The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: No Training (or Assembly) Required

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By Phydeaux

I was asked recently, what with a record number of firearms in civilian hands, if I thought gun owners should be required to have a minimal amount of training. After immediately replying “no,” I got to thinking . . .

Is there a legal training requirement to exercise any other constitutional rights? No, there isn’t. Should one “train” or educate oneself in order to be able to best exercise any of your constitutional rights? Sure. Why not?

If you’re an 80-year-old woman in poor health, living alone, must that woman really be trained? Should she be required to undergo a minimum number of hours of training in order to defend herself?

If she defends herself with her gun, isn’t it enough that she survived the encounter and wasn’t maimed, raped or murdered? Would a jury think she’s guilty of a crime if she hadn’t had formal training in gun safety, the defensive use of a firearm and applicable laws? Probably not.

Now if a typical middle class guy is attacked and shoots someone in public on the street, outside a store or in a parking lot and the situation is even somewhat ambiguous, would it make a difference to a jury if that individual had received some training? Most likely.

As a responsible gun owner and CHL holder, should you seek training – and practice regularly– so you can effectively discharge your responsibility for you and your loved ones? Sure. You bet.

But do we need another legal hurdle erected to make it even harder to exercise this particular enumerated right? Absolutely not.

Maybe when they start requiring that you pass a certified civics class before one can exercise First Amendment rights or voting rights, maybe then I’ll think about supporting a training mandate in order to own a gun or carry concealed. Until then…don’t bother asking me.

What if someone who wants to buy a gun to protect his or her family is unable to attend a training class for whatever reason? What if they can’t afford the training…on top of the costs of the gun and ammunition (and a concealed carry license)?

What if an ex-spouse has threatened your life and you have to wait days or weeks to complete a required training course before you can buy a gun for your own protection?

The rights embodied in the Constitution are inalienable; they are granted by God, not our government. There’s a valid argument for “reasonable” limits to those rights.

But when it comes to potential new training mandates for firearms, look at the increasing number of states that make gun ownership and concealed carry a constitutional right – with no training or licenses required. I’m not aware of any higher level of gun deaths or violence in those states. And the Second Amendment doesn’t specify any qualification tests for those who want to exercise their rights.

A training (or insurance) requirement in order to avail yourself of the RKBA is no different than a poll tax or a literacy test. And both of those have been declared unconstitutional. Armed self-defense is the right of every human being. Period.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Absolutely no training or certifying or licensing should be required. IF a person elects to spend their time and money on training before or after they purchase a firearm that’s their perogative and the state needs to butt out.

    Safe handling of a firearm is a must. I’m of the age and experience group that I recieved firearms handling safety courses from the boy scouts, the NRA hunter safety course to get my youth hunting license and the military. Not to mention my dad, grand fathers and uncles.

    A firearms safety course should be encouraged amongst noobs.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Firearms safety, to include handling skills a n d marksmanship should be mandatory in public education. It should also be required in private schools. This should start in elementary and continue throughout college.

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      Nope, no training needed, no problem here, move right along.

      “LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. — A man accidentally shot himself while he was buying groceries at a Land O’ Lakes Publix on Sunday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

      The sheriff’s office says the man was taken to the hospital to be treated. The sheriff’s office says he was hit in a lower extremity. It happened at the Publix on Collier Parkway and State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes, according to the sheriff’s office. Witnesses say his gun was in his pocket when it discharged while he was in line to checkout. The condition of the man in unknown at this time, but the sheriff’s office says his injuries are not life-threatening.”

      Well, maybe for Florida man…

      1. avatar Micah says:

        2 things:
        1) People accidentally cut themselves with knives all the time. Should we require training before you can buy a knife?
        2) If you think training would eliminate negligent discharges, check out this video.

        1. avatar PosseMan says:

          3) Perhaps an alcohol license should also be required. Pass a test proving you’re knowledgable about the dangers of alcohol—overdose, driving, etc. Make one mistake and your license to ever purchase or drink alcohol again is revoked.

        2. avatar Mike says:

          I never said that training should be a prerequisite to purchase or possess a firearm. I said that firearms training should be mandatory in all public and private education. Everyone should have exposure to handling and shooting firearms. Hell,most of them would like it and while it would not prevent all accidents and bad decisions it would have to help.

          And to clear up some of this…I did have courses on safe handling of knives and other perilous items and substances during my public education. None of it was used to qualify an individual to purchase or possess. It was used to educate.

      2. avatar DesertDave says:

        Unfortunately training doesn’t fix stupid.

  2. avatar Michael says:

    The communists will use any tool they can get their hands on to destroy this country. “common sense” Gun laws are a prime example of their never ending attack on the truth. The media, “higher” education and “progressive” politicians have successfully split the electorate in half. We are in a position where we have to win every time, they only have to win once.-30-

  3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Maybe not a ‘literacy test’ but you should be required to pass a ‘civics test’ before voting. You should at least be capable of identifying which party currently controls the house, senate and presidency. Voting while stupid is worse than driving while drunk.

    And no, there shouldn’t be any training requirement to K&BA.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Voting is not a right. It is a constitutionally protected, civic privilege.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        And requiring an ID to purchase a weapon isn’t considered an infringement on your 2nd Amendment rights, so it certainly shouldn’t be considered an infringement of a civic privilege.

      2. avatar Viejo Torro says:

        Suffrage isn’t really protected until the 15th Amendment and as I read the Constitution. Essentially it seems to say you can’t deny the right based on gender, property or race

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          But you can be denied your vote for reasons of mental incompetence. There are many state laws denying those judged mentally incompetent from voting.

          What this country really needs now is a judicial finding that people who have graduated from Harvard or Yale are mentally incompetent.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Could we at least pass a law that disqualifies Harvard and Yale grads from being president?

        3. avatar Clark Kent says:

          I am much more concerned about mentally incompetent people (read: Dumbocrats) running for office. They outnumber mentally incompetent voters 10,000 to one.

        4. ….Or denied the right to vote, if the New England township PURGED the voter rolls….And your DON’T get to vote at anywhere….

      3. avatar Binder says:

        “Voting is not a right. It is a constitutionally protected, civic privilege”

        But does not work if you are illiterate. The fact that we (at least try to) teach kids to read, write, civics and government classes in school.

        The Second that we all hold dear comes from British 1252 the ‘Assize of Arms’ and the Archery Law in 1363 requiring that every man between the age of 15 to 60 years old should equip themselves with a bow and arrows with MANDATORY “on pain of death” training.

        “Well regulated militia” The fact is that firearms training should not be a required for ‘right’ but as a stipulation of being a good citizen.

      4. avatar MarkPA says:

        Chip, you make an excellent point! We get hung-up on black/white on/off distinctions as if “right” vs. “privilege” are binary. Adults and children each are entitled to the right to be free of “cruel and unusual punishment”. Adults and children are not equally entitled to vote or marry. Driving is a privilege; now, try to make it “Won’t-Issue” and see what political consequences unfold.

        Vermont withholds the right to bear handguns from those under 16; the little ones are limited to long arms. Does Vermont violate the 2A? It doesn’t seem so cut-and-dried to me. How many of us are prepared to kit-up and march on Vermont and demand that it’s legislature restore God-given rights to bear handguns to those of its residents who are under 16?

        It is well understood in our federal system that the several states have broad discretion in exercising the “police power”. How might that apply to the sacred right of keeping and bearing arms? Not at all? Must each state allow a condemned man to go to the gallows with his right to bear arms intact so that he may confront the hangman on equal terms? There is a slippery slope here. Dare not disarm him before the trap door opens below his feet. Who knows where soft thinking on the 2A might lead.

        On the other hand, we might be better off leaving some discretion to the states so long as the Feds maintain a “floor” below which the states may not strangle the RKBA to near death.

        The greatest concern, IMO, is that about 8 states remain Won’t-Issue. (Circumstances vary. In NY and CA many rural counties are fairly liberal about issuing permits while urban counties are strictly Won’t-Issue). If we had a rational Federal/State approach to discovering the metes and bounds of the RKBA would we not have the Feds insist that states become – AT A MINIMUM – Shall-Issue? Or, are we content to let the most populous states remain 2A-free (i.e., they honor no RKBA at all) while we chug-along content that we have defended our rights in our home states?

        1. avatar Viejo Torro says:

          Your assuming that Congress would agree to shall issue. I don’t believe they will

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          “Your assuming that Congress would agree to shall issue. I don’t believe they will”
          @Viejo, what I’m assuming is that it is very UN-clear at this point how (if at all) the right to bear arms will be upheld. There are 3 players: SCOTUS; Congress; and, the Executive. And they stand in that order in terms of my prediction of importance.

          Congress’s overwhelming propensity is to encroach upon liberty by drafting bills to make behaviors illegal. It is unusual for Congress to draft a law that advances liberty. The Executive vetoes bills to hold Congress in check. More importantly, SCOTUS finds laws unConstitutional to hold Congress in check.

