The video above ties itself in rhetorical knots to prove that the right to keep and bear arms mooted by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was not – and is not – restricted to members of a militia. Well duh. A militia needs a right to keep and bear arms like a politician needs a right to be a pompous ass. Or an anti-gunner needs a right to ignore common sense (while claiming it for his or her own). Yes, there is that. The antis believe that . . .

removing guns from law-abiding civilians reduces crime in the same sense that children believe in Santa Claus: by listening to lying authority figures, associating with fellow believers and misinterpreting or ignoring all contrary data. The Second Amendment’s militia clause could be clearer; several states left it out of their constitutions. But gun control advocates couldn’t be more dense. Their anti-gun policies will reduce human suffering when reindeer can fly.

At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I score that militia clause one, Santa Claus zero.

97 Responses to The Militia Clause vs. Santa Claus [Santa Spoiler Alert]

  1. Good to see Bill Whittle getting some representation here on TTAG. I like his videos. I especially like the comments on the videos. Really makes the freaks and lunatics of the internet crawl out of the woodwork and expose themselves as the monsters they are.

    • Ive seen enough Bill Whittle to say he speaks for me. I mean he can do all the talking, I don’t have to say a word.

      Its odd to be in such complete agreement with someone.

      Look up his speech on ‘attack on civilizational structures’ There are many hours of his speeches on the utube.

  2. Ask 5 experts, get 5 different interpretations. I am no expert, but I can’t totally agree with his explanation, even if I agree with his conclusion. Still, if it helps convince others, great.

  3. Great video. I am surprised that he did not mention the definition of “regulated” as it was used and meant at the time, specifically, “drilled, or trained.”

    • Probably because that definition is wrong.
      Look under the powers of Congress, as relates to the militia, and it describes a well-regulated militia. Trained is part of the definition, but regularity is the key, not regulated as in laws, but made regular (as in alike), similar arms, training, tactics, etc….
      Think of the regulated clocks of the western era, they were regulated so that the time was in regular intervals, one second was as long as the next.

      • The militias of the time were not very organized before training (as per the definition of militia, civilians forming a military group in a time of need, so nothing wrong with that) but they were also expected to bring their own weapons to battle. That reason alone explains why they even thought to add the second amendment, as well as imperial gun control (lexington and concord battles were english troops marching to confiscate weapons and ammo).

        • Congress shall have the power:
          “To provide for 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, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”

          Hmm, that kind of destroys every single thing you just said. Armed by government, trained by government, governed by government, seems maybe you need to rethink the definition of militia, not of regulated.

        • Paul, don’t forget this:

          10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes

          (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
          (b) The classes of the militia are—
          (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
          (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

        • That post-dates the Constitution itself, and is subordinate to it. Besides, it does not change anything I stated. An unorganized militia (the people), cannot by definition be well-regulated. To be unorganized is antithetical to being well-regulated. Thus the people cannot be the well-regulated militia..

        • The 2nd Amendment doesn’t require the militia (general population) to be well-regulated, it just states that as something that is important for a nation to have for its protection, and a key to having anything close to this is protection of the right of the people to arms. It’s like the example, “A well-educated electorate being necessary to the preservation of a free society, the right of the people to read and compose books shall not be infringed.” It isn’t saying that only those who meet some government-defined standard of being “well-educated” have the right to read and write books. It is saying that having a well-educated population is an important thing for a nation to have, even though technically no nation will have a whole population that can actually meet the definition of being well-educated. But to have anything remotely resembling such a thing, the right to books must be protected.

        • The Constitution empowered Congress to establish a well-regulated militia prior to any call for a Bill of Rights. This was for articulated reasons, and such language would not have been placed in the 2A spuriously.

        • The Constitution empowers Congress with no such authority. It can organize the pre-existing militia and train it, but it has no power to raise a militia. It can raise an army however. The existence of the militia clause is merely a statement regarding the importance of the protection of the individual right to keep and bear arms. It was not added spuriously, as prefatory clauses such as this were a common practice at the time. It is not a restriction on the right (which logically wouldn’t even make sense—-imagine saying that the federal government shall regulate speech, but the right of free speech shall not be infringed). It is a restriction on the government.

        • READ THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!
          Congress shall have the power:
          12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

          13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

          14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

          15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

          16: To provide for 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, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

          The appropriations for the Army were limited to discourage having a standing Army. Provisions for the Navy and the Militia had no such limitations. Apparently they cannot raise a Navy either? The militia was a joint state/federal effort, by definition. Read it a few times.

        • No where in any of that does it speak about the Congress having the power to raise a militia. It has the power to raise an army and a navy. It can otherwise train up and call forth when needed the pre-existing militia, which is the citizenry.

      • Getting hung up on “well-regulated” still misses center-mass of the 2ndA. A militia is voluntary, and you are required to provide your own arms, so having arms precludes being, or not being, in a militia – regardless of what is meant by “well-regulated”. Put simply, a militia is a voluntary civilian force assembled from an armed and able-bodied populace.

        The 2ndA could have spelt out an entire laundry list of things that it was necessary to be armed for – hunting, self-defense, sport. But, the authors only chose to mentioned the one use of arms that was presently not taken as a given and need of enumeration, at the time.

        • Maybe you didn’t read the excerpt from “powers of congress” in the Constitution, the one I posted above. It sure seems to mention the militia being armed by the government. Oops.

        • I am well aware of the Powers of Congress. Perhaps you are unaware that the Constitution is a document that expressly establishes what the Government can and cannot do. Therefore, it is necessary in the Constitution to enumerate Congresses authority to provide for arms, training assembly of militias. This in NO way implies that all possession and provision of arms, training, or assembly is solely a power of government’s. – quite the contrary. To put it simply, Militias are composed of armed and able-bodied citizens, and the Congress has to authority to issue them with arms and training, should they deem it necessary.

          OOPs!

        • Keep trying, you will get it right some day. It’s okay, you aren’t the only one who thinks a day at the range makes you a well-regulated militia. If you were aware of Congress being empowered to arm the militia, then I guess your misstatement regarding militias being self-armed was just oversight? Ir was it ignorance?

