NRA, GOA, or any other protector of the 2nd Amendment have heard this kind of argument before.
Will people please stop perverting the wording of the Constitution as a justification for any Tom, Dick or Jethro-Bob to keep an uzi under the bed? That "right" was created to allow a standing militia to be formed in defence of the realm in a young country with no standing army and an uncertain possibility of getting one, not to create a Wild West mentality by giving everyone an immutable right to access to guns.
In case you couldn't tell, I tend to visit message boards with rather liberal people. Mostly from other countries like Canada or Britain. It's no surprise; for one thing, I'm not surprised that this particular forumer thought the Constitution only guaranteed the right to a "militia".
It doesn't quite make sense. Let's look at the whole of the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
People. People. People.
Sure, there is a possibility that it refers to only people that serve in the militia. But also, that doesn't make any sense as well; if only members of the militia are able to bear arms, are they any different from the army that has no opposition from an unarmed populace?
But I digress.
When it comes to clearing up this confusion, I like to refer to the words of the men who lived back then, of the men who had delivered a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears to see this country rise. Let's see what they think of the "militia."
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.
---Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).
Hmm. Nice wording, but no mention of a militia. Par for the course, says the advocate of gun control!
When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually...I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor...
---George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment (Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788)
Oh my. This is unexpected.
The militia being comprised of the whole people? The gun control advocate might scoff now; what rubbish! Who was this fool named George Mason?
Only a man considered to be the Father of the Bill of Rights, a Founding Father who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights. And consider his viewpoint; the colonists of the rebelling American states were, by and large, not professional soldiers. They were ordinary civilians who decided to fight for their freedom.
In essence, the people were the militia. As George Mason said.
Shall we continue?
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone...Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation...inflicted by those who had no power at all?
---Patrick Henry (At the Ratification Convention for the Virginia Constitution, 1788)
Patrick Henry. The man most famously known for the words "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Such strength of moral character. We could use that these days.
The whole of that Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals...it establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them
---Albert Gallatin to Alexander Addison, Oct 7, 1789, MS. in N.Y. Hist. Soc.-A.G. Papers, 2.
It has always amused me that so many liberals, who talk and act as if the Bill of Rights cover and condone everything, fight so vociferously against the 2nd Amendment. If they treated the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as they treated the 1st Amendment, they'd be making gun ownership mandatory.
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them. ---Thomas Paine
To the gun control advocate, I ask you; why is that, after a murder is committed with a gun, you seek to disarm everyone who didn't commit the crime? Such a gap in logic boggles me.
Finally, we come to Thomas Jefferson. What does he think of the Second Amendment?
No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
---Thomas Jefferson (Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334)
No man who considers himself free would dare surrender his right to self-defense.
So let's review.
Consider the people considered to be part of the militia: all of the citizens of the United States. Understood? This is what the Founding Fathers thought of the militia, for the men fighting against the Redcoats in the days of the Revolution were indeed a ragtag militia. Is that a fact lost on so many gun control advocates today?
But remember this; there will, in the future, be another Columbine. Another Virginia Tech.
In all liklihood, it will occur at a place where guns are outlawed; where the American's right to defend himself has been rendered illegal.
What a dreary thought.
I'll let the men who wrote the 2nd Amendment speak for me, thank you.
2nd Amendment bump.
Lets see. If it said:
“a free and truthful press, being required for a functioning state, the peoples right to speak and publish freely shall not be infringed”.
Even old lib dinosaurs like Laurence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz understand it is an individual right.
The militia issue is a red herring. Whatever the reason might have been, it states that the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed.
Doesn’t help if they twist the “right of the people” to mean “the right of the people in the militia.”
Liberals are looking for an emanation of a penumbra.
It is somewhat fun to imagine a thinking that envisions unarmed guys forming a ‘militia’... After forming such a ‘militia’ they obviously have to apply to those against whom it’s formed to give them arms. That’s what “gun controllers” understand by “well-regulated”.
To Ultra Sonic 007,
DU is missing you very much, please go back there you wimp! Or maybe it is from Red China, Russia, Iran or Nazi Germany from whence you came, they are much more aligned with your views on guns.
Even militarily insignificant arms can be used for national defense, being better than nothing.
own all the guns you want - just dont stop paying your property taxes
It's really not too complicated. A militia is a citizen military force (the Lexington Minuteman) in contrast to a standing professional army (King George's lobster-backs). Well regulated means it is not to be an aimless mob much like the soon to happen French Revolution. The only way this can be guaranteed is by having the power distributed among the people with state of the art assault rifles. Imagine the American militia fighting the British professionals with greatly inferior arms. There would be no America. This means no infringement.
You really can't trust anybody else. You can't trust Bush's New World Order anymore than you can the Kennedy's Camelot.
2nd Amendment bump.
Did you even read my whole thread?
That means that arms can be available in order to form a militia should it be needed. The right to bear arms insures that ability. It has nothing to do with sports. It has to do with domestic security. I've heard the argument that the idea was fine with muskets. But today the enemy would be armed with modern weapons and the people would have muzzle loaders. That wouldn't be a well regulated militia.
In Maryland, under its Constitution, there are 2 militias. The “organized” and the “unorganized” militias. The “organized” are under control of the state government in times of need only. No “standing” militia. The “unorganized” militia is EVERYONE ELSE.
This ruling came from a longtime gun grabber MD.AG Joe Curran.
