Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- The full text of the Second Amendment reads:
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.
Gun grabbers love to talk about the collective rights theory, even after Heller and McDonald, and twisting the meaning of “well regulated Militia,” found in the prefatory clause.
Now before addressing the meaning of “well regulated,” I need to digress on several points as it should be pointed out that the prefatory clause of the protected right is the subordinate or dependent clause and does not define or limit the right. A right that can only be exercised by natural persons; government cannot exercise rights, not being a natural person, governments exercise powers only. The dependent clause offers one reason the right is enumerated, not the reason.
Additionally, note that the right is assumed; the Amendment does not say that we have the right after adoption of the amendment. The amendment is in fact a statement wholly restricting the government (at any level) from any authority to restrict the right to keep and bear arms. This is naturally consistent with the preamble to the Bill of Rights which states its’ purpose of limiting the power of government.
Another point is that repealing the Second Amendment would not remove that right—you have that or any right because you draw breath. Repealing the Second Amendment would simply show the hostility of our government toward us. The RKBA is a natural, pre-existing right from our creator, and necessary to protect our lives, liberty, and property. Deny the creator’s existence and natural rights cannot exist.
There are some implications of a political nature in that statement that I leave you all to ponder.
So let’s talk about this well regulated militia and especially the meaning of “well regulated.”
Understanding what the militia is, is not too difficult, really. One of our founders, Tenche Coxe, in writing about the militia and the RKBA, wrote this in a 1788 Pennsylvania newspaper article:
“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?…Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
Now the founders had just thrown off a government and set up a government of sovereign states consisting of sovereign citizens. The meaning of “regulate” as used by our founders not only in the Second Amendment, but even in the Commerce clause (Art I Section 8 Clause 3) did not ever mean “to control,” as it is used now and as it has been for some time. But even before the 20th century, the usage of the word “regulate” changed from its true meaning as understood by the founders to its current usage as the federal government sought increased power.
At dictionary.com one can find two meanings that in 1787 were that word’s primary meanings:
- To adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation, and
- To put in good order.
One might colloquially simply apply the phrase, “to make regular,” which could be used for either definition and be correctly applied to either the Commerce Clause or the Second Amendment.
Essentially, a “well regulated” militia is a body, composed of the people suitably armed and trained effectively in the mission of a militia. That well regulated militia is not the National Guard. The National Guard is a professional body and since 1906 affiliated with the Federal Government. The real militia mentioned in the Second Amendment is the unorganized militia.
Today, the unorganized militia is defined in Title 10 of the United States Code, Chapter 13, Section 311(b)(2) and today there exist a number of examples of active militia units that unfortunately are ill-regarded by most state governments as well as the Federal government, and severely and wrongfully maligned by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftist organization.
In short: any militia; composed of ordinary people, that trains to shoot well and function effectively in support of liberty; in defense of their state; or in opposition to tyranny, is a well regulated militia as our founders understood it.
We need more Well Regulated Militias….