        • Paul if your argument is (from what it looks like) is that there is no individual right to bear arms being that the phrase “well regulated” pertains to a government run militia you are sorely mistaken. (If I’m reading what you wrote wrong I apologize but that looks like that’s where your going) Because there’s a big, second part to the second amendment that is crystal clear that says the “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” this is not talking about militia. This is meant for the individual person. This “interpretation” of the second amendment is very clearly stated in the Federalist Papers by authors themselves.

        • Yes… Freudian… So essentailly you bring up buttsex to counter my argument. Mature. Makes one wonder who’s really making a fruedian move. I can see absolutely no correlation between what I said and sexual Phycology. That said Freud was a dunce and the field of Phycology itself is rather unscientific compared to the other sciences. Now, please explian exactly what your argument is because your rather vagley arguing some point- and it seems the overall theme is statist, then suddenly anti statist.

        • Nobody here brought up “buttsex” besides you. Read slowly, and use a dictionary. I will not hold your hand and re-explain simple ideas multiple times for your pea brain. Nothing statist was implied. The only implication I see is one of the single digit state of your IQ. Your knowledge of Freud is very first grade.

        • Of course a day at the range doesn’t make one “well-regulated,” no more than a day at the library makes one “well-educated.” But to have any semblance of a well-educated electorate, you have to protect the right to books. Same with arms and a well-regulated militia.

        • No such implication is present in the 2A. The well-regulated militia was already empowered of Congress before the 2A. They still exist today, as the National Guard. You can debate the Dick Act all day, but it is quite clear the well-regulated militia is now the National Guard.
          The 2A does not exist to create a militia. That is not within the purpose of a Bill of Rights, it tells the government what it cannot do, not the people what they can. The 1A does not create organized religion or a free press. The 2A’s reference to a well-regulated militia is a preface, reminding people that such government controlled troops are a necessary evil. They are also a good reason to enumerate the right of the people to be armed, The well-regulated militia was intended to be America’s primary peacetime land-based military force, and a federal law enforcement tool….maybe a careful read of the Constitution and some of the other extant documents from the era would enlighten you.

        • No such implication is present in the 2A. The well-regulated militia was already empowered of Congress before the 2A

          No it wasn’t. The Constitution grants congress the power to regulate the pre-existing militia. It does not have any requirement for well-regulated militia. The implication in the amendment is pretty clear. It clearly is not speaking of the requirement for the militia to be well-regulated, as this wouldn’t require any clause about the right of the people to arms. It would merely have to consist of, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.”

          They still exist today, as the National Guard. You can debate the Dick Act all day, but it is quite clear the well-regulated militia is now the National Guard.

          The National Guard is absolutely nothing of the sort. Again, the Constitution says nothing about Congress having a power to create a militia. The militia is constantly referred to as a pre-existing entity, hence the wording “the militia,” never “a militia.” The National Guard is part of the United States Army. Furthermore, to maintain a force like the National Guard doesn’t require any protection of a right to arms.

          The 2A does not exist to create a militia. That is not within the purpose of a Bill of Rights, it tells the government what it cannot do, not the people what they can. The 1A does not create organized religion or a free press. The 2A’s reference to a well-regulated militia is a preface, reminding people that such government controlled troops are a necessary evil. They are also a good reason to enumerate the right of the people to be armed, The well-regulated militia was intended to be America’s primary peacetime land-based military force, and a federal law enforcement tool….maybe a careful read of the Constitution and some of the other extant documents from the era would enlighten you.

          The prefatory clause about the well-regulated militia is not meant as a reminder that such a force is any necessary evil. For one, one of the primary purposes of protecting the right of the people (militia) to arms was to also be able to serve as a check on a tyrannical government, in addition to being able to check things like insurrections. As such, a well-regulated militia is not any military force that is an arm of the State that is a necessary evil. It rather refers to having a citizenry that is proficient in the use of arms. You think the National Guard exists to check a tyranny if one occurred?

        • Sorry, but you are very wrong. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. Ever heard of the Dick Act. The well-regulated militia is the National Guard. Period.
          Pretty much everything you opine is wrong. Congress was empowered to ORGANIZE….as in create (excepting officers appointed by the states), arm, discipline…it is pretty simple.
          Raising armies was different, because there was no intent to be a standing army, one would be raised in time of war. Notice the provision (to provide) for a Navy…it was a standing Navy. The commitment to a well-regulated militia and a Navy are similar, because both were intended to be always funded and extant. Armies were not.
          Maybe instead of arguing things which you have no clue about, you should sit down and read up first, so you have an informed opinion. The Federalist Papers would be very helpful to undoing your ignorance.
          Also, look up the meanings of militia. Yours is improper. Everyone tries to change the meaning of well-regulated, when they really mistake the meaning of militia.
          Every single thing I have said is well-referenced, and I have multiple times now provided reference. All you do is continue to live in denial.
          Simply put, the well-regulated militia was a tool that could be employed by a tyrannical government, but was a necessary evil for the security of a free state (the USA), especially in lieu of a standing army.

        • You are correct in your assertion that there is no need of a right to arms to create a militia, or any government authorized military or paramilitary force. Government can grant permission for arms to members. This also reinforces that the 2A has nothing to do with the people being any sort of militia. It is about the people being empowered to resist a government military force however, specifically like the one empowered to congressional control to suppress insurrections, the well-regulated militia. The necessary evil.

        • Sorry, but you are very wrong. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. Ever heard of the Dick Act. The well-regulated militia is the National Guard. Period.

          Sorry, but no it isn’t. The militia very clearly is in reference to the general population. This is clear from Federalist Paper #29 and from the wording of it in the Constitution, where it is always referred to as a pre-existing body. The National Guard is a government-created form of militia. It is not a government-organization of the pre-existing militia.

          Pretty much everything you opine is wrong. Congress was empowered to ORGANIZE….as in create (excepting officers appointed by the states), arm, discipline…it is pretty simple.

          Now you’re making up meanings. Organize does not mean create. The militia is pre-existing, hence why it is constantly referred to as “the militia” in the Constitution. If the Congress was granted the authority to create a militia, it would have mentioned the power to “organize a militia,” or “raise a militia,” not organize THE militia.

