2nd Amendment: Militia = The National Guard?
November 4, 2008 12:04am CST
I've heard this stated many times by people who don't support our right to bear arms, It has even been the decision of courts in our history. However, I wonder if anyone who agrees can actually explain or defend it? If the 2nd amendment only means the right of the National Guard to keep and bear arms, does that mean I (and all other National Guardsmen) have the right to own weapons but no one else does? It can't mean that our right to bear arms only goes as far as being issued a weapon while carrying out specific duties, since that is a duty, not a right. So, I'm asking those of you who believe the 2nd Amendment's reference to a "well regulated militia" only applies to the National Guard, what right does that enumerate to National Guardsmen that it doesn't to any other citizen?
• United States
4 Nov 08
There is an excellent article by David E. Vandercoy and published in the Valparaiso Univ. Law Review (1994). http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html It traces the right to bear arms back to King Alfred (871 to 901 A.D) of England. The amendment is as follows A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed Many legal scholars point to the fact that the "the right of the people to keep[ and bear Arms" is separated by commas and is a separate statement. The people do not have to be members of the militia. The Bill of Rights is a document that gives rights to the people and not the state. It is not a State Militia but a Militia of the people.
• United States
7 Jan 09
"the right of the people" appears in several amendments. It has always been accepted to mean an individual right of the citizen. As to militia, it includes the whole people, except a few public officials. That was the written opinion of the founding fathers who wrote this amendment.