The Illusive Second Amendment

Opinion by Contributor John McNair

USA – -( I watched Tom Selleck on The Rosie O’Donnell show May 19, 1999, where O’Donnell ambushed Selleck on his pro-gun support of the Second Amendment. Although he is one of my heroes of the TV world, he was ill-prepared to stand his ground. He did the best job he could but a little research to support one’s views as a spokesperson would have allowed Selleck to wipe the floor with O’Donnell.

O’Donnell’s stance was that the need for large capacity magazines and assault-style weapons for hunting was a fallacy so the Second Amendment should be repealed.

If you wanted to give yourself an unassailable perspective from which to support your pro-Second Amendment rights, you first must understand constitutional history and why the Second Amendment was written the way it was and why it was included in the Bill of Rights. First, know that the Bill of Rights is simply the first ten amendments to the Constitution, all written by James Madison. Second, you must read Federalist Paper #46, embedded below, over and over again until you thoroughly understand the importance of what Madison was saying.

The Federalist Papers were letters written to and published by newspapers which served the constituents of the framers of the Constitution. They were written by Madison, Hamilton, and Adams under the pseudonym, “Publius”. Federalist Paper #46 was written by Madison on January 29, 1788.

Why every gun owner and pro-gun advocate doesn’t have a copy of #46 hanging from their wall is a ponderous thought. It says nothing of any personal right to own firearms for personal protection, nothing about hunting and certainly nothing about “sport shooting” or sporting firearms. It was all about defeating Government. Read or download your copy below.

The framers of the Constitution were well acquainted with the historical facts where nation after nation, kingdoms, countries, serfdoms and any government which had a standing army always evolved to where the army was used by the ruling factions to subdue the citizenry and subjugate them into poverty. The Federalists wanted a strong central government but were deftly afraid of the power of a standing military, but with the threat of war from France, Britain or Spain the newly fermented America could ill afford not to have the protection of a well-oiled military.

James Madison
James Madison

Historically, European nations and kingdoms required all its citizens to fight for the survival of that nation… if physically able. Additionally, each combatant was required to furnish their own tools of warfare from spears, lances, bows and arrows, horses to the latest musket, perhaps a cannon or if need be, even a bucket of rocks; Whatever they could muster for the defense of the nation. The framers were aware of this practice and Madison incorporated this into his ideas for the drafting of the Second Amendment.

Madison explains in his opulent communicative style the present need for a standing army. However, he offers the construct of allowing every citizen who are not subjects of the contemporary standing military, the God-given right of owning a weapon equal to those owned by the contemporary military so that the future endeavors of the ruling elite could not lead to tyranny by way of the military. Madison writes :

“Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.”

Simply put, Madison explains that an armed citizenry could easily outnumber and out-gun the military and protect the nation or state from the tyranny of a standing military, given equal armament.

The Constitution gives the states the right to form militias of non-military personnel should the need arise. It is this militia of which the Second Amendment speaks.

Article I, Section 8:

“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

Article 2, Section 2:

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States”

People often mistake these two sections as the controlling verbiage regarding states and their militias, but they are NOT speaking of the militias of the Second Amendment. The militias of the Second Amendment are defined in the Compact Clause of the Constitution, that is, specifically Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 :

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

Under the Compact Clause, states may not, without the consent of Congress, keep troops or armies during times of peace. They may not enter into alliances nor compacts with foreign states, nor engage in war unless invaded. States may, however, organize and arm a militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. (Article I, Section 8, enumerated powers of Congress.)

There has been an ongoing argument that the National Guard is “THE” state militia described in the Compact Clause, but that’s not true in fact and is not open for interpretation. “The federal government recognizes state defense forces, as per the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, under 32 U.S.C. § 109 which provides that state defense forces as a whole may not be called, ordered, or drafted into the armed forces of the United States, thus preserving their separation from the National Guard”. It is the Compact Clause and the Second Amendment which forms the foundation by which the citizenry are given the organization to fight the federal government in times of tyranny.

Madison’s explanation in Federalist 46 clearly forms the understanding that militias may be necessary to fight the federal government, so, to allow the federal government to have any authority whatsoever over the state militias would be without reason or sense. In the same perspective, the founding fathers never envisioned the hijacking of the Second Amendment with the Commerce Clause.

In 1934 Roosevelt and his New Deal Democrats thought up the scheme of using the Commerce Clause to circumvent the enumerated powers clause of the Constitution allowing the federal government to hijack the authority of the Second Amendment away from the states in the guise of the National Firearms Act. That is, they maintained that the sale and distribution of firearms across state borders allowed the federal government to regulate not only the sale of weapons but also any aspect of owning, building, shipping and transfer of firearms and even any social laws associated with firearms like the age at which a person may own or buy a weapon.

The first test case of this new-found authority of the National Firearms Act (NFA, of 1934) came in the form US v Miller. Miller was arrested for carrying a sawed-off shotgun across state lines in defiance of the new National Firearms Act. Miller was initially found guilty, but an appeals court threw out the conviction on the grounds that the NFA was unconstitutional. Chief Justice McReynolds of the Supreme Court upheld the conviction based on the supposition that a sawed-off shotgun was not a weapon of the contemporary military. McReynolds failed to elaborate on the Constitutionality of the NFA but went on to write that to circumvent one amendment with the use of another amendment was an abomination and was outside the spirit of the Constitution.

