“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.”So – How did George Washing describe the militia?
“…. Men just dragged from the tender Scenes of domestic life; unaccustomed to the din of Arms; totally unacquainted with every kind of military skill, which being followed by a want of confidence in themselves, when opposed to Troops regularly trained, disciplined, and appointed, superior in knowledge and superior in Arms, makes them timid, and ready to fly from their own shadows … ~ (Weatherup, Roy G.: Standing Armies and the Armed Citizens: An Historical Analysis of the Second Amendment. Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly (Fall 1975), 973)”Hmmm… It doesn’t sound like the National Guard now does it? Ok, so it DOES seem like the French Army though. The definition of the militia from the 18th century is all able-bodied citizens between the ages of 17 and 45.
Regulated – does not mean controlled, it is about military operations being drilled and prepared.
Or we could again read a quote from George Washington:
“The distinction between a well-regulated army and a mob is the good order and discipline of the first, and the licentious and disorderly behavior of the latter.”Hummmm… sure seem to meet the definition of drilled and prepared.
So if we translate the ORIGINAL writing of the 2nd Amendment with modern words that match the intent of the founders we get this.
So the 2nd amendment means what it says if you don’t play word games with it.
“Having a population capable of using and operating firearms is necessary for the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
To illustrate it further let's replace the word arms with books. Please consider the following:
“A well EDUCATED populace being necessary for the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.”Ohhhh… Some books are too dangerous for you to own, we must ban them. (I’m sure Facebook would agree!) We should ban ALL books so that you only learn what the elite want you to know. While the left may now agree there is a lot of correlation here, one you should pay attention too when you see how your rights are being affected.
In 1850 you could give a slave a gun to hunt for food if you taught a slave to read you would be hung. Knowledge and free speech have always been the real source of power.
As for “The People.” The same men who wrote the 2nd amendment also wrote all the other amendments. So, if “The People” in one amendment refers to only those in the military does that mean that only those who have served have the right to free speech?. As a kid, we all read Starship Trooper or saw the movie. “Services guarantees citizenship,” is an honest alternative to the Constitution depending on how you describe “The People.” I don’t think the meaning of “The people” has changed or is all that hard to understand.
So just for the fun of it, the following link shows several words whose meaning has changed over time. You might be surprised at what you read.
The 2nd Amendment means what it says; you have the natural right to own a firearm despite what they want you to believe.
About Don McDougall
Don McDougall is an NRA instructor and member of the Los Padres “Friends of the NRA” committee. If he’s not at the range, you will find him setting the record straight with on gun issues and gun safety on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.