          I think our greatest uplift will come from SCOTUS. I think SCOTUS will soon give us a decision that will render May-Issue untenable. That will wipe-out Won’t-Issue altogether. Still, it will not provide much clarity as to how the states may continue to try to strangle the right to bear arms. This much is pretty clear to me.

          When the last 8 states/jurisdictions (erstwhile Won’t-Issue) have their backs against the wall there will have to be some solution. I see there being two general directions in which to go.

          First, each of these 8 states keeps its own council and finds its own ways to strangle the right to bear arms. This won’t be very efficient; neither for them nor for us gun-bearers.

          Second, sooner or later, Congress weighs in to arbitrate the 8 states’ diverse strangling activities with the remaining 42 states’ regulation of arms-bearing. What might they come up with?

          The thing that Congress could do that would appease these 8 blue states would be to use it’s Article II power to legislate Shall-Issue. Such a Federal law would probably be seen to be in-line with a SCOTUS decision ruling-out Won’t-Issue and making May-Issue really hard to enforce. Congress could give the 8 states a lot of cover.

          The thing that Congress could do to infuriate these 8 blue states would be to pass National Reciprocity. The N-R bill that would make them most angry would be like HR 38 which gives a free ride to Permit-Less Carry. If Congress wanted to pull-back on N-R to appease the blue states they would have to come up with a pretty complicated bill regulating a scheme of N-R that still left a lot of control in the hands of blue states. I do NOT think Congress is at all willing to do either of these two things.

          So, that brings me back to Congress passing a Shall-Issue law. What would it contain? To make it acceptable to the gun-rights Congressmen they would have to put a couple of teeth in the Shall-Issue law. If the law were toothless, these Congressmen would object.

          What I think would be the path of least political resistance would be for Congress to forbid the states from doing things that “discriminate” against applicants for permits. E.g., that they couldn’t make it too onerous for applicants to apply, be trained, tested and qualified. (E.g., see MA’s non-resident permit requirements for an in-state interview. Or SC’s requirement for non-residents to own land in SC.)

          The blue states would still try to make issuing non-resident (and even resident) permits awkward. Still, this would give us ground to litigate in Federal courts that the most onerous impediments violate the Federal Shall-Issue law.

          This is simply the way I fantasize the process unfolding. It depends entirely on SCOTUS first putting teeth into the 2A. If that doesn’t happen then not much else is likely to follow.

      5. avatar Bob says:

        According to the U.S. Constitution, it is a right…?

  4. avatar Alexander says:

    If along with or, rather, prior to, training for firearms possession, the American public were to be required equivalent training prior to voting, that may be an intelligent choice.

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      Oh. Hell.no!
      A photo ID is a good idea. A civics test along the lines of the citizenship test is fine. Training would end up controlled by the current, heavily Socialist teachers unions, so no go that nonsense!

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Not necessarily.

        Lots of things are regulated in the US – but not by the hand of a legislative body. For example, the building, plumbing and electrical codes are codified into municipal law by reference. The details are in the hands of industry experts.

        I can easily envision that whatever training requirement might be made a requirement by states it would be by reference to some standard prescribed by NRA or a state organization (Buckeye Firearms Assn.)

        Suppose, for example, that any state could pre-req its carry permit by a training mandate prescribed by its state gun-owners association. Suppose Congress pre-reqed a National-Reciprocity requirement on meeting an NRA-prescribed requirement. Then, Alaska could have the lowest possible training requirement while some states would opt for the NRA requirement to acord their citizens National Reciprocity.

        The sippery-slope does not frighten me with respect to gun training. It’s going to be mighty difficult for a government to set higher training requirements for citizens then they impose on their own military and police. And we know that the requirements for soldiers and cops are pretty modest.

        1. avatar Viejo Torro says:

          Years ago the Arizona POST required 40 hours of firearms training. If a Bloomberg allied group persuaded a State or locality that what’s necessary for Police is necessary for armed citizens . What would be the effect?
          How many of us could take say a thirty hour course?

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          Your point is very well taken. Still, there are multiple ways of looking at this.

          First, there are a variety of barriers to exercise this right practiced by the several states. Permit-less carry. Shall-Issue with a modest fee and NICS check. (PA is $21/5 years and a State + Fed check.) Shall-Issue with training, testing and live-fire (I have 2 of these). Shall-Issue with some irrelevant pre-req (For my SC permit I have a 20′ x 40′ plot in the state capital to “qualify” me as a non-resident. My real estate bill is $8/year.)

          Finally, there are the Won’t-Issue states. I live 2 miles from the NJ line where – to get a NJ permit – I’d have to be a billionaire or contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democrat party. I have no objection to becoming a billionaire, but I’m not willing to work for it. I’m not going to contribute to the Democrat party. So, which of these regimes do you thing aggravates me the most?

          I wouldn’t give a damn what barriers to being issued a permit NJ imposed upon me. I’ll pass their test. I’ll sit in a classroom. I’ll score a qualifying live-fire. I’ll pay an exorbitant fee. Just let me have a permit. But NJ will NOT do so. I only pray that SCOTUS will judge this to be an “infringement”.

          Another poster pointed out that one can self-train. That is an important distinction. You may not have 30 hours to train; and, you might not absorb anything. You do have an hour to complete a test; and, the test would evidence something. Shouldn’t we be discussing what might make for a test that would measure meaningful evidence of competence?

        3. avatar Clark Kent says:

          You lost all credibility by posting your last sentence. How, exactly, do YOU know the requirements for police officers and soldiers? I happen to know the requirements for police officers are ANYTHING but modest. Nice try, no cigar. Just because you watch ‘Adam 12’ re-runs does not make you an expert on the police.

        4. avatar MarkPA says:

          I’m perfectly aware that the standards for military and police are modest.

          I’ve completed the MAG-40 training. (Damn, I only came in 2’nd in the qualification.) The MD sitting next to me in the classroom remarked that the San Diego PD training he received was no where near as good as the training we were receiving. (He mentioned that he gave up police work after 9 years to pursue a different trade.)

          You don’t seem to recognize the tactic here. The .gov is not going to be able to impose higher standards on civilians carrying than they impose on their own municipal police. There are limits.

          You also must be sensitive to each state/municipal context. Let’s consider two extreems.

          In Vermont you might inquire about the prereqs for a CCP. The response will be “What’s a CCP?” Do you think that the voters in Vermont will insist that citizens demonstrate the competence required of state police officers? You can’t even get the legislature to pass a law ALLOWING a state permit for reciprocity purposes!

          In NYC you know that the police are trained pretty well. Perhaps not the best in the nation, but there they can afford to pay for high standards. Admittedly, you might not pass NYPD standards. I would feel sorry for you. Still, some people would pass those standards.

          Perhaps you are happy with the way NYPD runs things. If you are a billionaire or a billionaire’s son you qualify for a permit. If you are a Hassidic Jew working in the Dimond District, you qualify. If you pay a fixer $15,000, you qualify. Yes, you may be satisfied with the way things are in NYC and are willing to wait until NYC goes permit-less-carry. In the mean time there are lots of folks who would jump at the chance to meet NYPD standards to get a NYC permit. I’d be willing to try to pass the NYPD standards if that would get me a NYC permit. But I’m not a man of high principles.

          The proposal to be issued a permit upon meeting local police standards is one that would put a CAP on the impediments of the most restrictive jurisdictions. Now, they are Won’t-Issue. If we could get Shall-Issue with a “capped” testing and qualification standard then that would be an improvement.

        5. avatar Bob says:

          MarkPa, regardless of where the codification comes from, if the end result is being dragged out of your house at 3am by a government goon squad because you did not conform to the “code”, then that is not good…

        6. avatar MarkPA says:

          “if the end result is being dragged out of your house at 3am by a government goon squad because you did not conform to the “code”, ”

          You need to elaborate on the scenario you imagine here. I’m unable to grasp it.

          I have non-resident permits from MN and SC where I’ve had to undergo training, testing and qualifications. So far – several years – the goons from these states haven’t traveled to PA to drag me out of bed at gun-point at 3 AM. Admittedly, it might happen. But, it’s not one of the threats I lie awake at night worrying about.

          I have non-resident permits from FL and UT. The training regime was very limited. I’m not worried about them coming to get me.

          I have a resident permit from PA. I have NFA firearms; so my sheriff knows what’s in my “stamp collection”. I don’t expect him to call except during daylight hours and I think he will ring the bell. I think he will be more likely to solicit my vote, hat in hand.

  5. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Since they don’t require anti-gunners to have training in government, writing or the first amendment before they use their first amendment rights to try to take away peoples’ second amendment rights, there should definitely not be any training requirements for exercising one’s second amendment rights.

