The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This was written at a time when the muzzle loaded musket was the cutting edge of firearms technology, which prompts some gun control advocates to claim that American citizens should be allowed to own only musket type weapons. The other argument is that the militia has now become the National Guard, thus the average citizen has no need to own firearms at all. To understand why those arguments are invalid, we must analyze the wording of the Second Amendment, the functionality of the National Guard as opposed to a militia, and, finally, the modernization of the musket.
People as the Militia
By using English comprehension, we can determine why the Founding Fathers chose to add in a comment about the militia instead of just writing the second half about the people bearing arms. If we go by modern sentence structure, the Second Amendment seems to be worded in a choppy manner. It is not. The Second Amendment is two thoughts separated by a comma. Today, it would be a semi-colon or broken into two sentences. During the 1700’s, “well regulated” did not mean controlled as it would today. It would be used instead of “trained and equipped.” Let’s try rewording the Second Amendment in a format that is more conducive to today. “A trained and equipped militia is necessary to the security of a free state; the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Or perhaps, even “As a trained and equipped militia is necessary to the Security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” If worded in this manner, we can see that it was intended for people to be the militia in order to defend states from other governments.
So, if the people are the militia who will protect their state from other hostile governments, including the federal government, then what is the National Guard? In order for each state to insure that they will have a standing militia, it was deemed easiest to form a National Guard, which is a military unit under the control of the individual state. There is only one problem with that: the Federal Government can (and often does) take control of any and every state’s National Guard to supplement its own military. Note the name – it is not “Arizona State Guard” or “Rhode Island State Guard,” but rather “National Guard.” The militia is designed so that there is NO Federal control over them, thus having sole allegiance to the People of the State, which is in standing with the Second Amendment. This is why there are two militias today. The official militia known as the National Guard, and then, according to a Constitutional Framer, George Mason, the Independent Militia, which “…consists now of the whole people, except for a few public officers.” This keeps the federal government from being able to control the militia and use it to attack the very people it is designed to protect.
Knowing that the wording of the Second Amendment applies to all citizens and that the National Guard is not the militia as defined by the Bill of Rights, we can now look at how the AR15, AK-47, and every other firearm is not a weapon fit only to be used by the federal militaries and National Guards, but is in fact fit for “all those who would take up arms.”
In 1777, muskets were cutting edge and were had by all those who would fight. Those soon became muzzle loaded rifles, turned into rifles that fired metallic cartridges, and then repeaters that advanced up to the AR15. When we fought the British, which led to the expressed need for a militia, we were equipped with weapons comparable to their own. With that in mind, why would the militia, that has an expressed need, not have a need to be equipped with comparable weapons to that of its foreseeable enemies? If we fought with muskets against muskets and today’s enemies would fight with AR15s, how are AR15s not today’s musket, just as the computer is today’s quill and parchment?
The wording of the Second Amendment leaves the right of the People to be armed. The National Guard is not the People. The People are to be equipped with weapons comparable to the enemy in order to defeat them. Remind me how, then, that there is no expressed right by our Founding Fathers for the People of this nation to be armed with weapons more advanced than the musket. The Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution were not feeble minded doofs who could not imagine the advancement of firearms technology, nor were they men who wanted the Federal or State Governments to be able to take advantage of the people and deny them their natural rights. They were men who understood the fact that Americans had a natural right to live their lives and to defend themselves from a government who would seek to undermine their rights of liberty. The ONLY reason the Federal Government exists is because the Founding Fathers who subscribed to federalism wrote compelling letters, known as the Federalist Papers, in which they explain in great detail how the Constitution covers everything. This was not enough for the Anti-Federalists and thus the Bill of Rights was made. The Bill of rights is not designed to outline the power of the People, but to put expressed limits to the power held by the government, which is specifically declared in the 10th Amendment, which states “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.”
If gun control advocates cannot see that they have no legal backing and that their efforts undermine the very foundation of this nation, it is our duty to remind them. If we do not, then all of our rights will be infringed upon and we will no longer be Americans, but subjects of the American government. We are blessed to be American, but that blessing can be destroyed if we let it. Vote for candidates who support the true meaning of the Constitution and support the thought that we are born with inalienable rights that the government has no natural authority to take away.