Incidentally the New Deal democrats used the same methodology to take over the authority of the states to supervise insurance and the manufacture of drugs. The Commerce Clause has been widely used to justify the imposition of federal rule in many ways. This federal authority over the Second Amendment was widely expanded by the Gun Control Act in 1968 by the Johnson Administration to where federal authorities coined the use of the term “Sporting firearms”…a term which has never been defined but rather described as a firearm having certain features and is used to limit the ownership of many types of firearms. The idea of “sporting firearms” was a deception invented by Johnson’s Democrats to refocus the idea that firearms were for a defense against tyranny and substituted the idea that guns were for sport. Sporting firearms look benign and harmless and are for fun and if they look menacing they should not be owned by the public. The GCA also started the registration of firearms but this was stopped by some new legislation termed the Firearms Owners and Protection Act of 1986. It was an act that seemed to be favorable to gun owners but was a smoke screen for the government to end ownership of fully automatic firearms although it was touted as the end of gun registration. Guns are still registered in unique ways that are not openly portrayed as actual registration.

The Second Amendment was never envisioned to be in the control of the federal government because the Second Amendment was meant to be a tool to control the federal government. Else, what would be the purpose?

Minute Man Statue Concord Massachusetts Militia Colonial BEar Arms
The Second Amendment was never envisioned to be in the control of the federal government because the Second Amendment was meant to be a tool to control the federal government. Else, what would be the purpose?

That brings us to District of Columbia vs. Heller. A case many regards as a Godsend to the proponents of the Second Amendment. Heller sued the District of Columbia so he could get a permit to carry his pistol in his home without it being encumbered with locks and so forth. An appeals court found in favor of Heller, so the District of Columbia appealed to the Supreme Court where the decision was again found in favor of Heller. The District of Columbia was forced by Heller into allowing the licensing of firearms in the home without all the hindrances.

Chief Justice Scalia wrote the decision for the majority:

Although it was positive in some respects, it should be viewed in contempt in others in that it fails to address the circumvention of the Second Amendment with the Commerce Clause. It did not remove the authority of the federal government. But that aspect was not argued as an element of the suit. Also, it refocuses the intent of the Second Amendment from the preservation of the state to personal protection.

Neither Madison nor Hamilton nor Adams ever mention any right of the individual to carry arms for any reason other than for the protection of the state or its people from the tyranny of the government and its standing military. Scalia breaks down each word of the Second Amendment and cites meaning and relativity to it in a modern-day sense…like the word “arms”… does it define firearms in the modern-day meaning and so forth? He also inspects each verb and noun for the application. He goes on to say that “to bear arms” is not limited to military use.

“There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.” (What? Battling the federal government is not a type of confrontation?)

…“We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.”(Miller says that the Second Amendment protects those weapons owned by the individual used by the contemporary military.)

… “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. (Ever hear of the Viet Cong?) But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right. “(Scalia is saying that to combat today’s military would require weapons not allowable in today’s society.) Also, Scalia seems to have forgotten the American Indians, the Viet Cong, the Middle East and factions in Africa where modern weapons were overcome with heart, soul and human courage.

…” In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”

…”That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

It is clear that the framers did not allow the Second Amendment to be a ward of the federal government as it was not enumerated. History, however, is replete with examples where the federal government ignored the word and spirit of the Constitution and took the states right to govern its citizenry as it saw fit. Even though Justice McReynolds noted that the arms allowed by the Second Amendment were those of the contemporary military, Scalia bends and shapes the Second Amendment to end its attachment with the protection of the state and molds it into solely for the protection of the individual leaving the concept of militias behind. Scalia noted in Heller that the arms of the Second Amendment could never equal the planes and the tanks of today’s modern army. Quietly, the framers biggest nightmare has come true, and tyranny by the federal government and its standing military has come in the form of the massive military industrial complex Eisenhower once warned us of.


So, the federal government has morphed the Second Amendment into a law of self-protection and away from a law of state preservation. Some people are wondering what side Scalia was really on by changing the focus of the Second Amendment. If it was more about self-protection and not state protection then, not too far in the distant future, Senator Chuck Schumer will be telling everyone that he agrees with Heller, then adding… but people don’t need the likes an AR-15 for “self-protection.” If Scalia had banged the drum toward preservation of the state the type of firearm could not be limited but now that it’s all about self-preservation and protection Scalia has opened the door to a new wave of restrictions and limitations.

John McNair

FEDERALIST No. 46 the Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared

  • 66 thoughts on “The Illusive Second Amendment

    1. Elliot’s DEBATES chronicles the debates in the Virginia House concerning ratification of the Constitution of 1787 . Patrick Henry spoke at length about the flaws. He said things about the Power a President would have, from memory, he said “the President will be saluted a King, your militia will desert you and fight against you. What will then become of you and your rights?”
      The result was the Bill of Rights.

            1. Wild Bill,
              I should hope so. Thank you. I’ve been doing this almost 60 years. As I recall my first letter to the editor was published by the Chicago Tribune when I was about 12.
              Nobody seems to understand either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights very well.