  6. avatar Rick the Besr says:

    “Is there a legal training requirement to exercise any other constitutional rights? No, there isn’t.”

    As it should (or shouldn’t) be.

  7. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    One: there is no such thing as a constitutional right.

    Two: while the second amendment acknowledges a pre-existing right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, the purpose of the second amendment has nothing at all to do with self-defense against common criminals.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Chip,

      … the purpose of the second amendment has nothing at all to do with self-defense against common criminals.

      Scumbag politicians and bureaucrats are so numerous as to qualify for the “common criminal” moniker in my opinion!

      All joking aside, I believe the ideal embodied in the Second Amendment applies equally to repelling common criminals as it does to repelling tyrannical government employees.

    2. avatar MarkPA says:

      “There is no such thing as a Constitutional right.” This is nonsense.

      There are two kinds of rights (at least).

      First, there is a right endowed by our Creator. We may not agree on just what these might be; but, certainly we all agree that this first classification exists.

      Second, there is a right created by a constitution. These may be enumerated or unenumerated (SCOTUS-defined). Again, we may not agree on the interpretation of these rights, but we have a paper-and-ink starting place.

      We all hold that there is a natural (endowed by our Creator) right to arms. The 2A guarantees this right to “the People”. Not a member of that class? Tough. You exercise that right at the pleasure of the legislature.

      Non-resident aliens on American soil have no more right to keep or bear arms then did Dred Scott. That is the law; and we PotG do not dispute it. Dred Scott’s right to arms became something he could enforce only after the Reconstruction Amendments; not a day before.

      We must keep our thinking clear on this natural-right vs. constitutional-right distinction. It’s all very well to claim that we have a natural-right to arms; the judge will tell us to take it up with St. Peter when we next see him. What we can dispute in a court room is “the right” “of the People” “to keep and bear” “arms”. We can insist that our claim to THOSE rights has a moral foundation about which we all ought to agree. Nevertheless, it is those words from which we must argue.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        “There are two kinds of rights (at least).”

        I don’t ascribe to the theory of positive vs negative rights. Rights are inherent endowments from our Creator.

        The Constitution cannot create rights, because the state has no authority other than that which has been granted it by the people (i.e. the governed). The people can create civic privileges, and can even enshrine them in the constitution, but those privileges, even if constitutionally protected, are not rights.

        1. avatar Darkman says:

          The purpose of the Bill of Rights was NOT to give Rights to The People. It was put forth as a List of Rights that the Government could Not Take from The People. It is the Duty of the People to Ensure that those Rights are Not Taken. The Founders expected this to be accomplished thru the act of voting and putting People in office who would respect the Constitution of which the Bill of Rights is the Foundation. They also realized that there would be people who would not respect the Freedoms addressed in the Declaration Of Independence and yet attain positions of Power. The possibility of that was address in the Declaration Of Independence. By stating that it is not only the Right of the People,it is also the Duty of the People to throw of the bonds of an Unjust Government and replace it with those who will follow the Ideals of Freedom. Many citizens both Man and Woman have sacrificed everything they had including their lives to Protect and Preserve those Ideals. We now find Ourselves facing many of the same transgressions the Founders defined in the Declaration of Independence. How those transgressions are dealt with will not only determine where We go as a Nation. It will define Us as a People in the eyes History in regards to Our willingness to Protect and Preserve those Freedoms. Hard Won and Preserved with the Blood,Sweat and Tears of Millions of Patriot Citizens. Who were nothing more than men and woman who desired to live Free. Keep Your Powder Dry.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Spot on again, Chip.

        3. avatar CLarson says:

          Great way of looking at the relationship between the people and the State, while granting the people access to their moral conscience outside the umbrella of the State.

      2. avatar binder says:

        WHERE IS THE WORD CREATOR in the US constitution?

        1. avatar John in AK says:

          Let it go.

          The word ‘Creator’ is in the Declaration of Independence. We all know that. As the Declaration of Independence is the foundation and justification behind the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and at the core of our system of government, it follows that the beliefs enshrined in those latter documents stem from the concept that the unalienable rights endowed by our Creator are inherent in them as well.

          Don’t waste your, or our, time with such things.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          It’s in the Declaration of Independence.

          You need to reflect upon the unfolding of events in the last quarter of the 18’th Century.

          First, there was the prospect of independence. Should the loyal colonists revolt? What could justify the act of disloyalty? It was the Declaration of Independence which laid the philosophical ground upon which our nation would be built.

          Second, there was the drafting of the Articles of Confederation. This served to give us the first trappings of a federation. Basically, it covered the rules by which Congress would try to complement government by the several independent states.

          Third, the drafting of the Constitution under which we now operate. It dealt very little with the rights of the People. There are a few covered. The requirements of confession in open court or testimony of 2 witnesses to the same overt act before one could be convicted on the heinous charge of treason. And, habias corpus. Not much on rights beyond these two. The Constitution as originally drafted dealt almost entirely with the rules by which Congress, the President and a little bit of the Judiciary would try to complement government by the several independent states. These were “powers” provisions.

          Fourth, the debate over ratification of that original Constitution. It is only here where the rights of the People got serious attention. And that ONLY to the extent that the topics covered were non-controversial. There was a consensus that these ought to be covered. (The first two proposals, IIRC, didn’t cover what we would call “rights”; they were more so rules to regulate how the Federal government should work).

          So, today, we might ask what role – if any – the Declaration still plays in our Constitutional system of government? I think it “hangs over” the Constitution like a philosophical silver cloud. Between 1776 and 1789 it hung-over the political consciousness of the People. It either expressed what they had all believed all along; or, it began to shape their sentiments before the decision to ratify arose.

          What did the People understand our “rights” to be when they (through their legislatures) decided to ratify this Bill of Rights? That Declaration – I believe – becomes part of the “penumbras and emanations” by which we interpolate and extrapolate our infinite liberties to find the original meaning of the Constitution and discover unenumerated rights.

          Understood in that light, the Declaration is not a “dead letter” serving its purpose only during the Revolution. It remains the background needed to fully understand “original construction.”

  8. avatar Jeff Mehl says:

    This is one that I REALLY have a problem with because I understand both sides of this debate. On the one hand, a RIGHT is a RIGHT and no other right has qualifications. Yet, no other right give us the ability to easily take a life, whether on purpose or by accident. And we have come from a time when most of the population had guns to where now many are not routinely exposed to guns & shooting – and I was one of those:

    When my wife and I obtained our concealed carry permits in New York State (yeah, they do hand them out if you live in the right jurisdiction), we had NEVER shot or even handled a pistol in our lives, other than the inoperative pistols used in the mandatory safe training class. (Believe it or not, NY does NOT have mandatory live fire training because only those with permits can even handle a gun – but that’s for another discussion). Anyway, once we received our permits we were told that we would need to purchase handguns so they could be registered (no comment!) before they would issue the pistol permits.

    So we went to Gander Mountain and on the advice of the salesman, each purchased an M&P Shield 9mm handgun and all the associated paraphenalia (we bought so much stuff it felt like we were going to camp!) LOL From that moment, we were legal to carry loaded handguns, having NEVER shot one in our lives! Wisely we opted to wait for some live fire training before carrying but I did go out into our woods to see what it would be like to shoot it, having no idea what to expect.

    So I’m in the woods, made sure there was no one in the vicinity, aimed at a tree limb, pulled the trigger and … WOW!!!!

    1) I had no idea how loud a gun is! After all, when you watch people shooting guns on TV, they’re not wearing ear protection so it’s obviously not THAT loud! That taught me that hearing protection is critical, and how disorienting that sound is when not protected.

    2) I also had no idea of the recoil. (I had only shot .22 rifles as a kid, so how would I know?)

    Between the unexpected BANG and the unexpected recoil, I have no idea where that bullet ultimately wound up, but I’m sure it was nowhere near the tree limb!

    Now imagine if I had been carrying with live ammo and assumed it would be easy – and then was in a public situation where I had to use the gun? I don’t even want to think about the carnage I likely would have caused!

    So that’s the basis of my quandary! On the one hand I believe that “Rights” are “Rights,” but on the other hand society does need to be protected from people who, like when I was a brand new gun owner, are clueless!! So I think in this case, I have to lean toward at least some degree of basic proficiency.

    (And I do apologize that this opinion will likely go against the general consensus, but I do think it’s an important counter-point in the on-going debate over our 2A rights!)

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      Many other Rights carry with them serious and even lethal consequences. Voting, self-incrimination, searches and seizures, for example. Just because the Gun right may have an immediate consequence does not make it more lethal than any of the others.