I happen to think Bush’s NWO is pretty damn good. Kill islamo scum in their own countries, change the official federal gov’t position on 2A to proclaiming it an individual right, and scuttling the UN Small arms treaty. that’s the kind of NWO I like.
Dear Ultra Sonic 007.
No I did not read the whole article.
Sorry, please retract my previous post. Foot in mouth disease rears its ugly head again.
Why ya telling me? LOL
VERY nice !!!!
Another school of thought is that it was commonly known and accepted that the people already had the RKBA, but 2A was simply written to guarantee those same people that right also extended to forming militias.
I think it’s YOU that need to go back to DU !!!!!!!
“Liberals” tend to overlook the fact that the 2nd Amendment is included in the Bill of Rights, rather than being one of the powers enumerated by the Constitution for the government. That alone is noteworthy, since it’s generally understood that the BOR was meant as a protection for the people from the government. Protection for individuals specifically, since collectively the people are the government.
Naturally this line of thinking doesn’t mean too much to a leftist, since respect for the individual is at odds with their general philosophy anyway.
I always remember Granny Clampett grabbing her gun and wanting to “call out the state malitia” fondly. She knew what it was all about even if she did have a hair trigger.
Who’s on first?
Those who are members of the militia are currently defined in Title 10, section 311. All men from 17 to 45, and with prior service to age 65, and women who are members of the National Guard.
A better consitutional definition would be in the Militia act of 1792. That is even broader.
But it is important to note that the founding fathers distinguished between the Militia and the People.
Still, I would like it if the definition of Militia was expanded to include, as a minimum, all married women 17 to 65, or mothers of a minor child. If they are not suitable for deployment to further public safety (offensive or defensive operations, or rescue work, they can at least defend themselves and their families so their husbands/sons can be available for deployment.
I thought it was WHAT.
Exactly so, well put. I’d seen it put that way before, and loved it, so I’m also grateful I didn’t have to try to paraphrase it from memory.
People need to understand this version of the 2nd Amendment was a rough draft/unratified version. The ratified version has only one comma. If this were understood a lot of confusion would be avoided.
Thanks for the ping, Ultra.
We, the militia, stand ready for whatever is to come.
The writer is defending the individual right view of the 2nd Amendment against the “collective right” view that prevails on the Left and among anti-gunners. Evidently he failed to consider the possibilty he might need to defend it against the sub-literate as well.
Please accept my apology for being too quick off the mark as well in replying to you, didn’t read all the way to the end of the thread myself. Did read the article though!
Unfortunately, such logic and historical reference is totally irrelevant to the "Brady Bunch" and their various cohorts.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
no matter how people try to mangle this, no matter how they try to say the comma are to allow you to inhale (gasp!), the above statement means...you can own a gun and NO ONE can take that right from you.
people have the right to bear arms. you may not like it. you can cross reference as many statements as you like from the forefathers..the CONSTITUTION SAYS, you have the right to bear arms and IT SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
read it and buy a gun, or read it and weep...either way, you have a choice.
oh and by the way, i live in a country where they are banned..and if you think for ONE MINUTE that banning guns will stop gun crime...you have an incredibly childlike and simplistic view of criminality...the only people until recently who were unarmed here were honest citizens...something i would like to change. if someone breaks into my house now...i have no ability to defend my family and even the law provides limited protection for any action i can take. the burgular has more rights! that is the slippery slope you are on, my friend...
bearing arms has a cost, but so does loosing the right to have them. stop trying to paint a gunless nirvana ...it doesnt exist...
So true, though the proper term is, "The Illiterati", some of whom are also charter members of "The Unilluminati".
Bump for Individual RKBA.
I agree. I am still hung up on the "well-regulated" part however. I have heard some arguments that the meaning of "regulated" has changed over the centuries and I can understand but am not 100% convinced.
What is your take on the "regulation" requirement?
The answer is that it wouldn't. I'm sure the founders would fall down laughing at the libs who insist that all guns should be held in some sort of contained facility. Given what the fathers knew about tyranny and how we became independent, I doubt they would endorse some plan to take away the firearms of it's citizens...many of whom used firearms to secure food and for protection. The idea of a central holding tank for the guns of the country's citizens is ludicrous on the surface.
Obviously, a well-regulated militia is one that is trained well.
Why is that at all obvious? Well-regulated could also mean certain specifications for their weapons. It could mean physically fit and a clear assumption that they know how to shoot.
The definition of "regulated" is as ambiguous and multi-faceted as "militia". Whereas I am convined that "militia" is essentially everyone. I still am not sure what "regulated" actually implies. It isn't there for fun. It is not like the 2nd amendment is an exercise in verbosity. It has a well thought out place and meaning.
It amazes (amuses?) me when the gun grabbers try to convince us that the government needed an amendment to the constitution to guarantee itself the right to keep and bear arms.
Perhaps I was a bit too hasty in just throwing out “trained”, as though it only applied to physical fitness.
By “trained well”, I mean a militia that has good combat organizational skills (can work cohesively as a squad in battle), can shoot accurately, repair their respective weapons, are physically fit, and so on.
“The smart people who support Gun Control - who are capable of reading and have read these statements have no excuse. They are, simply put, traitors to America who wish to see the people disarmed and tyranny empowered. The others who support it are ignorant dolts who follow the traitors like sheep heading for the slaughter.”