              Maybe some people, such as yourself, will see an insight.

              What part of te world do you call home?

    2. Good old Stallwell from california opened his big, stupid mouth again and stuck his foot in it. He argued with someone that there will be no civil war because the government can just nuke them. The government is going to nuke it’s own citizens, that is akin to Syria bombing it’s citizens with nerve gas. Maybe this is what the democrats are thinking to protect themselves from our guns if TSHTF.

      1. except that the LEGITIMATE government of Syria never did use nerve gas on its people, or on any others.

        The first such event, perhaps two or three years ago, was PROVEN to have been an incompetent member of the imported rebel force that was trying to take down the legitimate government. He was unfamiliar with the device, and set it off unintentionially. I thought it was bogus from the git go because all the lame stream press instantly blamed the Syrian government. No time to even figure out who dunnit or why. Sort of like the calls for banning AR type rifles when the punk somali immigrant in Ohio pulled the fire alarm at the college, then drove round the block in his beater car and ran into the crowds dutifully “assembling” on the sidewalk on the corner, just as they’d been told to do…. then took out a big knife and tried to finish his self-assumed tack of killing a bunch of them. Funny thing, that.. he never even HAD a firearm of any sort, but the call to ban “assault rifles’ came within minutes of first reports.

        No, the ONLY ones who have deployed nerve gas in Syria these past ten or so years have been US trained subversives operating in Syria for the express purpose of bringing down the lawful and popular government of Syria.

        But IF our own gummit ever did dump a nuke on WE THE PEOPLE the survivors would see to it those responsible were dealt with appropriately. And mu guess is that will NOT be kindly dealt with.

        And I rather think you are correct in your last bit.. WHY else would the dirty dems want you and I and all the other PATRIOTS disarmed? They KNOW tht as long as we are armed and skillled, they cannot control or overcome us. Not all think this way.. but a big enough portion of them do, and that thought is scary.

        Treason is the ONLY crime named and described in the Constitution. Been a long time since anyone stood to charges on that crime. But I see plenty perpetrating that one on the rest of us.

          1. I cannot remember a source to cite, that was three or so years ago, the first time Syrian government were accused of gassing their own. I DO recall, however, that some international body that “investigates’ such things deployed, examined the remains of the device and trces of the gas, and medical reports of those harmed…. determined it was NOT of the same stocks the Syran government then had in store, but from some other source, which I cannot recall either. Seems likely the source may have been British or Russian news…. it cited names and sources. I later saw non-mainstream reports from here with a few more details added.

            The philisophical quesion yet hangs in the air: WHY would the legitimate government of Syria deploy one only device of this sort AGAINST HER OWN PEOPLE who are FOR that government, and fighting to preserve it? It was a gathering of civilians that were attacked. Further, since the deplyment of the device was not intentional (at that time and place, at any rate) WHY was it deployed well away from the main body of the gathering, where it did little harm, when if it were a deliberate attack lobbing it into the midst of the press would have been far more effective?

            Further, WHY were our government at that time (not to mention currently) so intent upon deposing Syria’s legitimately sitting government in the first place? Seems we had quite the run going on right about then.. Egypt, Turkey, Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Crimea, probably a handful I can’t recall just now….. and we (as in, the former kinyun excuse of a “president”) tried to take out the legitimate government of Belize right about the time the kinyun swore his false oath. WHY?

    3. What a great and non hysterical discussion concerning the theory of the intent and purpose of the Second Amendment. I say non hysterical as anti gun proponents would not comprehend the founders intent. Regardless of how much we have evolved technologicaly, the underlying reason, keeping the elitists or those with tyrannical ambitions in check. Well done.

      1. What if the words “a free state” utilize the word state as an adverb. State or condition. Substitute the word condition and it makes a whole lot more sense, conceptually. I know, I’m crazy, but I think it was why it was worded thus.

      2. What if the words “a free state” utilize the word state as an adverb. State or condition. Substitute the word condition and it makes a whole lot more sense, conceptually. I know, I’m crazy, but I think it was why it was worded thus.

        1. My understanding has long been that the word “state” meant simply “civil society”, and certainly did NOT mean what the word means today, the State of Nevada, or whatever, as a political entity. Thus the people of the town of Acton were resposnibiel for the security of the “state”, or socio=political entity, known as Acton, and thus the residents of that town made ALL their decisions, preparations, etc, bearing their own burden for “the security of a free Acton”, formed the militia, drilled, maade themselves “regular”, a well-oiled group that could, and as history demonstrates, did, see to their own security and liberty.

          Your concept lf “state” as in “condition”, estate, etc, is a good concept…. far better than the typical business of “state” meaning “government’. EE tend to forget that “government” also meant “people” in those times.

        2. The Framers tried to use the same word to mean the same thing wherever and when ever used. Governments have powers granted by the people. The people are individuals who may act in concert or individually.
          People have rights. Governments have powers. It is that simple.
          The preamble says government promotes the general welfare. FDR changed the definition of welfare and that has injured and destroyed the family, put the nation into debt and just because the definition of one word was changed.


      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.
      Who has the right to keep and bear Arms?
      The Militia or the people?