    2. avatar Viejo Torro says:

      Me. Mehl I don’t know your background but I think it’s important to ask two questions.1 is what is the driving interest New York has in requiring training? If it’s safety then they could give a brief quiz in basic gun safety and legal issues on gun use i.e what three conditions must be present before I can use my weapons (as an example). This quiz can be conducted at the MVD and put on your driver’s license like a motorcycle qualification is. New York has made it clear that they would prefer you not to be armed so why do they care if you can load your pistol? The second question is what realistically do you need to be able to do with your pistol? Shootings seem to occur at double arms distance or the width of a car. Why is your ability to hit a Target at 15 or 25 yards germaine?

    3. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      The guy who sold you the guns was an irresponsible moron. He should have started you with a bolt action .22 like most of us who grew up with firearms. Don’t allow your experience to cloud the reality that it doesn’t take John Rambo to use a firearm.

      https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/11/dean-weingarten/old-man-old-22-handgun-dead-career-criminal/

    4. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Where the round goes is on you….regardless of training/not training.

      If someone has “training”, can people sue the trainer of you do something reckless or stupid.

      Like voting, it is up to you to educate yourself.

      The Bill of Rights acknowledges individual rights and designates the rights of the state. It does not spell out responsibility of the individual.

    5. avatar Ing says:

      You knew you were clueless, so you protected the public from yourself. Most people will do the same. That’s good enough for me.

      True morons will always be among us, and no training requirement will stop all their stupidity. What a training requirement would do, however, is corral everyone who *isn’t* stupid into the same lane as the morons who are too stupid to benefit from it. Meanwhile, criminals and clever idiots continue to do their thing outside the rules, to the detriment of all. That’s not okay with me.

      1. avatar EnDangerEd says:

        Yes, the clueless ones still blind themselves and suffer hearing loss by playing with fireworks that they have NO IDEA how to set off SAFELY. Not to mention the fires and burns they cause. Back on topic… One would THINK the retailer would at least hand out the Gun Safety cards provided by most manufacturers with an admonition to READ IT to avoid ending up in jail, along with a list of local shooting clubs and facilities. That’s only good business and would come back as more revenue all the way around. BUT, you’re talking NYS and after 20 years there I can attest to the fact that Tennessee Ridge Runners are SMARTER than MOST NYS legislators, downState LEOs, and DNR folks. I hade my Pistol permit, shot matches, and was always surprised when those who should know something about firearms were woefully IGNORANT and Unmotivated to learn anything, like they enjoyed being STUPID. Dangerous FOOLS.

    6. avatar Someone says:

      So, because the government in NY made it impossible for you to get practical education on firearms use, you think it might be a good idea for the same government to make it mandatory? What about leaving us alone and letting US to take care of necessary education.

      I have been shooting handguns and real assault rifles (yes, full automatic) before I was 10 years old. Can I use more training? You bet! Should it be punishable by law if I don’t get any more? Hell, no!

    7. avatar Clark Kent says:

      So newspaper reporters should pass a government proficiency test before they are allowed to report upon events and have them published? And the government should make sure your religion is not a cult before you are able to worship?

    8. avatar Erik Weisz says:

      It’s up to you to prepare yourself or not – either way, you own the consequences of whether you hit your target or an innocent bystander. This should be obvious to anyone with the mental ability of getting money out of their pocket to buy a gun (or anything else) in the first place. i.e. – if you don’t know wtf you’re doing, there’s no way you’re unaware of that fact.
      No one would jump in a car and try to drive in traffic if they had never driven before, no matter how many written tests or TV shows or Nascar races they had seen, and if they did, they are still responsible for the results of any mayhem they cause, be it death or destruction. Same as with anything.
      All this info is available in every copy of “Duh!” magazine ever printed. srsly.

    9. avatar Jeff Davis says:

      Well I believe it’s long past time we force everyone to pass a test on how not to be a slave before we allow them to express their 13th amendment right to not be a slave. Too many people are still too stupid to be free and would be better served in the safe, secure, and supportive system of slavery.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        You speak of the safe, supportive and secure system of slavery?

        I’m a little uncomfortable with someone named Jeff Davis discussing the institution of slavery. A fellow with the same name committed massive armed treason against the United States of America in order to perpetuate the institution of slavery sometime back.

  9. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    Don’t show the tactifools this article, they might hyperventilate. According to some around here unless you are trained at the level of your typical big city swat unit you have no business touching a firearm. ‘Just leave it to the “professionals” who took 3 hours of training with a “operator.”
    You do get points however if you wear overpriced cargo pants. They might even allow you to talk to them about their Glock and its perfection.

    1. avatar guest says:

      Show us on the doll where they hurt your ego.

      1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

        On the backside. Right where your head seems to be buried.

  10. avatar enuf says:

    No there should not be a training requirement of an adult to own a firearm. Certainly no registration of any sort either.

    There should be encouragement though, and taxpayer support for training. In the form of grants and tax benefits for shooting ranges and the voluntary taking of training classes. In the form of safety training for children and teens. In the creation of shooting clubs for schools, to begin with air rifles.

  11. avatar UpInArms says:

    There is only one way I will accept mandatory training: the State provides it, free to anyone who wants it and in a timely manner. The State would provide the range, the ammunition, and the trainers, all at no cost, and all on demand (no making an appointment and waiting a year.)

    It the State wants it done, the State can foot the bill.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      And it is via this argument that we ought to approach the subject.

      Article I Section 8 enumerates the power of Congress to “prescribe the discipline for the militia” and empowers the several states to “train according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.

      So, there it is. The plan as agreed to by the founding generation. Congress prescribes the course of training. The states train according to Congress’s prescription. Now, everyone is trained – or so we may presume.

      If you want to carry a gun then you must have had the “discipline prescribed by Congress” and you must have been “trained according to that discipline”. Did you grow-up in a NYC high-rise and didn’t bother to enroll in the militia and take your training? Well, then you can’t take your gun outside your home except to transport it (locked in a box) to a range.

      The whole program is laid out there in the Constitution. Go for it?

      Got cold feet? Don’t want all those of militia age (16 or 17, maybe 18) trained to arms at the expense of the states? OK, we are alright with that too. But any training requirement you have in mind starts with a presupposition that it’s apt to be an “infringement”.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Very good, your citation of the US Constitution is right on point.

        “Article I Section 8 enumerates the power of Congress to “prescribe the discipline for the militia” and empowers the several states to “train according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.”

        There it is, also reinforced by the qualifying preface of the 2A, “a well regulated militia,”

        Sorry guys, the framers of the constitution were clear in their requirement that Congress establish rules and regulations for the ownership of arms.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          “the framers of the constitution were clear in their requirement that Congress establish rules and regulations for the ownership of arms.”

          That statement is NOT true.

          Article I Section 8 Federalized the militia – to the chagrin of the Anti-Federalists. The 2A rolled back some of that.

          First, the 2A made the declarative statement that “a well regulated militia [IS] necessary for the security of a free state.” Whatever this “militia” institution is, we can’t do without it. That is a hefty hurdle for the gun-controllers to overcome. While Congress has enormous power over the militia (when and if they exercise it), they have been stripped of the power to regulate it out of existence; or, to regulate it to the point that it is not “well regulated” – meaning, effective, fit to purpose.

          There is confusion among all of us, controllers and rights advocates alike. What is the militia? Most of the writings that undertake to answer this question begin with an unarticulated presupposition. They assume that the “militia” is an entity organized by the several states. An order comes down from the state capital that various things must be done, and state employees begin to carry it out. They enroll individuals who are state-qualified for mandatory militia service. And so forth.

          I hold that such is not the original construction. I hold that the ratifiers construed the “militia” to comprise the entire community, man woman and child. Each of them had a right to join in the effort to defend the community. Some might be able to only carry water or nurse the wounded. But they all had this right. Some might be more trouble than they were worth; these would be left behind or ignored.

          The state militia laws targeted the sub-set of community members who were REQUIRED to serve. Males were required; females were exempted. Males in certain occupations such as ferrymen were exempted, and so forth.

          Thus, there really are multiple militias that over-lap. The community has a militia consisting (in principle) of each member. The state has a militia consisting of those who MUST serve. Congress has a militia consisting of those who MUST respond to a call for service. Congress’ definition might include a few people who the state might have exempted. Likewise, the reverse might be true.

          Article 1 section 8 prescribes the powers of Congress to do certain things with the militia it might define however it sees fit, from time to time. Change the age span; include/exclude females or the disabled. And, it imposes a duty upon the states to train the militia.

          The states have an inherent power to raise a militia which it could define with latitude. Ages, females, the disabled.

          In any case, “the right” of “the People” “to keep and bear arms” runs to the People; i.e., that militia comprising all of the People. Congress doesn’t have any powers to be found in the militia clauses to control ownership.

          Congress could require that militia-persons (however it defines them) own an arm suitable for militia service. E.g., they could require owning an AR-15. I doubt that they could require militia-persons to own a punt gun (absent some bizzare change in military doctrine). Congress would not have any power to forbid any particular type-of-arm. If there were any such power, it would devolve to the states.