          Raising armies was different, because there was no intent to be a standing army, one would be raised in time of war. Notice the provision (to provide) for a Navy…it was a standing Navy. The commitment to a well-regulated militia and a Navy are similar, because both were intended to be always funded and extant. Armies were not.

          I’m not talking about the navy or the army, I am talking about the militia, which the Constitution grants the government the power to call forth and organize, train, etc…no where does it talk about the creation of a militia.

          Maybe instead of arguing things which you have no clue about, you should sit down and read up first, so you have an informed opinion. The Federalist Papers would be very helpful to undoing your ignorance.

          The Federalist papers make quite clear the Founder’s desire to make sure the militia could check a tyranny and that the general population is the militia. A government-created militia such as the National Guard is nothing of the sort.

          Also, look up the meanings of militia. Yours is improper. Everyone tries to change the meaning of well-regulated, when they really mistake the meaning of militia.
          Every single thing I have said is well-referenced, and I have multiple times now provided reference. All you do is continue to live in denial.

          You have done nothing of the sort. You mis-quote and ignore those parts of the Constitution and Federalist papers that do not jive with your agenda. And the meaning of militia is pretty clear from the Federalist Papers and the Constitution itself.

          Simply put, the well-regulated militia was a tool that could be employed by a tyrannical government, but was a necessary evil for the security of a free state (the USA), especially in lieu of a standing army.

          The militia was not a tool that could be employed by a tyrannical government. An army could be, but the militia exists to serve as a check on tyranny. The militia also exists to serve as a check on insurrections, which is why Congress can call it forth for such a thing.

        • Sorry,but NO. Again, reality trumps your opinion. At the time of the Federalist papers, the Nat’l Guard did not exist. A well-regulated militia, being empowered of Congress, has been created., It is called the National Guard. Again, look up Dick Act. Your opinions are not facts, and will never trump them.

        • You are correct in your assertion that there is no need of a right to arms to create a militia, or any government authorized military or paramilitary force. Government can grant permission for arms to members. This also reinforces that the 2A has nothing to do with the people being any sort of militia. It is about the people being empowered to resist a government military force however, specifically like the one empowered to congressional control to suppress insurrections, the well-regulated militia. The necessary evil.

          If the Second Amendment was about protecting the right of people to resist a government militia, it would make no mention of a well-regulated militia in the first place. The militia (general population) unto itself is the force that would resist a tyrannical government.

        • Of course it would, seeing that the militia was necessary (as stated), but also worried the people as it could be used against them, and they were right. That government forces were a threat is a good premise for enumerating a right to arms.

        • Ahahahaha Paul I’m glad I made you so angry. By your limited knowledge of Phycology You have brought your own anal fixation into this conversation merely by mentioning Freud. Freud was an idiot who was simply obsessed with the rectum, and is no longer respected in the field of Phycology and definitely no longer respected by the scientific community as a whole. Your sad attempt at using a quick internet insult that’s become popular merely makes you look like a fool. Please explain in what way my original post about questioning your motive is Freudian at all? Or were you just being childish? You brought buttsex into this conversation now you have to live with it.

        • Sorry,but NO. Again, reality trumps your opinion. At the time of the Federalist papers, the Nat’l Guard did not exist. A well-regulated militia, being empowered of Congress, has been created., It is called the National Guard. Again, look up Dick Act. Your opinions are not facts, and will never trump them.

          The problem is when there is debate over what the “facts” are. Your opinion is flawed. The militia a pre-existing body. This is seen quite clearly in its wording in the Constitution. The National Guard is an organized government militia. It is not any militia that would be used in checking a tyranny, which was a big part of the reason for protecting the right to arms, and thus having the militia (general population) be any semblance of well-regulated.

          Of course it would, seeing that the militia was necessary (as stated), but also worried the people as it could be used against them, and they were right. That government forces were a threat is a good premise for enumerating a right to arms.

          Actually, no it wouldn’t. Because the two are logically inconsistent. It might make mention of the threat a government militia could be, and then emphasize the importance of protecting the right to arms, but it does not do this. Instead, it states the importance to a FREE state of having a well-regulated militia.

          So your logic doesn’t hold any water here. You are claiming that the statement about the importance of a well-regulated militia for a free state is really about a government militia that could be used to impose tyranny. You also ignore that the militia is the general population and pre-existing. So you are essentially making things up.

        • Which is why the people at large are not the well-regulated militia. Notice those words that were not included from the Virginia declaration, abut the body of the people? There is a reason. The well-regulated militia is a force the people feared being misused, since Congress was empowered to control them, to suppress insurrections (people bearing grievances against the government), and to enforce laws.
          Second, the people at large are not and never will fit the idea of well-regulated. The people under congressional oversight would, of course. You know, like the modern National Guard. The people at large, the unorganized milita, had every reason to be wary of the well-regulated militia. The well-regulated militia can be armed by congress, the unorganized people’s militia has to arm itself.

        • Which is why the people at large are not the well-regulated militia. Notice those words that were not included from the Virginia declaration, abut the body of the people? There is a reason. The well-regulated militia is a force the people feared being misused, since Congress was empowered to control them, to suppress insurrections (people bearing grievances against the government), and to enforce laws.

          Again though, this doesn’t hold up. There is no militia created by the Constitution or that the Constitution mentions the government having any ability to create. The militia is always referred to as a pre-existing body. No is there anything in the Constitution about the people fearing a militia.

          Second, the people at large are not and never will fit the idea of well-regulated. The people under congressional oversight would, of course. You know, like the modern National Guard. The people at large, the unorganized milita, had every reason to be wary of the well-regulated militia. The well-regulated militia can be armed by congress, the unorganized people’s militia has to arm itself.

          The mention of a well-regulated militia is akin to mentioning the importance of a well-educated electorate to the preservation of a free society. The electorate will never be well-educated as a whole, but the protection of the right to read and write books nonetheless is essential to having any semblance of a well-educated electorate. Similarly, a well-regulated militia is essential to a free state, and the only way to have any semblance of such a thing is the protection of the right to arms. But if the Second Amendment had meant in its mentioning that the people are to be wary of a well-regulated militia that was created by the government, it would specifically state so. It would also mention not only a militia of the government’s but an army. It would not state the importance of a well-regulated militia to the security of a free state.