      A well-balanced Breakfast being necessary to the start of a Healthy Day, the right

      of the people to keep and eat Food shall not be infringed.”

      Who has a right to keep and eat Food?

      The Breakfast or the people?

    5. The United States Constitution is the greatest document ever written. It has been tested under fire from both the left and right. It still protects “We the People” but as history points out it’s bein erroded from within.
      Politicians who swore under oath when they take office to protect, defend and enforce the Constitution then lie as they attempt to destroy it are never held accountable.
      There are no loop holes in this document, it’s not outdated and those elected with plans to destroy it must be removed.

      1. Unlike the Bible, every word in the Constitution and Bill of Rights is documented and the intent and meaning was explained.
        Except for two extra commas in the Second Amendment, the words have not changed. But the English language evolves and some try to apply new meanings to original intent.
        As ratified the Second Amendment had one comma and two clauses. The right itself is contained in the second clause, the reason in the first.
        “A well regulated militia being necessary to thew security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’
        A well regulated militia being necessary to thew security of a free state? “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’
        With three commas there is an attempt to read the words in different groups/
        A well regulated militia, being necessary to thew security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Which can be read “a well regulated militia shall not be infringed.” All the rest becomes garbage. This is what the Kansas Supreme Court did in 1905. They started with a desired conclusion and reached it.
        IX and X Amendments incorporate rights of self-defense, which is why the Second Amendment is only 26 words and not hundreds.
        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. IX Amendment
        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. IX Amendment

        Notice rights vs. powers.

    6. I wonder what implication this bit of history might have to the argument. As a reaction to the Nazi conquests in Europe, Congress passed the Property Requisition Act of 1941 authorizing the President to requisition certain property for defense, but prohibiting any construction of the act to “require the registration of any firearms possessed by any individual for his personal protection or sport” or “to impair or infringe in any manner the right of any individual to keep and bear arms.”
      As originally proposed in the Senate, the bill in question—S.1579— gave the president wide powers to authorize the requisition of machinery and other property of value for the national defense on payment of just compensation. The House Committee on Military Affairs added the following qualifications to the bill:
      “That nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the requisition or require the registration of any firearms possessed by any individual for his personal protection or sport (and the possession of which is not prohibited nor the registration thereof required); nor shall this Act in any manner impair or infringe the right of any individual to keep and bear arms.”
      The Committee Report included this explanation about the reason for adding this provision:
      “It is not contemplated or even inferred that the President, or any executive board, agency, or officer, would trespass upon the right of the people in this respect. There appears to be no occasion for the requisition of firearms owned and maintained by the people for sport and recreation, nor is there any desire or intention on the part of the Congress or the President to impair or infringe the right of the people under section 2 [sic] of the Constitution of the United States, which reads, in part as follows: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” However, in view of the fact that certain totalitarian and dictatorial nations are now engaged in the willful and wholesale destruction of personal rights and liberties, our committee deem it appropriate for the Congress to expressly state that the proposed legislation shall not be construed to impair or infringe the constitutional right of the people to bear arms. In so doing, it will be manifest that, although the Congress deems it expedient to grant certain extraordinary powers to the Executive in furtherance of the common defense during critical times, there is no disposition on the part of this Government to depart from the concepts and principles of personal rights and liberties expressed in our Constitution.”
      Further analysis on this legislation and more recent developments can be found at:

    7. The first 10 amendments were added to the Constitution as a block because it would not have been passed without them.

      The often overlooked phrase “well regulated” means that the Founders intended militias to be under the control of state governments. They would not have approved self-declared private militias.

      Today, even if a state formed its own militia (ignoring that many of them are broke), no way could it stand up to the Department of Defense.

      1. Imaginative and wrong. Well regulated means properly and efficiently functioning, not “controlled.” Regulation of a motor is done to make it work well. Regulation by government is done quite often to keep things from working well. Regulation of militias is meant to say that they are well organized, well trained, and well supplied, capable for the role of defending against tyranny, and not that they are restricted to the will and whim of government. You have fallen for a corrupt evolution of meaning that has been attached to an originally noble word. A militia controlled by government (your proposed meaning of “well-regulated”) cannot fight against tyranny from that same government, you might notice.

        1. Yes, “well regulated” was defined by the first Militia Act. The Caliber, bore or gauge of muskets, the quantity of ammunition and other details such as knives and blankets were defined.
          The United States unlike European nations has a public park or “green” in almost every town. In Europe parks are of a different character. The reason is the militia was expected to muster monthly “on the green” for inspection of their arms, munitions and equipment.
          The Militia Act has been updated many times to reflect new technology.
          From 1775 to 1905 the USA military manpower was in the State Militias. The Regular Army was small and was expected to train and integrate with State Militia in time of War. The Spanish – American War showed the limitation because the State Militias could not be deployed outside the United States. The Army and Navy/Marine Corps had to fight where ever needed. The war was fought with volunteers, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, who were cowboys and adventurers describe in the “books” but they were also militia.
          But the weakness of the militia system and growing international needs were the reason the Congress created the National Guard as a branch of the Army which was therefore not restricted from international service when called into federal service but was a state controlled force that could enforce laws and put down rebellion within any state.
          That goes against the Second Amendment purpose of control of tyranny if the state is the tyrant.
          It is all about checks and balances. The people, the unorganized militia, must have arms to be able to fulfill the purpose.

      2. @Steve, But those first ten amendment were not debated as a block. Each of those Rights were debated and refined prior to being enumerated into the Constitution. It is legally inconsequential if they were voted on as a block or not.
        You have “well regulated” all wrong, and the militia already exists and is identified. And you are part of it.
        As to militia standing up to the DoD, it does not have to. We have many contacts among our former comrades, and influence. If you are depending on the Army or Marines turning on the gun owning public, you are in for a big surprise.
        Just for a “for instance”, what city do you live in, Steve?

      3. “well regulated” means that the Founders intended militias to be under the control of state governments. They would not have approved self-declared private militias.

        Didjya even READ the full text of the article? It was clearly shown, on multiple levels, how and WHY local communiity militias WERE the express intent of that Second Article, and that the reason this was, and continues to be, the case is so that the LOCAL BOYS can stand against the tyranny of federal and/or state government when necessary.
        READ the history of that conflict back then, the one that began at Lexington Commons and moved on to Concord. That mission was for the British government to DISARM the CITIZENS that comprised the LOCAL militias. WHO was it stood outside Buckman’sTavern and faced off the two units of that hitheaded Irishman Jesse Adair? Sixty nine men, residents of Lexington, who had armed and “regulate” themselves into a fighting unit, joined by one more visiting from Acton, some ten miles to the north, who was part of his own militia of Acton. The rest fo that Acton militia marched off to Concord overnight, hearing of the raid by the Regulars, and were at the North Bridge when those two deadly volleys were touched off against Smith’s men, who had jusst fired upon THEM.

        You may be shocked to learn that, during the twelve hours following the time Billy Dawes and Paul Revere left Dr. Joseph Warren’s house in north Boston to go spread the alarm that “the Regulars are out” every town, village, large farm crossroads within fifty miles had mustered their “private” local militia, and more than fourteen THOUSAND armed and “regulated” men took the field to stand against those British enslavers. It took them near ten years to finish the job, but finish they did… against the largest, best equipped, best funded, most deadly and feared military force on the planet. A bunch of rag tag “stupid famers with their squirrelguns” pounded that greatest military force in the world and pushed them off their soil. Yankee Doodle prevailed over God Save the Queen and All Hail Britannia.
        And THAT is precisely WHY that Second Article was written exactly the way it was… to preserve for posterity the guarantee that the common man, George, Harry, Charlie, Bob, would ALWAYS have the means to stand against tyranny.. of nationial or state government, invading foreigners, highwaymen and robbers, gangs and mafia and cartels…. all WITHOUT dependence upon govenrment, and free from all government control. THAT is the heart of that pesky Second.

      4. Article 1, Section 8 Militia clause granted power to Congress over the arming and deployment of the militia.
        Patrick Henry and others objected because a militia armed by the government is not a deterrent to a tyrant in the government.
        The Second Amendment was written so the people were in charge of arming themselves, “the right to keep and bear arms” so that an unorganized militia, such as The Minutemen , the people of Montana against the sheriff Plummer, or the post WWII vets who made their votes count in the Battle of Athens.
        Local World War II veterans and other citizens. The Battle of Athens (sometimes called the McMinn County War) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946.
        Battle of Athens (1946) – Wikipedia

        In 1939 SCOTUS stated that military privately owned arms were what the knew were protected by the core of the Second Amendment. [MILLER]

    8. The founding fathers had no clue of the scope of weapons we have available today. Your in-house arsenal isn’t going to do jack shit against a government that can simply drop a drone-held bomb on you and be done with it. And be honest, the average gun owner can’t hit the broadside of a barn, but they think they can ward off the military who train daily for war and can cap a target more than 100 yards away? Sure. Such fantasy.

      1. They don’t stress marksmanship in the military of today, they do stress lots of bullets quickly, and indirect fires and supressive fires and bigger and badder, but they don’t stress marksmanship. Cap a target? Yeah, that sounds military.

      2. How do you know that the average gun owner can’t hit the broadside of a barn? Have you researched a representative sample of the 100 million gun owners in the US? Or is this just a version of Everytown’s claim that there’s no evidence of good guys with guns stopping a criminal’s violent attack?

      3. You sir are an uninformed jackass. I can guarantee you that most if not almost all gun owners shoot better than the military. And if armed citizens can’t compete with our military, how did we get our asses handed to us in Vietnam? How about Iraq? If the 42 percent of Americans who owned guns stood up in revolution against the government, they too would win. And also do you think that military members are going to fight their own people? Highly doubtful.

      4. And you would be VERY mistaken if you think I will take your “honestly” meme and swallow it.

        I have personally been involved with the training in skill at arms of a few thousand individuals. I have watched TEN year olds on the range, fully able to “cap a target” at a hundred yards.. with a .22 rifle and iron sights. One of those ten year olds, now a noung man of 18, has owned his own M1 Garand and can put all eight rounds in a two inch circle at 400 yards in less than a minute. Increase the time allotted the circle shrinks to one inch.