          What the 2A did do is authorize a prerequisite to a claim to “the right” to “arms”. I.e., one must be a member of the class “the People”. Clearly, this excluded aliens who might sojourn among us. It excluded native Americans and, of course, those of African descent. Subsequent changes in the Constitution and law altered the definition of citizens and regularized the class of immigrants who were expected to remain permanently but who had not yet naturalized. These changes consequently altered the members of the class “the People”.

          Whether there is any power to deny any members of the class “the People” from the right to arms is in dispute. I think we can agree that prisoners would be excluded. Likely those in the custody of mental asylums. Perhaps others who were in some form of custody; e.g., minors in the custody of their parents and adults who were so severely disabled that they were placed in the custody of a guardian.

          What I think IS clear is that if there is any power to exclude the People from the right to arms that the result must not be a wholesale stripping of the right to arms for less than compelling reasons.

          Race is no longer construeable as a compelling reason. This is both a curse and a blessing for Democrats. They can’t pass race-based exclusion laws. They can pass laws that exclude everyone irrespective of race; but, such laws are clearly unConstitutional. Any law that – for example – excluded all citizens who were right-handed would fly in the face of the mandate that the nation keep-up a “well regulated militia” which would be impractical if it included only lefties. Likewise, a law excluding lefties would exclude such a large number of militia members – on grounds that are obviously frivolous – that the justification would be inadequate.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Mark, there is an 1828 Webster’s Dictionary online, I think that would be contemporaneous with the Constitution.

          Here you go:

          “Regulated
          REG’ULATED, participle passive Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions.”

          Nothing about clocks there…

          But this “subjected to rules or restrictions”.

          Clearly, the Constitution requires that the RKBA should be subjected to rules or restrictions, at the direction of Congress.

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          @miner: “1828 Webster’s Dictionary online, . . .
          “Regulated
          REG’ULATED, participle passive Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions.”

          Nothing about clocks there… . . . But this “subjected to rules or restrictions”.

          Clearly, the Constitution requires that the RKBA should be subjected to rules or restrictions, at the direction of Congress.”

          You are making some errors here. You cherry-pick the particular part of a particular definition that makes your point. I too engage in this sophistry. I draw attention to the sense of the term “well regulated” to mean effective or fit to purpose. I wish to exclude the notion of training; or, at least discount it.

          However, lawyers drafting amicus briefs to SCOTUS won’t get away with our sophistry; not unless a majority of justices want to steer the decision in a particular direction. What we must do is scour the sources contemporaneous with the ratification to come up with all the arguments – that favor our position and that undermine it – and make the best arguments we can. Promoting our position and undermining the Controllers.

          The word “regulated” or “to regulate” doesn’t stand alone. It stands in context. First, the phrase “well regulated” was a term of art in the 18’th Century. It does NOT suffice to know the meaning(s) of “to regulate”. It is necessary to know the meaning of the phrase “well regulated”. Moreover, this phrase stands in the context of “militia”. A “well regulated militia” probably had a meaning more specific than a “well regulated clock”, “well regulated gentleman” or “well regulated parliamentary body”.

          Still more important is the fact that the phrase “well regulated militia” stands in the context of 18’th Century and 17’th Century military and civil-order history. If there were no such history then we might work-out what “well regulated militia” ment from usages such as “well regulated clock”, “. . . gentleman”, “. . . parliamentary body”. But it is unnecessary and unwise to do so. The English and Americans had a rich history of militias that were, at various times, counter-productive, ineffective, and good enough to accomplish their goals. We will better understand what the ratifying generation had in mind by studying this history. What goals would this generation have had in mind when its memory of recent and earlier historical events were clearly recalled?

          I would have to concede that they must have had in mind the critical remarks of General/President Washington about the poor training and ineffectiveness of the militia when compared to his regular troops. Washington had Von Steuben drilled regulars to the point where they could stand up to British regulars and mercenaries. Arguably, “well regulated” meant “exercised and drilled”. I would prefer to de-emphisize this meaning in favor of a meaning of “to be effective, fit for purpose”. We can not know this unless and until scholars of history (of the character of Clayton Cramer) scour contemporary sources and build the record upon which a persuasive argument can be woven.

          I hold that it is highly unlikely that the meaning of “well regulated militia” will reduce to “subjected to rules or restrictions” to the exclusion of other senses. It is likely that “subjected to rules or restrictions” will be a part of the overall meaning. But just what sorts of “rules or restrictions” would have been intended? Would it have been to fire upon command only? Would it be to form in ranks and files and rotate position after each volley? Would it have meant that a militiaman must unload his firearm and carry it in a fastoned case with ammunition in a separate fastoned case? Would it have meant that a militiaman could only transport his firearm to a range or hunting venue, a gunsmith or another home? Just what sorts of “rules or restrictions” would the ratifying generation have regarded as within the powers of Congress to impose; vs. those that it would have regarded as beyond the pale?

          Moreover, it is not the RKBA to which the “well regulated” is directed; it is very clearly aimed at “the militia”. I hold that a man was deemed both a militia-man and a hunts-man, husband-man, boat-man, etc., depending upon his activity from time to time. I doubt that the ratifying generation thought it essential to establish rules or restrictions upon hunts-men or husband-men or boat-men about anything; including their keeping or bearing of arms. If any rules or restrictions on these activities were in order they would have been the proper province of the states exercising their police power. Thus, the regulation of discharging firearms within and about municipalities was a state/municipal affair. Municipal authorities could decide whether it was necessary for congregants to bring their firearms to religious services.

          The RKBA runs to “the People”, who in turn, comprise the “militia”. Women and clergymen were excluded from militia service and would not be obliged to do what is necessary to contribute to a “well regulated militia”. Nevertheless, they were at liberty to K&BA in their private activities; and, in the event of emergency, they could contribute to communal defense.

    2. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      Initially “The State” trained me. For some people this is called military service.
      You get the basics for the most part unless you’re in a combat arms specialty or advanced course.
      If you’re smart and literate there’s no end to the martial arts and weapons info available in printed form whether you’re active or out of uniform.
      I purchased a reloading kit, dies, primers, and powder and learned how to reload for a .308 Remington 700 and .45ACP without blowing my ass up. Mounted and zeroed my own 6-25x50mm scope. All done via materials courtesy of former SOG-MACV operator John Plaster and Hornady ballistics manuals. Prior to the .45ACP, I had at least two Glocks to practice with endlessly, so much so I got accustomed disassembling and re-assembling them in the dark with my eyes closed in less than one minute.
      Invest some time and money. Teach yourself. It works.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        ghost makes a good point here.

        Is it “training” that we are looking for or “competence”.

        In the 18’th century training was pretty important with illiterate militiamen and little in the way of books. Today, we can assume all Americans are literate and there is no impediment to accessing written material. Time to stop thinking about a concept that is no longer the vehicle to overcome a lack of knowledge.

        You can lead a horse’s ass to training or book learning but you can’t make him absorb it. Shouldn’t we be thinking more in terms of testing for knowledge rather than jumping through hoops to – presumably – acquire that knowledge?

        Each individual is different. I had no training to arms as a child. I taught myself. I had resources immediately available to me. My father was an FFL and his worker had been in the army. Don’t recall discussing gun safety or operations with them. I just played with guns in the store until I had the mechanics down. That was enough to get me through the next 45 years or so without a ND or other accident. (Since then I have taken lots of training. I appreciate that training; wouldn’t give it up. The point is that some people self-learn and can achieve an adequate standard of knowledge without a tutor.)

        Telling a citizen that he must endure X expense and Y hours of confinement to exercise a civil right is one thing to object to. Telling him he needs a passing score of Z on a written test to exercise that right is a DIFFERENT thing to object to.

        The questions we ought to be asking ourselves are:
        1. Which of these two MIGHT manifest a “floor” level of competence to bear arms in the town square?
        2. Which of these two might be a worth-while compromise? We expand the exercise of the right with the lowest barrier to entry.

        1. avatar EnDangerEd says:

          Sorry but you can NOT assume all Americans are literate. Look at what was just elected to Congress and you know you ASS-U-MEdpoint is invalid. Many Highschools are graduating functional illiterates just to get rid of them… That would describe the last FLA school shooter. And the cops ignored him several times despite having plenty of “cause” to stop him.
          Yo, FormerWaterWalker…. “Who has less crime than Cook County”…? Everywhere Except NYC and LA… baby!

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          The argument here (MarkPA joining with ghost) is that when we have universal literacy (or nearly so) then the alternative of self-learning is a reasonable substitute for training by a human instructor.

          The illiterate will still undertake instruction. Those who are literate but nevertheless have a kinesthetic preferred learning style will still undertake instruction. Those that prefer to engage in dialogue with an instructor will still do so. Nevertheless, when the vast majority are literate and have ready access to learning materials they will self-learn when that suits them.

          Again, the question is whether what we are after is: training; or, competency? Isn’t that the first question we ought to be answering?

          Why should we PotG be ducking this question of training vs. competency?

          Look, I can entertain the argument that there should be no prerequisites to carrying a gun. Just 1 day old? You can carry. An IQ as low as Joe Biden’s? Yes, you can carry. So obviously loony that, if indicted, no judge in the country would find you fit to be tried. NOTHING, ought to stand in the way of your right to carry. Even so, suppose we asked what we would prefer of our fellow citizens who do carry: training; or, competency, how would we answer? Why should we insist on ducking this simple question?

          Someone else on this thread had a worthwhile take on this. Suppose someone is charged with a crime involving his carrying a gun. Suppose he could produce no evidence of his competency in carrying that gun. Why not make it a criminal offense of gross negligence that he committed some gun act (e.g., brandishing or assault) without having first taken the prudent precaution of first learning how to responsibly carry?

          Under this approach the prudent would undertake learning (by training or self-study) to minimize his risk of being convicted of carrying-without-competency.

          We have enough idiots among our own ranks of gun owners to be concerned about competency. Each time one of these idiots draws his gun and leaves no doubt as to his incompetency he makes our job as responsible gun owners much more difficult. We have to promote the Second Amendment in spite of his demonstrated incompetence.

          This approach would tend to induce the idiot gun owners among us to undertake a course of study that they would be able to document and present as evidence in a future trial. These idiots might learn something in such a course of study.

  12. avatar GlockMeAmadeus says:

    “You dont need practice to shove a pistol in a mans belly and pull the trigger.”

    Famous author

    1. avatar Someone says:

      If you can shove a pistol in man’s belly, you can do the same with a knife. No trigger pulling necessary. 😆
      Advantage of the gun lies in ability to reach your attacker before he can reach you.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        “If you can shove a pistol in man’s belly, you can do the same with a knife. No trigger pulling necessary.”

        In the context of the current thread, what is the relevance of this observation? In fact, I think we can work this out to help us understand the “training” prereq to bearing arms.

        The “right” of the People is to keep and bear “arms”. Not especially guns, it’s “arms”. Those things which are “arms” fall out of practical use and new things are invented and come into practical use. We no longer carry about us a “mace” – spiked ball on a tether with a handle. We still use cutlery as arms. Guns are far more important today then they were at the time of the Revolution. (Then, the decisive act in a battle was apt to be the bayonet charge.)

        Our benevolent state legislatures heavily regulate the bearing of cutlery. Look at the Knife Rights movement to understand the scope of this regulation.

        If government has the power to impose a prerequisite of training before one may bear a gun “arm” then they also have the power to do so before one may bear a cutlery “arm”. If this is true then we may fruitfully ask our fellow voting citizens whether they think their legislatures should have the power to require cutlery training before a citizen may carry a pen-knife or box cutter. This becomes a useful question to help our fellow voters to understand what they need to know before voting for/against a candidate for office who exposes a view on a training requirement.

  13. avatar GeorgiaBob says:

    I would offer a qualified dispute to the assertion that no training is required by the second amendment. The first section of the amendment specifies a well regulated militia. In the language of the time, “regulated” can and does – very specifically – mean TRAINING. The Second Amendment does specify training!

    And CURRENT 10US Code section 245 asserts:
    “(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.”

    So there can absolutely be no doubt that – for a significant number of people in the US population – their membership in the militia included a stated provision that they be trained (well regulated)

    The rest of us (like me – being past militia age) get a free pass with the second, our right to keep and bear arms cannot be constitutionally infringed AT ALL.

    But the Militia Act does lead me to a relevant question, If every male 17 to 45 is required to be in the militia, doesn’t that mean all of those individuals should be REQUIRED to keep and maintain a modern combat weapon? Shouldn’t militia members be required to keep – at a minimum – a select fire battle rifle (M-4 perhaps) with multiple 30 round mags and at least 400 rounds of ready ammo?

    1. avatar Viejo Torro says:

      If you are attaching 2nd Amendment rights to the concept of membership in the milita how do you argue that those of us past 45 and thus timed out have 2a rights?

      1. avatar GeorgiaBob says:

        That’s an easy one. The 2nd has two distinct and exclusive provisions. The Militia is a defined group and should be trained. The PEOPLE means ALL of us, and out right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed – that means ALL US citizens have the right to keep and bear arms and the government cannot mess with out right. The fact that militia members have a legal obligation does NOT have any connection to the rights granted ALL people.

      2. avatar binder says:

        The original English Law was 15 to 60

    2. avatar enuf says:

      It’s a fair point. “Well regulated” refers to military training in the use of arms and small unit tactics, obeying orders, etc. Though no training should be required if not in the militia, the truth is we don’t have a militia anymore. We should have, but we do not.

      Personally I favor more than 400 rounds for an AR on hand at all times. Merely keeping all my magazines full takes much more than that.

      1. avatar Binder says:

        Given all their firearms regulation, the fact is that the Swiss follow the spirit of the second a lot better than Americans.

    3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      “I would offer a qualified dispute to the assertion that no training is required by the second amendment. The first section of the amendment specifies a well regulated militia. In the language of the time, “regulated” can and does – very specifically – mean TRAINING. The Second Amendment does specify training!”

      The first clause of the second amendment is a dependent, preferatory clause that has no bearing on the second, independent clause. The latter implies the presumption of a pre-existing right and constrains the state from infringing upon that pre-existing right. The former merely articulates the state interest in the free exercise of that pre-existing right.

      Thus, the state may have an interest in providing the means to ensure that the militia is well-regulated – and presumably may act accordingly. However, nothing in the dependent, preferatory clause constitutes a rationale, or enumerates authority, for the state to infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

      In other words, the state can contemplate providing training, or even arms, in the furtherance of its interest in ensuring a well-regulated militia – but the state cannot require training as a precondition to the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.

      1. avatar binder says:

        Yes, but if you don’t know that you should stick the guy with the pointy end there is not much of a point. At the very least you need to know the manual of arms and how to load the stupid thing.

    4. avatar MarkPA says:

      “‘regulated’ can and does – very specifically – mean TRAINING.”

      This statement is nonsense. The term “well regulated” had a meaning at the time of ratification of the 2A. And, it is THAT meaning – in the context of a militia – by which we must interpret the term.

      I do not dispute that “well regulated” in the context of the militia MIGHT have included, in part, the notion of training. That is for scholars to investigate and debate. It “can” mean training. It does NOT NECESSARILY mean training.

      I hold that the phrase “A well regulated clock keeps correct time” makes perfect sense in 18’th century English. And, a clock does not need training.

      A well regulated militia might have needed training in the 18’th century. Does it today? What if a militiaman were well equipped, but had not enjoyed the benefit of formal training by a drill sergeant. Would he necessarily fail – by definition – the standard of “well regulated”? Suppose a man who, from boyhood, learned to trap and hunt. He was familiar with the wilds and with dangerous fauna. He confronted robbers in the wilderness. Would he – absolutely – fail the standard of “well regulated”?

      To paraphrase Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, ‘You have to go to Revolution with the militia you have got, not with the one you wished you had.’ General Washington and his officers were well aware of the limitations in training of the militia that mustered at the start of the Revolution and pitched in from time to time. He wished for better; but he got by with what he had.

      The meaning of the phrase “well regulated” was (and therefore is) in part aspirational. The militia is – from time to time – whatever it happens to be. It may be “well” or “poorly” “regulated”. It was the founding generation’s aspiration that it be better regulated than not; as well-regulated as possible.

      Perhaps the intention was to leave no room for imposing constraints upon the militia. Imagine that Congress or a state meant to ensure an enfeebled militia. Suppose it said that militiamen could not muster with muskets fitted with bayonet mounts. After all, a hunter or marksman wouldn’t need a bayonet. So, why should a militiaman have one? He could go through his prescribed exercises without a real bayonet fitted to his musket. Therefore, he could be forbidden a bayonet mount on his barrel. Any such constraint imposed on militiamen would be in clear contravention of the “well regulated” standard. To have been “well regulated” would have included having a musket with a bayonet mount and a bayonet. He could not be FORBIDDEN these “evil features” without flying in the face of the explicit objective underlying the codification of the right to arms.

      Doesn’t this make more sense? I’m not trying to impose my personal view on the reader. Rather, I’m encouraging diverse and thoughtful discourse on this question. Whatever the phrase “well regulated militia” means, these words are in the Constitution. We had better have a fully-fleshed-out set of arguments as to what these words mean when the time comes for argument before SCOTUS.

      It does us no good for us to establish a literature of what these words mean that neglects a thorough analysis of the usage of these words in the 18’th Century and a thorough analysis of what the implications might be for circumstances today and tomorrow.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Here’s my favorite part:

        ““(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.”

        Yep, all those asylum-seekers who openly to clear their intention to enter the United States and become citizens to escape terrorism and oppression are clearly authorized to bear arms just like you and me. That’s a very comforting thought, our forefathers were very perceptive and knew exactly what the future would hold for us.

    5. avatar SkorpionFan says:

      GeorgiaBob, Thanks for posting the militia definitions, but you made a typo. That quote is the current 10 US Code Section 246 (not 245).
      10 U.S. Code § 246. Militia: composition and classes

  14. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    The worst example is that there is nothing required to make one intellectually competent to vote. If you want to make people take firearms training, voting is FAR more important. In regards to both topics, I know people who think you just walk into a gunshop and buy fully automatic weapons and ask what the problem would if there were background checks. Absolute ignorance of the two topics, gun control and which candidates know the law.

  15. avatar John in Ohio says:

    “The rights embodied in the Constitution are inalienable; they are granted by God, not our government. There’s a valid argument for “reasonable” limits to those rights.”

    Being in the legitimate custody of another is the only “reasonable” limit of which I know. It’s simple and it has the least impact upon liberty.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      Who are you, John, to impose upon me (or any other) the only “reasonable” limit? What if I didn’t accept your interpretation?

      Saddam Hussain had the same natural right endowed by his creator to ascend the gallows steps kitted out with whatever arm might he chose to confront his hangman.

      You get to decide this matter; all on your own. My opinion counts for nothing?

      What if I had a different exception from yours?

      We need to think about the conventions for Constitutional interpretation. Just how do we go about finding meaning in the few words that appear in the Constitution that seem to bear on a particular topic. I see no exception for a custodial exception to the right to be armed or vote in the text of the Constitution. How are these ideas injected into the interpretation?

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Hey, man, I haven’t a problem with NO limit. But, that’s just me. 😉

  16. avatar GS650G says:

    The biggest problem with any requirement is the control it affords those who disagree with the activity.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      There are requirements. They impose control. The Constitution acknowledges the power of the states to set the qualifications of electors. The states impose control. Some forbid felons from voting; others do not.

      The federal Constitution imposes a couple of requirements for non-discrimination in voting. No sex-based prerequisite; no age-based prerequisite for those 18 or older.

      Yes, there are requirements, and they grant controls. The 2A requires that the right to keep and bear arms not be infringed when exercised by members of the class “the People”. If you are not a member of this class, you have no appeal to the 2A. Congress and the states can proscribe keeping and bearing of arms by non-resident aliens – and there is noting in the 2A to even imply that they are forbidden to do so. They are Constitutionally within their powers to defy God!

      This is the framework within which we live. We need to understand that and make the best of it. We don’t get to make-it-up-as-we-go-along. That is the way of Progressives and judges.

  17. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Question about “training” (required or otherwise). How recent should that “training” be relative to carrying? Within say, the last month, year, decade, century? Asking for a friend who retired from the US combat forces in the very early ’80’s. 😉

  18. avatar RGP says:

    Years ago when I learned how to shoot a handgun it was pretty hard to find anybody who was any good at it… you could find plenty of people who THOUGHT they were good at it though and most of them thought it wasn’t good for anything. The solution was to crack open a few books from Elmer Keith and Ed McGivern and read articles by Ross Seyfried and apply the lessons contained therein, followed by a lot of practice.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ….sometimes you’re really good right from the get-go…and then one day you’re not…it happens…

  19. avatar MarkPA says:

    I’m genuinely torn. There is just one thing I’m convinced of. If there is an opportunity to make the WORST of a political problem we PotG will find it.

    Our states – or more precisely, jurisdictions – fall into 3 broad categories:
    1. permit-less carry
    2. Shall-Issue
    3. Won’t-Issue
    I don’t see much of a problem with permit-less carry. Hardly a problem with Shall-Issue. The big problem I have is that a very large fraction of our population lives in the last 8 Won’t-Issue jurisdictions. Moreover, I – and many like me – live near and travel in Won’t-Issue jurisdictions.

    PotG simply ignore the Won’t-Issue jurisdictions. They are perfectly content to wait until hell freezes over – or SCOTUS rules-out Won’t-Issue, whichever comes first. They ignore the populated Won’t-Issue states at their peril.

    The vitality of the 2A depends on opening the door a crack – and then wider and wider – to guns in the Won’t-Issue states. How to do that?

    How about screaming “Myyyyyyy Righttttttts!!!” at the top of our lungs?

    How about getting voters in those states to gradually warm-up to the idea that going Shall-Issue, albeit kicking-and-screaming, is not such a terrifying idea?

    I’d be delighted if the last 8 Won’t-Issue states began by changing to Shall-Issue with a training requirement in the law of self-defense. A majority of residents in these jurisdictions are not trained to arms nor are they at all aware of the several prerequisites to lawful use of lethal force. I don’t want these idiots walking around their neighborhoods having incidents (like convictions for manslaughter) because they failed one of the prereq’s (innocence, imminance, capacity, opportunity, jeopardy, subjective belief, objectively reasonable belief).

    I don’t care if some idiot in Wyoming shoots somebody and goes to prison for manslaughter because the jury didn’t buy his claim of self-defense. Wyoming isn’t going to recoil and make carry more onerous. I DO CARE if some idiot in New Jersey does so out of the same ignorance as the Wyoming idiot. The NJ legislature will jump at the opportunity to put the screws down and make carry impossible for knowledgeable carriers.

    Somehow we need to get through to voters in the last Won’t-Issue states that we do NOT want their idiot neighbors to begin carrying without training. We’d prefer that they get training. They should tell their legislatures to migrate deliberately from: Won’t-Issue -> Shall-Issue with training -> Shall-Issue with LESS training -> Shall-Issue with NO training -> Permitless carry.

    Rights advocates will settle for NO PROGRESS WHATSOEVER. If states can’t make the leap from Won’t-Issue -> Permitless carry in one step then they must stand their ground and remain Won’t-Issue forever!!!!

  20. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Won’t-Issue -> Shall-Issue with training -> Shall-Issue with LESS training -> Shall-Issue with NO training -> Permitless carry.

    That’s pretty close to the sequence we went thru in MS over the last 50 years or so. Interesting that after the lengthy 1st and 2nd steps it started to pick up speed and we got the first taste of Permitless about 5 years ago, and went full Permitless in 2016, although Permits are still issued on a voluntary basis for those who need one for interstate travel, or other specific reasons, etc.

    Endurance and perseverance is required to travel that path. There is no “instant gratification”.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      Just imagine how much better-off you would have been if you had huffed and puffed and threatened to hold your breath until you turned blue!

      ‘We won’t accept anything short of permit-less carry. That’s the only thing we want and we won’t settle for less. So, go back to your legislative chambers and give us permit-less carry because we won’t apply for your stinking permits!’

      You might still be waiting.

      I guess Y’all are clever enough to have figured that out all by yourselves. I wish all us PotG were that clever.

      1. avatar GunnyGene says:

        Trust me, there were some rather large speed bumps in the road. May issue (which largely depended on the color of your skin for quite a few years), the “fluid” interpretation of “concealed”, the list of places you couldn’t carry, etc. Some of the later remains in place. And we still have to deal with the occasional obstinate judge/mayor, etc., and the regular introduction of anti-gun legislation by a couple of Dems.

        Once you get to Permitless, the fight doesn’t stop. It becomes a series of skirmishes to “hold what you’ve got”. We know that the war is not yet won, even tho we’ve won some major battles. People in those “other” States need to understand this.

  21. avatar Johnny Bullets says:

    To understand the Second Amendment it’s helpful to have an understanding of dependent and independent clauses.

  22. avatar Nanashi says:

    If the Democrats in Congress want training so bad, they should due their duty under Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 16 “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia” and require classes on the operation of firearms be included in school curriculum (states get to decide who does the actual training, per the rest of that paragraph). Additionally offer a tax credit for the first several rounds of ammo purchased a year and first qualifying rifle* purchased by an individual.

    *fires 5.56 semi-automatically through gas directed into the carrier via gas tube , accepts magazines as defined by draft STANAG 4179, and has an aluminum receiver.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Why semi automatic? Shouldn’t the militia have the same firearms as the regulars?

      1. avatar binder says:

        And how often do the regulars use anything other than semi auto?

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Binder. Doesn’t matter. They have it available to them. You’re the non 2a guy that agrees that a bump stock is a machine gun.

          I’m surprised you would even approve of anything more than a musket.

        2. avatar Someone says:

          How does that matter? If the giggle switch is used so seldom in combat, why does the military insist on it?

        3. avatar Binder says:

          OK jwm, I Will play your stupid game.

          I firmly believe that firearms training should be part of high school and basic military training should be compulsory. I think most of America has forgotten exactly what the Second is about, including you.

