A Well Regulated Militia?
From and by: Ken kiger [at] northstate [dot] net
Lost in the gun rights debate, much to the detriment of American freedom, is the fact that the Second Amendment is in fact an "AMENDMENT". No "Articles in Amendment" to the Constitution, more commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights, stand alone and each can only be properly understood with reference to what it is that each Article in Amendment amended in the body of the original Constitution. It should not be new knowledge to any American the Constitution was first submitted to Congress on September 17, 1787 WITHOUT ANY AMENDMENTS. After much debate, it was determined that the States would not adopt the Constitution as originally submitted until "further declamatory and restrictive clauses should be added" "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its (the Constitutions) powers". (This quote is from the Preamble to the Amendments, which was adopted along with the Amendments but is mysteriously missing from nearly all modern copies.) The first ten Amendments were not ratified and added to the Constitution until December 15, 1791.
In this Light:
"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."
What provisions of the original Constitution is it that the Second Amendment is designed to "amended"?
THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS AMENDING THE PROVISIONS IN THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION APPLYING TO THE "MILITIA". The States were not satisfied with the powers granted to the "militia" as defined in the original Constitution and required an amendment to "prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers. "(Again quoting from the Preamble to the Amendments.)
What was it about the original Constitutional provisions concerning the "Militia" that was so offensive to the States?
First understand that the word "militia" was used with more than one meaning at the time of the penning of the Constitution. One popular definition used then was one often quoted today, that the "Militia" was every able bodied man owning a gun. As true as this definition is, it only confuses the meaning of the word "militia" as used in the original Constitution that required the Second Amendment to correct. The only definition of "Militia" that had any meaning to the States demanding Amendments is the definition used in the original Constitution. What offended the States then should offend "People" today:
"Militia" in the original Constitution as amended by the Second Amendment is first found in Article 1, Section 8, clause 15, where Congress is granted the power:
"To provide for the calling forth the MILITIA to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrection and repel Invasions."
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 further empowers Congress:
"To provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining, the MILITIA, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;"
Any "patriot" out there still want to be called a member of the "MILITIA" as defined by the original Constitution?
Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 empowers: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the MILITIA of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;"
The only way the States would accept the "MILITIA" as defined in the original Constitution was that the Federal "MILITIA" be "WELL REGULATED". The States realized that "THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE" required that the "MILITIA" as originally created in the Constitution be "WELL REGULATED" by a "restrictive clause." How did the States decide to insure that the Constitutional "MILITIA" be "WELL REGULATED"? By demanding that "restrictive clause two" better know as the "Second Amendment" be added to the original Constitution providing:
"THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED." The States knew that "PEOPLE" with "ARMS" would "WELL REGULATE" the Federal "MILITIA"!
Now read for the first time with the full brightness of the Light of truth:
"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."
For those still overcome by propaganda:
The Second Amendment declares by implication that if the "MILITIA" is not "WELL REGULATED" by "PEOPLE" keeping and bearing arms, the "MILITIA" becomes a threat to the "SECURITY OF A FREE STATE."
The "MILITIA" has no "RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS" in the Second Amendment, rather it is only "THE RIGHT OF THE ""PEOPLE"" TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS (that) SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED."