“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.”
Why is it that conservatives only focus on the right to “keep and bear arms” portion of the Second Amendment but choose to ignore the “well regulated” part?
The Founding Fathers believed the United States would defend itself from within the civil populace, meaning all men capable of bearing arms would belong to local militias, keep and maintain their arms, ammo and accouterments and be ready to “bear” those arms in their nation’s defense at a moment’s notice – to be “minute men”. They never fore saw a huge standing military force being needed, because they couldn’t comprehend the world would change so much in 200 years, or that the United States would ever be the world’s police man.
Perhaps it’s time for Congress and the President to “well regulate” the “militia” of the United States by promoting laws requiring all persons of military age to “keep and bear arms” as specified by the government. But only those – as specified, and needed – to ensure we have a “well regulated militia”; or perhaps it’s time for the country’s populace to grow up and realize we have a standing Army, and the need of a “well regulated militia” is long past, and hence perhaps it’s time for it to be unlawful for the citizenry to “keep and bear” automatic or even semi-automatic weapons?
This isn’t the 18th or 19th century and the defensive needs of the nation when the Constitution was ratified are not the same. In 1787 the government lacked the fiscal wherewithal to provide for the “common defense” of the fledgling nation, and relied upon the male citizenry to bear the burden of providing arms, powder and shot, today that’s no longer the case, and in fact it hasn’t been the case since the Federal Government defeated the Confederacy in 1865.
For more than 150 years we’ve not depended on the “minute men” to rise up and fight our country’s battles as we once did.
Today’s “minute men” are the men and women of the National Guard and the Reserves and the government provides them with their weapons, and they’ve all sworn an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic”. They’re the “citizen soldiers” of today, and they’re not required to bear the burden of providing their own weapons and bullets. Truth is “We the People” no longer need to have the weapons to make war that our fore fathers did, and it’s about time we realize that. Are there reasons to have firearms? Yes, there are, but the arguments the individual citizen needs assault weapons, or automatic weapons is specious at best. Time to evolve as our nation has evolved, and please spare us the “original intent” argument, if that’s what you hang your case on then let’s rewrite the gun laws in this nation to require – and allow – each household to have one flintlock Brown Bess musket, bayonet and powder and shot for each adult male, but no more.