Letter: 2nd Amendment Only Applies To Militias? Ridiculous!

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There is an anti-gun argument which keeps coming up over and over. It’s the idea that the Constitution only allows guns for militias. The anti-gun assumption, of course, is that all militias are government-organized and government-funded.

An example of this thinking comes from a letter to the editor to The Mercury News which reads (try to resist the urge to throat punch this “genius” while reading it):

Sorry, but gun control advocates do not need to repeal the Second Amendment. There seems to be a mass hysteria about this amendment.

Read it again. It does not guarantee everyone a right to a gun. It does state that people can have a gun, subject to a “well-regulated militia.”

The pistol-packing advocates continuously ignore the fact that collectively they are not a militia, which implies some form of organization, training and knowledge of their weapons.

They also conveniently forget that part about being well-regulated.

Let’s try this again: “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.”

This holier-than-thou individual obviously can’t tell the difference between a point being brought up to justify an issue and a point brought up because it’s the way that the issue is intended to be enacted. The whole point in bringing up a militia of any sort is to say, “People should be allowed to own guns because they need to be able to defend themselves which is what a militia does.” It’s not an instruction to only give guns to members of a militia.

Maybe this is a failure on the part of this person’s English teachers in school, but I suspect that it’s more willful ignorance on their part than anything else.

Of course, another letter to the editor in response to the one above gives a nice, succinct rebuttal:

A letter was published titled “Enact gun control without repealing the Second Amendment” (Mercurynews.com, Jan. 5) implying that the right of the people to keep and bear arms was subject to being within a “well-regulated militia.”

Good thing this letter-writer isn’t a lawyer. If that were the case, your right to freedom of speech is only protected while in the process of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

Stay in your lane, and out of constitutional law.

Yeah, that pretty much hits it on the head, too.

12 COMMENTS

    • If, in a specific situation, only one person can be found who is ready, willing and able to stand for common defense, then YES – that one person who responds to the call IS the militia.

  1. The anti gun nuts need to look at how many people are killed by cars and trucks. The statistics total 10 times more than guns. So why aren’t they stopping the production and sales of cars and trucks? Besides Guns don’t kill any one CRAZY people do! To prove this I put my loaded gun on the table at home, waited for many hours watching it, and it NEVER got up and killed me or anyone in my house, PROOF that Guns DO NOT KILL, people do.
    So we need more money from the Federal Government for metal health, NOT gun control which is an oxymoron, like military intelligence and jumbo shrimp.

  2. For clarification, one needs only look to James Madison’s original proposed amendments, to see that the 2nd is composed of two independent clauses (Madison’s proposed three Firearm amendments, only two were used and combined together to form the 2nd we all love).
    What confuses anti gunners is the use of a comma rather than a semi-colon to separate the two clauses. During this time era, semi-colon use was commonly used only when the clauses were of a longer length, and, like today, a comma can be used to separate two clauses, providing the second clause is a short clause. So what the Founders came up with is appropriate, because you’ll still hear differences of opinion as to how many words make up a short clause. Ask two different English teachers and you’ll get two different answers.

  3. To understand the intent of the Second Amendment,
    one must read it with the vocabulary of those who wrote it.

    In their time, “well regulated” did not mean “subject to government-issued regulation”.
    It was their way of saying “properly functioning”.

    The simple word “militia” did not refer to an organized group – that would have been called a “regular militia”. “The militia” referred to “that group of persons trained to arms (educated in the use and care of arms) who are ready (possess arms and ammunition), willing (so inclined) and able (not prevented by injury or other impediment) to stand for the common defense”.

    In order for that “militia” to function properly, those individuals who would be willing to defend the community from acts of aggression MUST have access to arms and ammunition such that they may be properly trained, and then (if able) be ready to answer the call for common defense.

  4. The second amendment was written at a time when the revolution was successful,…but we didn’t have a sufficient” standing army” to defend if necessary.Thus , the militias.
    Somehow, every gun nut in the nation feels that this is their underpins their right to an AK, ect.
    I believe it was written as it says,….to allow Militias the right to bear arms. Not every Tom,Dick and Harry.
    But try and tell that to the NRA and other assorted GUN NUTS !!!

  5. 2nd AMENDMENT IS GOD GIVEN NOT GOVERNMENT GIVEN SO NOTHING WILL EVER TAKE it from WE THE PEOPLE! For the sake of having a militia why not make it MANDATORY for MAN and WOMEN TO DO 2 YEARS MILITARY SERVICE when they TURN 18 years old or go to college 4 years and go into service for 2 years as an officer! Then will see who are PATRIOTS of THE USA AND BELONG TO A MILITARY TRAINED MILITIA and they can stay trained in firearms also take the oath of service against FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC ENEMIES!! For JUSTICE NOW CITIZENS have the right to bear ARMS until that happens!! KEEP MAKING AMERICA GREAT NOW AND IN TO THE FUTURE!!!!

  6. If guns kill people ,then flies cause garbage and spoons make people fat. A gun is a tool! It has a specific purpose ! Used properly , it has no “undesirable” consequences . So also is a hammer, ball bat , pipe …..Anything can be misused ! Guns are not unique in being misused in ways not originally intended . Although , guns were originally designed to defend , kill game , enemies ….
    They’re just being misused for crime , inappropriate agendas ….. We may , in the not too distant future, need to defend ourselves against enemies coming our way ! It may even be our own government!!I’m not a criminal nor do I have an “off the wall agenda that requires a gun and it’s misuse. I do own guns , and am prepared to defend family and country!! Think of the consequences of an unarmed public! Hitler took the guns and there was no viable resistance to his skued agenda that killed thousands of unarmed people. Never again please , should unarmed citizens be overthrown by an armed enemy , foreign or domestic! My soapbox rant ! Think ,be prepared for whatever my come. I do believe in gun control , that being , using both hands , aiming carefully and hitting the target !!!

  7. If guns kill people , then flies cause garbage and spoons make people fat! A gun is a tool , it has a purpose , just as a hammer , ball bat , pipe ….All can , and many times are misused! It dosen”t make the tool “bad”, it is just misused! In the hands of anyone intending to cause harm , it is still just a tool . An armed public is our best defense against any aggressor , foreign or domestic! Hitler took away the guns and a defenseless populous was taken over. A populous with no viable way to resist!! Thousands were slaughtered by their own government! We can’t allow even the possibility of it to happen the same way by either our government or an invading army !! Either way , we need to be armed!!I can’t recall who said it(bad), but , “the people shouldn’t be afraid of their government , the government should respect and be afraid of the governed” “A well regulated militia , that being the united citizenry”! I do own guns , and believe in gun control , gun control being , using both hands , carefully aiming and hitting the intended target!!

  8. The way the 2nd Amendment was written, there is a dependent clause and an independent or main clause. The dependent clause cannot change or alter the meaning of the independent clause. The purpose of the dependent clause is to give more information, to explain the “why” behind independent clause. BTW, in the days of the Founders, hunting and self-defense were taken for granted. Settlers on the frontier needed to hunt and to defend themselves against Indians. Also, in those days, “well regulated” meant well trained and well equipped. There is no relation to the way the word “regulation” is used today which means a law or a rule.

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