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I have to take issue with Rob on a singular point:


As many comments from the founders show, there were actually TWO militias: the "well regulated" militia (a standing army) and the "regular" militia, which was all of The People. It is well-accepted today that The People were guaranteed arms in order to FIGHT the "well regulated" militia if necessary.


I really wonder why I have to point this out to a historian. The historical record is extremely clear on this point.


The founders knew (and just about any reasonable person knows) that not everybody can be in a "well-regulated" militia. There just isn't time or money. (At least, unless we adopt a system like Switzerland's). Farmers had to farm, blacksmiths had to pound iron. Or they don't eat. Not everybody could be in the Army.


No other definition of "well-regulated" makes sense. Target practice and readiness alone do not make a "well-regulated" or disciplined militia. Training, drills and such are necessary if you want your army to be well-regulated. Training, I will point out, that was never done with the general public in any State of which I am aware.


Another well-known fact among historians is that the Founders were terrified of the NECESSITY of having a standing Army.


And if you put those together, you have an interpretation that makes sense of the actual words in the Amendment, where Rob's does not:


"A well regulated militia [standing army], being NECESSARY to the security of a free state [a country has to have a way to repel invaders], the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." (Emphasis mine.)


If we are to believe that all the people are the PARTICULAR militia being referred to in the Second Amendment, then there would have been absolutely no reason to word it this way, and refer to The People separately. They could have simply written "An armed populace, being necessary to to the security of a free state ..." But they did not.


Nowhere do they say that The People and the "well regulated militia" are the same. Rather, there is a very strong implication that they are NOT. I don't know of any other place in the Constitution where the Founders fumbled their words. Why should we assume they did it this time?


Just to be clear: we still all agree that the whole of the able-bodied citizenry made up "the militia" in the ordinary sense.


Rob's interpretation simply omits the whole concept of a well regulated militia being a danger to a republican government... a subject written about and debated at length by the founders. I think that's a rather glaring omission, which is also unnecessary. It doesn't need to be -- should not be -- watered down.


2 years ago on The Founders and the 2nd Amendment



Whoosh, right over your head, eh?


The sarcasm was about Kerlikowske's statement, not about nullification. I think his claim of Federal superiority -- especially without even any qualifiers like the Interstate Commerce clause -- was hilarious.


P.S. Hey, Tenth Amendment Center: when are you going to get around to fixing your comment system? I have to switch browsers in order to even use it.


2 years ago on Obama Drug Czar Says States Can’t Nullify Federal Drug Laws – Tenth Amendment Center


In further news: the kid next door yesterday announced that he was King of the Universe. Federal officials are all nodding their heads.


2 years ago on Obama Drug Czar Says States Can’t Nullify Federal Drug Laws – Tenth Amendment Center