        • You ignorance is legend. The well-regulated militia is created in the constitution, it is organized of pre-existing militias in part, and other additions, and newly created militias from new states.
          Yes, people feared them, have you not read the Federalist papers? Any military power in government hands was worrisome. The Brits had militia, and used them against colonists. People back then learned things, you don’t.

        • Well-regulated is not akin to anything, it is a statement of fact. That militia, which was empowered to be armed by Congress, was as dangerous to the people as any standing army.

        • You ignorance is legend. The well-regulated militia is created in the constitution, it is organized of pre-existing militias in part, and other additions, and newly created militias from new states.

          No where in the Constitution, anywhere, is any well-regulated militia created. The Constitution only speaks of a pre-existing militia which Congress may call upon, arm, train, etc…

          Yes, people feared them, have you not read the Federalist papers? Any military power in government hands was worrisome. The Brits had militia, and used them against colonists. People back then learned things, you don’t.

          I am sure people feared government-created militias. But the militia as spoken of in the Constitution is the general citizenry, not any government-created militia.

          Well-regulated is not akin to anything, it is a statement of fact. That militia, which was empowered to be armed by Congress, was as dangerous to the people as any standing army.

          The militia is not empowered by Congress to be armed. Congress can arm the militia for certain uses, but the militia itself is the people. The people are the ones who the Congress would call upon, and organize with the aid of the states, to check insurrections. The people are whom the Congress would call upon, organize, and if necessary, provide additional arms to in the event of an invasion. And so forth. That was one of the main reasons to protect the people’s right to arms and rely on them as the militia, in place of a standing army. Because a standing army could be dangerous. The militia was not and greatly outnumbered any standing army.

        • I guess you have never read the Constitution?
          Congress shall have the power:
          to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia……
          none of your little details and qualifiers are included, no asterisks involved. You must have the secret decoder ring version of it.
          Insurrections are uprisings of the people against the governing body….it would be the people opposing the government. You truly are a few brain cells short of a dozen.

          Nowhere in the Constitution does it state the militia is the people. I have quoted the only references to the militia. Wishful thinking on your part, or references to Mason that did not make it into the actual Constitution do not change the actual Constitution. You do not get to rewrite to suit your own quirks.
          It seems you are making things up that just aren’t there. Maybe if you could show me where it states that in the Constitution, I would believe you. It is probably right next to where the USA is declared to be a democracy.

        • I guess you have never read the Constitution?
          Congress shall have the power:
          to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia……
          none of your little details and qualifiers are included, no asterisks involved. You must have the secret decoder ring version of it.

          Yes. The Congress shall have the power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia. Nowhere in any of that is there any power for creating a militia. It is a power regarding the pre-existing militia. There is nothing in the Constitution that grants Congress the power to create a militia.

          Insurrections are uprisings of the people against the governing body….it would be the people opposing the government. You truly are a few brain cells short of a dozen.

          Uprisings of the people against the governing body are not a right unless said governing body has become a tyranny. Otherwise, it is just anarchy. If some group of people randomly decide to try to overthrow the current U.S. government for example, the government has every right to put a stop to that uprising. As I have pointed out, historically the two major threats to republics have been insurrections and ambitious men who wanted to make themselves dictator. Insurrections are from people who view it that they have been shorted by the political process and thus decide that they are going to try and overturn the whole system (which is usually a sure path to a full-on tyranny in the end).

          Nowhere in the Constitution does it state the militia is the people. I have quoted the only references to the militia. Wishful thinking on your part, or references to Mason that did not make it into the actual Constitution do not change the actual Constitution. You do not get to rewrite to suit your own quirks.

          Why would it need to state the militia is the people? It was widely understood at the time that the militia is the general public. For our modern eyes, is very clear from Federalist Paper #29 that the militia is the general populace. It is also clear from how the Constitution talks of Congress’s ability to raise an army and a navy, but speaks of the militia as a pre-existing body.

          It seems you are making things up that just aren’t there. Maybe if you could show me where it states that in the Constitution, I would believe you. It is probably right next to where the USA is declared to be a democracy.

          It is yourself I think that has been making things up, based, in particular regarding the Second Amendment.

        • Your hang-up over an “a” or “the” is humorous. So as a result, you choose to invent all sorts of confines, limitations, and exclusions that just don’t exist? Do you do stand-up?
          Apparently you have never organized anything….it can be exactly the same as creating. Like I said, raising an army, does that mean on a ladder? Your confusion over terms doesn’t make your delusions correct.

        • Congress doesn’t have the power to raise a Navy. Oops. Maybe the Navy is the fish? Someone call an admiral and tell him he is being replaced by Mr. Limpet.

        • Also militia purposes is one of the reasons for protection of the right to arms. If the job of arming the people falls squarely on the government, there would be no need to protect the right, unless you want to argue that the right is only about individual self-defense, which doesn’t hold because the Federalist Papers discuss how the militia is to serve as a check on a tyrannical government.

          In addition, in the Constitution does it claim that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to self-defense either, but that is because it is implied in the protection of the right to arms. By your specific argument however, that also would be the only reason (individual self-defense) to protect the right as according to you, the arming of the militia is only to be done by the Congress, which would make protection of the right to arms for militia purposes pointless.

        • No, it is not implicit there. Have you ever read all 10 of the BoR amendments? I am betting not.

        • Computer acting up…
          The 2A is about the RKBA of the people, not the militia. Get over it.
          It does not say the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, it says of the PEOPLE.
          Nor does it say or imply that the people are the militia.
          In fact, the militia is organized and armed by Congress, that is the only Constitutional reference outside of the 2A, and Congress makes sure that militia is well-regulated.
          The 2A does not stop people from being in a (or is it “the”) militia, but it does not stipulate that the people’s rights are in any way associated to the militia.
          I am sorry if this rains on your parade and hurts you cuz you can’t run around claiming “I am the militia…2A…hoooah!!”. But you could use the US code instead, and run around claiming “hoooah….I am the unorganized militia”….somehow that is particularly apt in your case.