          The fact is that when the citizens of a country are proficient in the use of arms and keep those arms, only then can they be free. Protest, voting debates all mean nothing at the end of the day, eventually it comes down to a force of arms. Otherwise, we all live by the good grace of the government.

          Now back to the ‘bump stock’
          Hell, that is the real joke. If I was to demonstrate just how destructive a slide fire can be, would I be responsible in some way for the next shooting? There are a lot of people that have pulled every bit of information they ever published about effective Slide-Fire setups after Vegas. And everyone pushing for getting them legalized again have not demonstrated similar setups. Why do you think that is?

          The fact is at the end of the day, the bump stocks are toast. Machine guns were banned for a reason. Has nothing to do with them being fully automatic, but more with the ability to deliver massive fire down range.

          As for the Hughes amendment, I don’t agree with it. But, and yes there is a but, I fully understand why we need it.

        4. avatar Conelrad says:

          A lot actually. I was regular infantry in Iraq and the most very basic infantry maneuver (battle drill) is squad/platoon attack, were machine guns are used to pin down the enemy and the rest of the platoon flanks, or also helps support the machine guns. Our 240s/saws/.50s expended tons of ammo both stateside and overseas. Full auto is very much a common feature of modern combat.

        5. avatar jwm says:

          binder. To boil your statement down, ‘I support the 2a, but………’

      2. avatar Nanashi says:

        Wording would be inclusive (Anything with a selector switch can fire semi-automatically) so it wouldn’t need updating when that illegal, NRA supported, law is done away with.

  23. avatar mrvco says:

    I’m pro education and training (safety + respect at minimum) from an early age with regards to firearms. It’s silly that we have kids growing up today thinking that ‘guns’ are some kind of special magic that media and pop culture has taught them they can unleash on innocents when the world turns against them.

    That being said, education and training should not be tied to 2A Rights, but education and training should be encouraged regardless.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ….isn’t that a question gun dealers should ask first time buyers?….

  24. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Here in South Carolina for CWP there is a mandatory 8hr training and live fire.

    Going over State and local laws is beneficial and the live fire is just a check to make sure one can safely meet the very minimum requirements of loading, firing, clearing ect.

    For vehicle carry in the center console or glove box there is no training requirement, no CWP required. Police automatically assume everyone carries in their vehicle.

    All that said, it does not compute that CWP requires the above, but vehicle carry does not.

    Sometimes I think it’s all just a racket over what is supposed to be a Right.

    just sayin’

  25. avatar Mr No says:

    Good thing you’re not in nysafe state. Gumbo won’t let you alone

  26. avatar Demoncrats says:

    Those holding elective office ought to be trained and certified in constitutional law, accounting, economics, and financial planning. All four ought to be required to hold elective office,

    1. avatar James Rutter says:

      And a veteran!

  27. avatar daveinwyo says:

    Just to throw something out there. I support mandatory civics tests and mandatory firearms training for ALL Federal elected offices. House of reps, senate and president. Also for all federal beurcrats from GS 9 and above.

    1. avatar daveinwyo says:

      Didn’t mean to step on you @Demoncrats. Weren’t there when I started to type. Totaly agree!

  28. avatar "Onyx's Valet" says:

    Remember that Hitler did not use a gun (except perhaps for his failed coup attempt) to kill an estrimated 40-50 million people. He used what we would call 1st ammendment rights for his ends. That’s a lot of people. Soldiers and others following his orders did use guns, but not the one primarily responsible for the war.

    Also, driver’s education is taught in schools as cars are a large part of our society. So are guns. Why are guns not taught in schools. Start in 1st grade with the basics of safety. Perhaps the 4 rules to start and work up until in high school you are doing hands on training. Guns are everywhere. Kids should be educated about them in school. Children who have had hands on training are far lees likely to start playing with a found gun than those who are just told to stay away. My brother’s 2 daughters were in the room when he reloaded. They went with him to the range. By the time they were in 4th grade they were completey bored with guns.

    Anything else will work better than ignorance.

  29. avatar former water walker says:

    Meh…all I know is Indiana has no requirements or tests for ccl OR open carry. Neighboring ILLinois has hoops to jump through. And has only had it for 5 years. Guess who has less crime than Cook county?!? And quite similar results vis a vis no training vs BS. Is training better? Sure but shouldn’t be required nannystaters!

      1. avatar B.D. says:

        Find some better news. The crime rate from those two states is almost 1/8th difference.

  30. avatar GW says:

    A right delayed is a right denied!

    ALL gun laws are treasonous and illegal.

    The penalty 4 treason is hanging ASAP.. straight out the door to nearest pole,tree etc. no matter ur title!

    All licenses/fees to own carry a gun are treasonous illegal!

    #2a is a declaration and warning to ALL…. most of all government! If u don’t like it get out we will help u get out faster like yesterday!

    #2a was meant to arm citizens with all the best Arms available..the founders did not believe in standing armies.

    Look at our border..its a disgrace with millions of terrorist and future terrorist we are letting in!

    All immigration should of stopped 40-50 yrs ago.

    All the terrorist and families came from where? Yea!

  31. avatar Binder says:

    If the giggle switch is used so seldom in combat, why does the military insist on it?

    Institutional momentum. Cost next to nothing to add. Someone got the stupid idea that the AR could fill the role of a sub-machine gun. (A role that they keep trying to press it into, that ‘one’ weapon fantasy is so appealing). In theory it can be used to break contact in an ambush.

    Hell, the M-14 had a giggle switch and that was a whole another level of stupid. Mine had the selector removed (I used one in the Air Force, provided security for EOD as secondary duty and they let me have one, nice for reaching out)

  32. avatar joefoam says:

    So where is the requirement for training prior to the purchase and consumption of alcohol? Alcohol related deaths far outnumber firearms deaths but I don’t hear the screeching about it.

  33. avatar John Smith says:

    Training requirement NO, but a proficiency test YES.
    Just as you can not yell fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire, you also can not take the life of an innocent bystander while attempting to defend your own.
    If you insist that this would be an infringement then you have to accept that if you have no training and can not prove proficiency and you shoot an innocent bystander then you are guilty of criminal negligence and should be put in prison. If you carry a gun with no clue how to use it and shoot someone that is cut and dry negligence. Rights are not absolute and come with responsibilities. Laws have to exist because more and more people simply will not do the “right” thing unless it is under the threat of law.
    A proficiency test is the only thing that should be required for law abiding citizens to carry a gun. It is also the only requirement, I believe that would pass the “strict scrutiny” requirement when applying laws to constitutional rights.

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      “if you have no training and can not prove proficiency and you shoot an innocent bystander then you are guilty of criminal negligence and should be put in prison.”

      So what you’re saying is that it’s perfectly fine to shoot an innocent bystander as long as one has been trained, and can demonstrate proficiency with arms? The piece of paper proving that one meets the training requirements magically makes it non-negligent to shoot a bystander? Somehow I don’t follow the (lack of) logic there…

      Actually I might be OK with your premise, so long as it applies to the entire class of “The People”, not merely a subset. That would include all police, the military while operating within the CONUS, all members of the fedgov’s alphabet agencies, the Secret Service… need I go on?

      If you attempt to exclude any of those groups, then your idea is a non-starter.

  34. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    “Maybe when they start requiring that you pass a certified civics class before one can exercise First Amendment rights or voting rights, maybe then I’ll think about supporting a training mandate in order to own a gun or carry concealed. Until then…don’t bother asking me.”

    I know you weren’t serious with that statement but people really need to stop saying stuff like this before the antis take us up on that offer. Who do you think will select the curriculum for that civics course? Who do you think will teach it? What do you think they will teach? Look at the state of education today.

  35. avatar 2aguy says:

    How about the other Rights? You can’t write or publish a book, pamphlet, or post online until you have passed a class in Slander and Libel laws? Would that one work for the gun grabbers? You can’t post online until you have passed a test on identity theft, plagiarism, stalking laws, and on and on? You can’t vote until you can pass a test showing your knowledge of not only the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but the policy positions of all the candidates you will be voting for…how about that one?

  36. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    This TTAG post for me generated some very intellectually stimulated reading. Thanks to everyone.

    If you want to reduce the possibility of accidents using Firearms then follow the recommendations of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Educate the children in safe firearm handling and there use.

    Unfortunately the gun Community is not focused on the next generation of firearms owners. And I’m talking about the leadership in the gun Community as well as the general gun Community itself.
    They are simply not focused on Arms education for children.

    100 years ago Firearm simulators were used in public schools in the United States. These simulators went “bang” and had a recoil effect on the student user.

  37. When will TTAG use a stock photo that shows a proper grip?
    I’m suspecting this is on purpose.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Should her thumbs be behind the slide or on the side of the slide, as shown?

      For a revolver are the thumbs behind the exposed hammer or on the side of the gun?

      1. The thumbs are not as important as getting your grip high and tight against the beavertail.

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