        I also know a fair number of normal folks, family people, business people, church going people, retired people, young people, who can, and regularly do, put five rounds into a six inch circle at 800 to1000 yards, and do it at will. I’ve seen military and Special Forces show up at our open to the public training events and go away better marksmen than they arrived.

        Ues, that drone bomb IS something to contend against. Nut bear in mind, that drone has quite a “support factor” a hand carried “militia weapon” does not (and “miilitia weapon” knows almost no restriction… in capable hands, a Ruger 10/.22 is a VERY effective “militia weapon”. My first choice? Of COURSE not don;t be a dummie. But given my ONLY choice I’ll take it and go see what I can do with it. I’d rather see a horde of 10/.22 armed patriots next to me than a disarmed hopeless mass of people trudging off to the cattle cars to be tramsported to the FEMA camps for “processing”. You forget about the effectiveness of “assymetrical warfare”, one of the key tactical patterns that led to the victory over the occupying British force in North America in 1787 or whenever it was they loaeded up at Yorktown and sailed back to Merrie Auld, their hats in their hands, and shame on their faces.

      5. Fbomber is so wrong. His assertions are based on presuming the minds of the founding fathers, what is in my house, the skill level of gun owners, what is average, and what “the military” (six different services) train on daily. Such a fantasy.

    9. I see an interesting parallel here between what we, the hundred million or so gun owners in this country, and I, the single gun owner are forced to deal with when confronted by a life-threatening opponent. When I was in the process of obtaining my concealed carry permit, I had to go through training on the moral and legal ramifications of carrying a concealed deadly weapon. I was told bluntly that hesitation would get me killed. I was told that before I ever decided to strap on the pistol, I had to decide if I was really, really willing to use it. If I was not willing to draw the weapon, point it at another human being who was threatening my life and, if necessary, discharge that weapon at the threat, then I must leave the weapon at home in the safe. Hesitation is deadly. That awkward feeling of “should I really do this?” or “What do I do now?” will get me killed. I need to know, and I need to act. It is time. Now.

      The parallel I see is the group of a hundred million gun owners as a whole. We are being threatened by a deadly enemy. That enemy is here, it is visible, and is currently acting (not just threatening, but already in the process of taking action) to do us harm. What I see is a huge group of people paralyzed by indecision. “Should we really do this?” and “What should we do now?” and “Is this right?” Our group hesitation will get us “killed”. Our rights, our freedom will be peeled away bit by bit while we stand around and fret about what is “proper” to do. We are worried about how we will be seen, what “they” will say about us, whether it will affect our jobs, etc. Compare this to watching our wife or daughter being methodically raped before our eyes and standing there worrying about whether or not now is the time to take action! Yes. It is now. Now or never.

      Just something to think about.

    10. Read the second amendment as the rule of law. That the people can be armed like the militia, for the militia is still a force under the control of government and government cannot be trusted.

    11. Regarding this article’s “quote” from Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution:
      “States may, however, organize and arm a militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
      All three Clauses of Article 1, Section 10 begin with “No State shall”. None begin with “States may, however” or refer to the subject under discussion.
      The documentation the “quote” links to is a U.S. State Dept. site that presents no such language.
      This article has a serious documentation problem here. It is also confused regarding what the two sides in Heller were arguing about.
      Justice Scalia did not address the purpose of the Second Amendment’s militia clause except to indicate it was consistent with the people’s right to keep and bear arms clause.
      Justice Stevens’ Heller dissent, on the other hand, argued that the Second Amendment protects state militia institutions exclusively, and has nothing to do with rights of individuals unless they are members of such an institution. IOW, there is no individual right whatever.

      1. What current judges argue have no bearing unless supported by the documented intent of those writing and ratifying the Constitution and its amendments.

        “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

        Note that the phrase is modified with “IN TIME OF PEACE.” So, if the state can’t have troops in TIME OF PEACE, where would they get them if they are attacked, AND, as the Founders believed, the Federal Government would NOT have a standing army?!?!?!

        We can also talk about the term troops. Troops are the tool of governments, they do NOT include militia. This takes us one step further in the problems with modern interpretations of the 2nd amendment. Even supporters of the full meaning often don’t recognize that the right to bear arms against a tyrannical govt. extends down to state, and local govts. including a tyrannical local sheriff.

        The states would be able to call on their MILITIAS!!! Those militias would be individuals banding together, NOT under the direct control of the state or fed..They may be ASSISTED for organizing, training, money, equipment etc.

      2. David E. Young is an expert on the Second Amendment. The Issue in HELLER was limited to te Washington, DC handgun ban. The SCOTUS has always limited its opinions to the smallest part needed to answer the question.
        If I recall correctly the Cruikshank case stated that the right to keep and bear arms was not created by the Second Amendment and the right did not depend on the amendment.
        Previously posted, re-posted for clarity…
        Posted on Ammoland
        Jim Macklin says:
        November 9, 2018 at 9:23 AM
        Why do the people need an AR 15 or an M1 Garand or M1A. The answer is not self-defense, varmint control or even defending your dwelling. The answer is more profound which is why government schools only teach parts of history and don’t link events to causes.
        December 16, 1773 the tax protest known as the Boston Tea Party happened.
        The British Army occupied Boston and on April 19, 1775 the British marched on Concord and Lexington to confiscate arms, such as gun powder, lead, flints, and muskets in storage.
        The independent, unchartered and not government approved militia they called Minutemen rallied to stop the British. The Minutemen had pledged to drop what they were doing on a minutes notice. The Revolutionary War was on.
        It took another year for the colonists to write the Declaration of Independence. If you haven’t read it this month, now is a good time.
        About a dozen years later the Congress wrote the United States Constitution and submitted it to the states for ratification.
        The Militia was included in Article One, Section Eight. Congress had the power to organize the militia, to supply arms and use the militia.
        Patrick Henry objected because a militia in control of a future tyrant was not protection of freedom.
        A Bill of Rights was demanded and written. Ratified as the Second Amendment we all “know” the words “shall not be infringed.” But few connect the reasons.
        The Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep arms in so many places that confiscation would be difficult. The Second Amendment guarantees thew right to bear arms as a deterrent to tyrants.
        Congress wrote the Militia Act to describe what kind of military arm was required and who was required to keep that kind of arm.
        In 1939 the SCOTUS stated that all they knew about the Second Amendment was that the people were required to keep privately owned military arms and to appear bearing those arms when summoned. The SCOTUS then remanded the MILLER case because they had no evidence to rule upon.
        So we the people need an AR because that is what Patrick Henry wanted and the SCOTUS agreed.
        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state? The right of the people to keepm and bear arms shall not be infringed.

        The People think the Constitution protects their Rights.
        Government sees the Constitution as an Obstacle to be Overcome.

        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state ? [well yes, therefore]
        “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    12. For hundreds of years there has never been any question about the second amendment, now all the sudden we are all stupid ..
      The Marxist movement growing in government will have you believe what has been part of this wonderful free country is false.. They will lie, cheat and steal to push socialist views on us..
      They are brainwashing school children, using bigotry to divide us..
      We as citizens must stick together.. We can’t allow radical leftists to use these transparent tactics to further their agenda..
      Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow or Plaid.. Male, Female or anyone in between.. We are all mixed race and must stick together.. Anyone who who screams superiority or spouts bigotry is part of the problem.. Together we are strong and will win.. Divided- We all loose.. STAND TOGETHER..STAND STRONG..

    13. My only disagreement would be the author’s claim of state militias instead of militias of the several states. In other words, the Constitution bans states from keeping ships of war or troops in times of peace without the consent of Congress unless actually invaded or such imminent danger thereof to cause no further delay. Thus, the second amendment is clearly the people’s right, not the states or the Federal government. Neither can regulate what type of arms we can keep and bear.

    14. The Bill of rights is simply written. All the academic stuff while interesting is just not really not necessary–just read the words. We are constantly defending the Second Amendment from the enemy politicos–when comes the time IT begins to actively defend us ?

    15. A more recent clarification of the Second Amendment may be found in J. Neil Schulman’s article “The Unabridged Second Amendment”, wherein the author solicits the assistance of a renowned authority (Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of American Usage and Style: The Consensus) on the English language and the origin and usage of words through time.

    16. The purpose of the Second Amendment is clearly stated in the preamble to the Bill of Rights where it says “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a weapon of war, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or prevent a “misconstruction or abuse, of the government’s powers” – so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who – for whatever reason – don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. History has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising.

    17. An Excellent explication of the historical and philosophical origins of the Second Ammendment, I believe the author’s assessment of Senator Schumer is too generous. He does not need a logical, if limited means to attack our rights but will, as with so many other issues, invent ‘facts’, events and where possible, create ‘experts’ an data to suit his preferred outcome. Without either shame or scruple, he is symptomatic of the corruption of our institutions and the futility of expecting change. It is time to stand up and answer the ‘any means necessary ‘ mob with by all means available. The only good news is that we still possess the means.

    18. Well said! Scalia did go off in the wrong direction.
      But now, how do we go about fixing years of misinformation and misdirection?
      Sad how this country is changing from unique-in-history to just another futile social experiment.

      1. @Mart3 You ask, “… how do we go about fixing years of misinformation and misdirection?” We get Trump to appoint Don Willett of Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to the next S. Ct vacancy.

    19. Ignorant anti-gunners always go for the hunting angle. If they would take the time to read the 2A they might discover that its not about hunting, or self defense for that matter. The MSM propagates that myth, and honestly gun owners are guilty of using hunting as a reason for ownership as is it easier to swallow. Better to expose the lies that the MSM spreads. Trump may have been right when he declared the ‘fake news’ as the enemy of the people. Propaganda has been used for centuries to sway public perception. Look what Hitler was able to do. His propaganda machine was able to convince the German population that Jews, slavs, gypsies, etc. were all subhuman and should be murdered.

    20. Outstanding. Not only should one go about mounting a mounted copy of Federalist 46 on their wall, but print out this entire article including the hyper links, and mount this beneath the copy of Federalist 46. Excellent work.

    21. No you are wrong, the people have a right to protection from our own goverment,to protect from invaders,our homes,our family’s our land’s and the new one,,,socialism

    22. To fully understand the purpose of the 2nd amendment, you must go back further to John Locke’s social contract theory in the Second Treatise of Government. It was John Locke that influenced the creation of the United States under Social Contract, which is to remove the Government’s power if it were to violate the Natural Rights of the individual. The 2nd amendment is based on the Natural and unalienable Right to defend Life, Liberty, and Property by any ethical means to include the use of arms.

    23. The 10 Amendments must be understood in their context. They are not incidentals or suggestions controlled and manipulated by governmental sanctions. They are not peripheral ideals but fundamental inalienable self-evident Truths inherent within each individual of We the People.

      They are the Bill or supreme fundamental law of human rights characteristic to the Law of Nature and Nature’s God and not designed by political agendas and Supreme Court decisions.

      The fundamental Truths of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, are only realized and experienced as sovereign responsible and accountable individuals who are independent of governmental sanctions.

      The language of the Bill of Rights is distinct and signifies the separation between the government’s role to preserve and protect individual freedom and the individual’s intrinsic right to self-govern.

      The language is specific and clear using emphatic terms such as “no congress shall, shall not be infringed, and all the shall nots and shall” make the distinctions defining the governments limitations on the independent people of an independent United States.

      The self-evident Truths are not politically governed regulations and legislation. They are self evident in our biology and psychological design. No government entity has jurisdiction over the inherent fundamentals of speech, religion, self preservation, property and the right to exercise such freedoms as long as those individual rights afford equality of Liberty to other free Americans.

      Governmental politics are designed in the Constitution to support, preserve and perpetuate Life and Liberty, not weaken them. Governmental jurisdiction cannot infringe upon law abiding American citizens, but rather exercise its power to sanction and prosecute those who refuse the individual liabilities which accompany freedom and justice for all.

      It is antithetical for Jefferson, Madison and Adams, etc. to use and support the emphatic language in the Bill of Rights, thus limiting government intrusion of a free people, and then concede to giving more power to the government if the government so desired and decided based upon the political party’s agenda.

      The Law of Nature establishes and designates the boundaries of political law and legislation and not visa versa. The Law of Nature gives each individual the right to breathe, but not the right to keep others from breathing.

      The Law of Nature affords the right to speak and practice religious preference, but not the right to impose upon and destroy an opposing religion, unless the opposition determines to threaten and war against the freedom of religious expression.

      The Law of Nature exacts self preservation and protection of life and property, but does not permit the death and destruction of others based upon hate and disagreement of another’s personal expression or ownership.

      The Law of Nature governs a free people while political Law is imposed upon the lawless.

    24. Am absolutely excellent rendition and analysis of the Second Amendment!
      I often refer people on both sides of the gun argument to the Federalist Papers and the writings of Thomas Jefferson.
      Letter #46 clearly establishes the founders intentions in crafting the Second Amendment as a means to defending the interests of the people against a rogue government.
      It also equally points out as clear violations of the Constitution any laws, limitations, or restrictions placed upon the ownership of weapons.
      A citizen must be allowed to possess weapons that not only equal but surpass the capability of any the military establishment possesses.
      The one and only exception is weapons of mass destruction.
      The founding fathers had no insight or sense for the development and use of weapons designed to kill tens of thousands of people with a single use.
      This would automatically restrict an individual from owning nuclear devices, as well as germ and chemical warfare devices and other such weapons as would tend to give an individual or small group the power to rule by fear.
      Any Individual absolutely has the authority under the correctly interpreted Second Amendment to possess and transport fully automatic weapons, hand grenades, grenade launchers, and any other weapon commonly used by the military that a single person can possess and carry on their person. Including RPGs, bazookas, and other shoulder fired weapons systems. But equally restricts individuals from owning large caliber cannons or vehicle mounted weapons that cannot be carried by a single person.
      I have argued this for years.
      We must specifically be allowed to possess weapons that give pause to local law enforcement and act as a deterrent to local police agencies from overstepping their authority and/or purpose. Local law enforcement has become increasingly militarized in recent years and in fact represents a far more immediate and prescient threat to freedom and free persons than the US military.

      1. Art, I also believe governments should not have nor use biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. And the governments that possess and use them do so for the reasons you mentioned, fear and control. The issues with private ownership comes down to the same issues the government has with safe storage and use of these arms.

        As far as arms that one individual can’t reasonably “bear” on one’s own person, even at the time the Bill of Rights was passed, individuals were allowed to and did own cannons and other “large” arms. Also, militia groups were provided “large” arms by individuals and their communities.

        Safe ownership and storage are more of an issue today, since most people do not own vast tracts of land needed for larger equipment. Then there are all the government rules and regulations, etc., in addition to the needed property, and probably zoning, for large arms. Also, one needs to be quite wealthy to afford to purchase and maintain large arms, such as a tank, which some people do legally own.

    25. Good luck controlling today’s military with your hunting rifle.

      Every time the right wing votes for a military expansion I shake my head thinking “they are voting for their own subjugation”.

    26. Bottom line is that Mason wrote (mostly) the Bill of Rights with the encouragement of many other founders to do just one thing; that thing was to have these rights to protect citizens of the new republic from their own and foreign governments! The Democrats and liberals, socialists and communists (pretty much the same at the top) are basically a foreign government–that that is why they MUST get rid of that Second Amendment “problem.”

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