        • Your hang-up over an “a” or “the” is humorous. So as a result, you choose to invent all sorts of confines, limitations, and exclusions that just don’t exist? Do you do stand-up?

          “The” and “a” have very different meanings. If the Constitution talked about Congress having the power to organize “a” militia, that would be completely different from having the power to organize “the” militia.

          Apparently you have never organized anything….it can be exactly the same as creating. Like I said, raising an army, does that mean on a ladder? Your confusion over terms doesn’t make your delusions correct

          The Constitution continually speaks of “the” militia. But yet, with regards to Congress’s power to raise an army and a navy, it says, “To raise and support Armies” and “To provide and maintain a Navy.” Hmm…so why does it speak of armies and a navy as entities that do not exist, that Congress can raise, versus constantly speaking of the militia as a pre-existing body?

          Everywhere the militia is mentioned, it is mentioned as a pre-existing body. You choose to ignore this because it undermines your argument. Organizing as regards the militia is not the same as creating. It means taking the armed population and organizing it into the structure to be able to fight.

          Congress doesn’t have the power to raise a Navy. Oops. Maybe the Navy is the fish? Someone call an admiral and tell him he is being replaced by Mr. Limpet.

          Congress has the power to create a navy.

          No, it is not implicit there. Have you ever read all 10 of the BoR amendments? I am betting not.

          It is very much implied there, hence the language, “the right of the people” being used, which everywhere in the Constitution is used in reference to an individual right.

          Computer acting up…
          The 2A is about the RKBA of the people, not the militia. Get over it.
          It does not say the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, it says of the PEOPLE.

          …and the people are the militia. The militia though is a collective body, whereas the people refers to an individual right, so of course it wouldn’t say the right of the militia.

          Nor does it say or imply that the people are the militia.

          It implies it every time it mentions the militia. This is also understood from the Federalist Papers.

          In fact, the militia is organized and armed by Congress, that is the only Constitutional reference outside of the 2A, and Congress makes sure that militia is well-regulated.

          The pre-existing militia, which is already going to a good degree be armed by the people’s possession of arms, is organized and armed by Congress. Which would make sense, if you’ve got an armed population (militia), they are going to need structure and leadership in order to function properly in the event of a crisis. So of course Congress organizes, and arms if necessary, the militia.

          Otherwise, the Constitution would talk of Congress power to raise and support a militia, which it makes no mention of at all.

          The 2A does not stop people from being in a (or is it “the”) militia, but it does not stipulate that the people’s rights are in any way associated to the militia.

          The people’s rights are not associated with any militia, but the militia is associated with the people’s rights. Hence why the Second Amendment makes mention of it.

          I am sorry if this rains on your parade and hurts you cuz you can’t run around claiming “I am the militia…2A…hoooah!!”. But you could use the US code instead, and run around claiming “hoooah….I am the unorganized militia”….somehow that is particularly apt in your case.

          You could very much run around claiming you are a member of the militia. Being a member of the militia doesn’t mean most citizens actually adhere to the standards that would be expected of a militiaperson, no more than most adhere to the standards expected of the electorate in a democratic system (which is to be somewhat educated at least on civics, government, economics, etc…).

    • Even if that is the case, Target practice at the range is trained, as that is all that they did then and our troops do now. As for drilled, anyone can walk together in a “military” formation just so long as they are told how. So that takes care of the drilled part. And or shoot at what needs to be shot at. Also if that is a part then the police are not allowed to have firearms as they are not drilled in a “military” fashion either.

    • Yeah, I like this video. I wouldn’t say they tie themselves in rhetorical knots, I mean, it seems straight forward to me. They analyze the clause in some detail, but that’s the point, there’s some confusion on what it means, best to go though step by step.

  4. It’s sad that we have to go to such measures to justify what is clearly written but they did good work with that video and I hope it is used as supporting evidence in future court cases.

    • Heller already established what was in the video.

      However, it does not matter. If you read enough court decisions you will find despite arguments plain as day, a far Left Judge or far Right Judge will use verbal gymnastics or simply ignore the facts to uphold their ideologue.

      This is why it should be easier to get rid of bad judges. This is why Harry Reid changed the Senate rules and Obama has been packing the courts with those who only care about his brand ideology.

      Justice should be blind and truth and facts should be important, but they are not. Judges act as unelected politicians and as activists versus being neutral parties holding down the government and its powers.

        • Just what are you getting at, Paul? What, exactly, are you trying to say? All of your verbal gymnastics and arcane points of Constitutional law must be in aid of, or supporting some ultimate point. Please, if for nothing else than the sake of brevity and the conservation of band width, just strip it down and spit it out.

        • I guess you don’t read well? I said exactly what I meant. Every time the courts rule on constitutionality, they are making a ruling that is outside of their purview.

  5. I have a job that is created by a state constitution and further defined by state law. When courts are required to clarify what a law means, they seldom apply a linguistic microscope. More often, they try to determine the spirit and intent of the law.

    In discovering the true meaning of the Second Amendment, I would rather refer to the Federalist Papers and other documents written by the founders that clue us into the true reasons behind the words.

    • There ya go!! Fear of the government using regulated militias against the people are even mentioned in the Federalist Papers. Like was alluded, nobody needs a right to arms to equip a government sponsored or authorized militia. The right to arms is to enable the people to resist government, and quite possibly it’s taking arms against the people. Seems the founders had just dealt with such a situation.

  6. My only “beef” with this is that the flit-lock musket was not necessarily the most advanced weapon at the time. James Puckle, anyone?

  7. I think the two clauses should work together to give a wonderful Christmas (seriously who buys ‘holiday’ gifts?) to all ok people the world round.

  8. Are “We” not the militia?

    Paraphrased by Tench Cote, Philidelphia Gazette, 1788.

    “We the People” able bodied, and true to the Republic “are” the firewall the Founders intended. Whether musket over the fireplace, or whatever the hell i legally purchase in my safe.
    Eric Holder and his anti gun ilk can pound sand….. Im not registering them, you cant have them, and history to this nation backs me up.

    Buying another 1000rds tomorrow.

      • So your interpretation of the 2nd is: “Since states need government equipped militias to defend themselves, the people always get to own arms in case the ‘well regulated’ state controlled militia gets set upon nefarious purposes.” Have I got that right?

        • I’ve always subscribed to the interpretation that includes the example “A well-informed electorate being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed.” That makes sense in that the right to keep and read books exists, period, and is not dependent on being an informed electorate — “the right” simply enables that result.

          The antis read the 2a as “A well-controlled and restricted militia is a necessity, and for this and for no other reason, a limited right is granted to the people to keep and bear arms only for this purpose and subject to restrictions and controls by the state.” That convolution is pretty much the only interpretation that enumerates the right to the state. Although I’m pretty sure that if that’s what the framers meant, they would simply have written:

          A well-regulated people, being necessary to the security of a state, the right of the militia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        • Not exactly, but that drift is definitely implied. Read the Federalist papers, I can’t remember is it 26 or 28 that remarks on that idea?

          Remember, Congress has the power to use the militia against tbe people.

        • Congress only has the power to use the militia to check insurrections, which were one of the main threats to republics throughout history (insurrections and ambitious men wanting to become a dictator). The militia itself is the general population. The Second Amendment is merely making a statement about the importance of having a well-regulated militia. It is not stating that the militia must be regulated. The Second Amendment remember is the second amendment in a list of ten amendments that were written after the rest of the Constitution in order to further check the powers of the federal government and to protect individual rights. The Second Amendment was not written to randomly among these other amendments, grant an additional power to the federal government, and then turn around and claim, using the same language used with regards to individual rights elsewhere in the Constitution, that the individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The states right argument doesn’t hold because the rest of the amendments in the Bill of Rights are not in reference to the states and the Constitution only speaks of “the militia,” never “a militia” or “the militias.” It gives Congress the power to control the militia and to have the states organize their respective portions of the militia, but says nothing about individual state militias.

          And contrary to the antis who claim the word “bear” only has military purposes, a reading of the right to arms in various state constitutions shows this not to be true, where the word “bear” is used explicitly in reference to self-protection. The dictionary of the time also lists a meaning of the word “bear” as meaning “to fight,” which doesn’t have to mean military purposes.

        • So much fail. Congress can use the militia to enforce laws, quell insurrection, and repel invasiion. Look it up.
          Insurrection is an uprising of the people against government.
          The nation was opposed to a standing army, a well-regulated militia was thus a necessary evil. The people feared its misuse.

        • I was answering where you had said that Congress has the power to use the militia against the people. I said that Congress has no such power except with regards to checking insurrections. The Constitution grants Congress the power to create an army and a navy. There is nothing in the Constitution about the control of the private ownership of arms or of requiring the militia be well-regulated. Congress has the power to regulate the militia if it feels the need to.

          The well-regulated militia clause of the Second Amendment is just a prefatory clause put there to emphasize one of the central reasons why it is so important that the right to arms be protected. BTW, even the antis do not agree with your claim here. To them, the well-regulated clause refers to a right of states to maintain militias to check the federal government, not to any federal government power to regulate the militia.

        • Who agrees or disagrees with truth is not important, that it is the truth is what matters. The people are not the well-regulated militia, and never were intended to be. Granted, that militia would be made up of people, but is not the people in general. Big difference. The well-regulated militia was a tool of the government, and was feared by many people, such fears are mentioned in the federalist papers. In case you forgot, similar militia under the power of the previous government became a very bad thing.
          Maybe you didn’t read the full powers of Congress? Execute the laws? Oh, yeah, it is there! Insurrections are uprisings of the people….so the well-regulated militia could be used to stifle people’s opposition to government? Yep! Gee, it makes sense now, huh? Why the people had reason to be wary of a well-regulated militia under Congressional control is pretty understandable. It is a really good reason to enumerate the right of the people to be armed.

          15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

        • Who agrees or disagrees with truth is not important, that it is the truth is what matters. The people are not the well-regulated militia, and never were intended to be. Granted, that militia would be made up of people, but is not the people in general. Big difference. The well-regulated militia was a tool of the government, and was feared by many people, such fears are mentioned in the federalist papers. In case you forgot, similar militia under the power of the previous government became a very bad thing.
          Maybe you didn’t read the full powers of Congress? Execute the laws? Oh, yeah, it is there! Insurrections are uprisings of the people….so the well-regulated militia could be used to stifle people’s opposition to government? Yep! Gee, it makes sense now, huh? Why the people had reason to be wary of a well-regulated militia under Congressional control is pretty understandable. It is a really good reason to enumerate the right of the people to be armed.

          If the Second Amendment was about protecting the right of the people to be armed to check a well-regulated militia, it would make no mention at all of said well-regulated militia. The militia are the people. And of course they are not well-regulated. It is merely a statement of the importance of the right. It is very clear that the militia is the people from Federalist #29 when Hamilton talks about how it would be impossible to train up all the militia:

          The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

          15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

          Yep, calling forth THE militia, i.e. pre-existing body. BTW, you aren’t confusing insurrections with resistance to a tyrannical government are you? Because they are not the same thing.

        • Keep talking, you prove more and more your lack of understanding (or maybe perusal) of the founding fathers and their words.
          The well-regulated militia, (an actively trained one, like the one that became the National Guard), was originally the force for US intervention. Please look up insurrection, you keep making yourself look like an idiot.
          Do the reading.
          Look into the Whiskey Rebellion even, where citizens protesting government were met by force of arms, a militia…exactly as the 2A warned could happen.
          Do the reading.

        • Keep talking, you prove more and more your lack of understanding (or maybe perusal) of the founding fathers and their words.
          The well-regulated militia, (an actively trained one, like the one that became the National Guard), was originally the force for US intervention. Please look up insurrection, you keep making yourself look like an idiot. Do the reading.
          Look into the Whiskey Rebellion even, where citizens protesting government were met by force of arms, a militia…exactly as the 2A warned could happen.
          Do the reading.

          I think it is yourself that is showing a major misconception here. The Whiskey Rebellion was not any example of what the Second Amendment supposedly (it actually doesn’t) warning what could happen, it was an example of the militia being used precisely for one of its primary purposes, as specifically mentioned in the Constitution, which was to suppress insurrections.

