Skip to comments.What Does The 2nd Amendment Mean?
Posted on 01/24/2013 8:02:29 AM PST by Resettozero
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.Amendment II
Some of the recent attacks on the 2nd Amendment and lawful gun owners by the gun grabbers have focused on the meaning of the words in the Amendment. Particularly, gun grabbers have zeroed in on what the Founding Fathers meant by the words well regulated Militia.
So what did the Founders mean when they penned and approved those words? As Thomas Jefferson suggested in a letter to William Johnson, On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
(Excerpt) Read more at personalliberty.com ...
When there are no guns, the Leviathan is enabled to march towards total tyranny.
A state where only the government has weapons is not a free state but is in fact a slave state!!!!
FREEDOM FROM A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. Like we have now.
The “well-regulated militia” thing is solely a STATE function. The individual’s rights, in addition to participation in a STATE function, ABOVE ALL and supreme to ALL are covered by the last part.....IOW it goes, “We the people”, the STATES (the rights we give them), and then the Federal Government (those rights not claimed by the STATES) delegated to the Federal Government.
As far as I’m concerned these United States are people, states, THEN Federal Government.
One thing is very clear. The Bill of Rights pertains to each and everyone of us as individuals.
Various wordings of the Second Amendment were tried during its development. The end result *purposefully* leaves out any enumeration of reasons why an individual has the right to keep and bear Arms. Any reason *why* an individual may or may not keep and bear Arms, was left to the states and the people thereof, to settle among themselves.
The only enumeration in the Second Amendment focuses on what to do about a group of men under Arms - what is to happen when individuals who bear military grade Arms are in a group, and they *are* capable of exercising martial power. What *then,* was to become of that power?
The answer was, that both the states and the federal government would rely upon *the group* being formally mustered, well-regulated, well trained to Arms, well discplined, and answerable to civilian authority.
Both the states and the federal government sought unity of function and preparedness of the militia of each state. The state militiae should be “well trained to Arms” and be capable of, and mindful of, lawfully exercising martial power and respecting lawful civilian authority.
In the old days up to around WW-I times and for a while thereafter, there was a tradition of local militia drilling on the common, the town green, or the county fairgrounds. It gave people an opportunity to remain somewhat familiar with military duty; it helped to keep them from becoming too rusty. It demonstrated the proper practices and discipline *for all to see.*
It is a shame that most communities and counties and states got out of that practice.
All the uses of weapons, firearm or not, for non-military purposes, were left to be decided by the states and their people.
Again, there would be no condition within the Second Amendment, by which you do, or do not, have the right to keep and bear Arms; because, the Founding Fathers correctly anticipated that any such enumerated condition might be used as grounds for an individual to either be forced to bear Arms or be stripped of their Arms.
It really hasn’t changed.
Your post is as good or better than the one I posted to start this thread. Thank you.
Not being real big on details in history, I don’t remember reading about the government(s) “issuing” weapons to the troops so the troops had to already own them, is that right?
It doesn't matter. The second part is all that matters...We The People shall not be denied our right to keep and bear arms to afford us protection against a well regulated militia.
The Federal Constitution extends the basic Rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights rights to future States and territiories or to those states where these basics are not mentioned.
Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.
The Federalist Papers are available at: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/fed.asp
Note, the militia is opposed to the standing army.
Also note, "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation"
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." - Jefferson
The militia is divided into two groups: the Reserve Militia, defined as all able-bodied men between 18 and 45, and the Organized Militia, defined as state units receiving federal support.
The Militia Act of 1903, also known as the Dick Act, repealed The Militia Act of 1792.
This Act is printed in the Statutes at Large, Volume 32, on page 775, available at: http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/sal/032_statutes_at_large.pdf
Here is the relevant part:
To promote the efficiency of the militia, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age, and shall be divided into two classesthe organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, or District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given them by the laws of the respective States or Territories, and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia.
Further amendments to this Act have not modified this basic structure.
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