          So tell me, why would in the Constitution, the government be granted the power to call forth the militia to suppress insurrections, but then the Second Amendment be created to supposedly warn about the dangers of such use of the militia, while speaking in language about the importance of said militia to a free state? If such use of the militia was such a concern, the Constitution never would have granted the government the power to use the militia for such purposes in the first place. And if the Second Amendment was about warning of such uses of the militia, it surely would not say, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.” It would say something like, “A well-regulated militia, being a threat to the security of a free state…” which would then give your argument some traction.

          As it is, you are confusing insurrections with resistance to a tyranny. The people do not have the right to just randomly decide to overthrow the democratically-elected established government because they do not like a tax. That would lead to anarchy and extreme violence and likely the implementation of a true tyranny. Where the right to resist the State by force of arms comes into play is if the State turns into an absolute tyranny, as emphasized by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Trying to overthrow the government over a Whiskey Tax would be a light and transient cause.

          The two historical threats to republics have been insurrections and ambitious men wanting to make themselves dictator. The militia exists to protect against both.

        • You really do not understand how much the people feared (A) standing armies and (B) misuse of the militia against the people. Your being caught up in insurrections and aspiring dictators is way off the mark, You also do not ever mention, and even declaim, the power of Congress to use the militia to enforce laws.

          Not to mention, organizing the militia is creating the militia. You can either organize already extant forces into force under your control, or take personnel and organize them into new or additional militia. Just like you would organize a search party.

          Or, since you are linguistically challenged, does raising an army mean taking children from their parents and raising them to be an army, or does it refer to airmobile operations? Maybe just giving them ladders?

          No provision to raise a navy, lets hope they ever sink.

          Like I said, do some reading.

        • You really do not understand how much the people feared (A) standing armies and (B) misuse of the militia against the people. Your being caught up in insurrections and aspiring dictators is way off the mark, You also do not ever mention, and even declaim, the power of Congress to use the militia to enforce laws.

          What of the power of the Congress to use the militia to enforce laws? That’s if you have people in large groups refusing to obey the law. Law and order is a central role of government. I understand very much the fear people had of standing armies. That is one reason why the importance of a well-regulated militia to the security of a free state is stated in the Second Amendment. But the militia is always referred to as a pre-existing body, never as a government creation. Congress has the power to call forth the pre-existing militia. Again, note the wording of the Second Amendment. Mention of a well-regulated militia is just a prefatory clause, stating one of the main reasons for the protection of the right. It is not a power granted to Congress to create any militia. The National Guard is a regulated militia (although I wouldn’t say per se it is “well-regulated,” not in peacetime anyway), but it is not what the Second Amendment is referring to.

          Not to mention, organizing the militia is creating the militia. You can either organize already extant forces into force under your control, or take personnel and organize them into new or additional militia. Just like you would organize a search party.

          This is incorrect. The militia is the general population. Organization of the militia means organization of the general population.

          Or, since you are linguistically challenged, does raising an army mean taking children from their parents and raising them to be an army, or does it refer to airmobile operations? Maybe just giving them ladders?

          Don’t get your point here. I think it is yourself that is completely misconstruing the language of the Constitution to fit your ideology as opposed to reading it in terms of what it actually is saying. The Constitution grants Congress the power to create an army. But with regards to militias, it grants Congress the power to call forth the militia. It says nothing about Congress being able to raise and maintain a militia for suppression of insurrections, enforcing the law, repelling invasions, etc…

        • Your answers continue to refuse to relate to actual extant writings. Do the reading. First and foremost, the general population cannot by any stretch of the imagination be well-regulated. Secondly the US code differentiates between and organized and unorganized militia. Organized equates with well-regulated.
          And no, the use of well-regulated is not a “desire” or possibility, it was a statement of fact.
          Your ideas are your opinions, wholly unrelated to facts.
          I have better things to do than argue with those who will not learn. Have a nice day.

        • Your answers continue to refuse to relate to actual extant writings. Do the reading. First and foremost, the general population cannot by any stretch of the imagination be well-regulated.

          Of course it can’t. That is mentioned explicitly in Federalist Paper #29. But in this, it is also made quite clear that the general population is the militia. Again, think of an amendment written in the following way:

          A well-educated electorate being necessary to the preservation of a free society, the right of the people to read and compose books shall not be infringed.

          The prefatory clause in the above hypothetical amendment is just stating the importance to a free society of having a well-educated electorate, even though, in reality, it is virtually impossible for the electorate as a whole to ever really qualify as well-educated. The prefatory clause nonetheless states the importance of protecting the right to read and write books.

          Just the same, the Second Amendment states the importance to a free state of having a well-regulated militia, even though it is virtually impossible for the militia to ever really qualify as well-regulated.

          Secondly the US code differentiates between and organized and unorganized militia. Organized equates with well-regulated.

          Organized would. But a key to being able to form up a well-regulated militia is drawing from a population in which the people have at least a basic working familiarity with arms. The Constitution however makes no mention of organized versus unorganized militia. It mentions the militia, which is pre-existing, the unorganized militia if you will. The Congress can organize it up if needed. But the Second Amendment itself creates no well-regulated militia, nor warns of any (hence why it talks of the importance to a free state, not of the threat to a free state).

          And no, the use of well-regulated is not a “desire” or possibility, it was a statement of fact.
          Your ideas are your opinions, wholly unrelated to facts.
          I have better things to do than argue with those who will not learn. Have a nice day.

          The use of “well-regulated” was a statement relating to the importance of protecting the right. Not sure what you mean by, “It was a statement of fact.”

        • No, it referred to the militia that could and would be used against the people. Exactly what they people feared. The amendment recognized the peoples fears, and iterated their ability to be armed in retaliation.

        • Weird too, that they didn’t use such ideas as a “well-researched” press or a “well-organized” religion in regard to protecting those rights. They are important too. Absent sense, you will make up anything.

        • No, it referred to the militia that could and would be used against the people. Exactly what they people feared. The amendment recognized the peoples fears, and iterated their ability to be armed in retaliation.

          This is completely made up by you with nothing to support it. The militia itself is the people. The Federalist Papers spoke multiple times for example of the militia’s role in checking a tyranny. In addition, the Second Amendment speaks of the importance of a well-regulated militia to the security of a free state. If it was about the importance of the right to arms to check some government-created militia (again mentioned no where in the Constitution), it would have said something like, “A well-regulated militia, being a potential threat to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” which would be very clear.

          Something else to keep in mind: if the Second Amendment was about warning people of the dangers of a well-regulated force, it wouldn’t use the word militia, because armies were large threat as well, one of the major concerns. So the amendment would have been worded in such a way as to cover both standing government-created militias and armies.

          Weird too, that they didn’t use such ideas as a “well-researched” press or a “well-organized” religion in regard to protecting those rights. They are important too. Absent sense, you will make up anything.

          The phrase well-regulated could very much be applied to a free press, or a religion. One can find references at the time a well-regulated government, a well-regulated house, a well-regulated hairstyle, etc…

        • Yes…..the security of a free state….if such a well-regulated militia were not necessary for the security of a free state, such a militia would likely not exist under government control, and would not be a major reason to enumerate the right to bear arms. There may be other reasons, but that was the primary concern of the people at the time. The well-regulated militia was necessary, and could be used against the people, a necessary evil. Pretty simple stuff, huh?
          I have referenced everything I said earlier, look back.
          You are the one making things up.

        • The Brits used militia as well as regulars against the colonists, and the US gov was eschewing standing armies, remember?…..so the militia was the specific threat.
          You make this so easy. Stop and do the reading. And don’t use the federalist papers to create a point, use it to support points….big difference. But you can’t, I forgot.

        • Yes…..the security of a free state….if such a well-regulated militia were not necessary for the security of a free state, such a militia would likely not exist under government control, and would not be a major reason to enumerate the right to bear arms.

          The right to arms is enumerated as a basic natural right that the government exists to protect, regardless. In order to have any semblance of a well-regulated militia, the right to arms must be protected. This was to check all governmental forces, whether a government-created militia or an army.

          There may be other reasons, but that was the primary concern of the people at the time. The well-regulated militia was necessary, and could be used against the people, a necessary evil. Pretty simple stuff, huh?

          The problem with your claims is that the people feared standing armies far more than regulated militias. And the Constitution makes no mention of government creating any well-regulated militia. It only talks of Congress’s ability to organize, train, arm, call forth, etc…the militia, which means the militia is a pre-existing body, and it is clear from the Federalist Papers that it was the general population.

          So the Second Amendment by your analysis would mean the people must be armed to protect against themselves. A well-regulated militia is an important thing, but its mention has nothing to do with being a warning to the people. Rather, the need for such a militia is why it is mentioned with the right to arms being protected, to emphasize how the two are connected.

          If the prefatory clause was about the right of the people to have arms to check the government, it wouldn’t mention any militia, it would mention all government forces period.

          I have referenced everything I said earlier, look back.
          You are the one making things up.

          Your references do not back up your claims and are selectively interpreted.

          The Brits used militia as well as regulars against the colonists, and the US gov was eschewing standing armies, remember?…..so the militia was the specific threat.
          You make this so easy. Stop and do the reading. And don’t use the federalist papers to create a point, use it to support points….big difference. But you can’t, I forgot.

          The Federalist Papers support my points just fine. The militia was not a threat to the people as the people were themselves the militia.

  9. My brain is not as big as the rest of you folk. For me its all about the comma.

    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.

    F what the militia is or isn’t or under what condition armaments are granted. BEFORE the comma – the GOAL is SECURITY of a free State. AFTER the comma – is the MEANS. And finally that bit…shall NOT be infringed.

    If your anti gun, there is no reason to argue, blog or opinion 2A. Want to change it, just get 2/3 of the states to ratify removing it.

      • No, but it sure as hell makes it harder to exercise it! Especially today, when those in power operate on the premise that if a right Is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, then it doesn’t exist. It is as though the 9th Amendment is not recognized as part of the Constitution.

  10. 100 years from now the names Bill Whittle, Andrew Breitbart, Ben Shapiro, Daniel Greenfield, Glenn Reynolds, Matt Drudge, etc will be named in same relevance, and reverence as Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Sam Adams…

    • Or all of these names will be buried and forgotten as our State masters drill into our grandchildren the version of history they’d rather have remembered.

    • I am still sad I didn’t discover Breitbart until after he died.

      I am madly in love w Bill Whittle. He’s The Man!

  11. The antis claim that the Second Amendment is about protecting a right of states to militias, but this falls apart for numerous reasons.

  12. Fwiw:
    New book
    The Autobiography of the Second Amendment.
    Curious that the 2A is rather vague.
    militia needs people with guns….sounds ok to me.

  13. The back and forth between Paul G and Kyle above is fascinating and instructive. If I may be so bold, let me throw in this little tidbit:

    “That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.”

    Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776 (issued just one month before the Declaration of Independence).

    In other words, the people are the militia, the militia are the people. Can probably be traced back to the ancient Greek idea of democracy: only citizens could own arms or vote, because it was the citizens who would fight any war they might vote for.

    • Except of course, the Virginia Declaration of Rights is not the Constitution, and since it conflicts with it, guess which one wins? Plenty of other writing, as discussed, have influenced the Constitution, including its own words prior to the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

  14. May I also throw in this little tidbit. Even in colonial times, there were levels of militia. For example, by 1775, approximately one third of each Massachusetts militia unit was designated as Minute Men. They were often the younger, stronger members of the group and had a lot of extra training. They were considered the first responders, getting quickly to the scene of the action in order to assess, contain, engage or shadow as needed, while the rest of the militia pulled itself together. This system was imposed after the British pulled an arsenal raid in 1774 and got clean away with it, because the regular militia was too slow to respond. They hoped the Concord and Lexington raid would go the same way, but got the surprise of their lives instead.

  15. You are dense. The right of the people to protect themselves from tyranny at the hands of government, especially at the hands of their primary source of arms, a well-regulated militia (being a necessary evil) for the security of a free state…..the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.
    It is the state and state power that the people feared, the use of the militia against them, the state disarming them, etc…
    I never made any statement of the legality of any insurrection, that is not the point. Any militia calls to suppress insurrection would be against the people.
    I see you don’t have any answers, just accusations and circular logic.
    Get a life, and get some education.

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