Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The militia lives

Don Rose, of the Chicago Daily Observer, believes that the Democratic Party has "surrendered" its forcible citizen disarmament agenda (popularly, but inaccurately, referred to as "gun control"). I disagree, despite--as he points out--the fact that the 2004 party platform promised to " . . . protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms . . . ." Claiming "support" for the Second Amendment while simultaneously advocating all manner of infringements on that which shall not be infringed is obviously not a new trick.

That's not what I intend to discuss today, though. Nor do I plan to address his . . . interesting version of history . . .

Those 27 words—the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—probably caused more violent argument and political polarization through the years than any sentence since the Emancipation Proclamation.
. . . in which the Second Amendment was apparently adopted after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

What I do want to discuss (now that I've spent two paragraphs explaining what I don't plan to discuss) is this increasingly popular assertion:
. . . while a substantial majority of Americans, strongly encouraged by the National Rifle Association, took the other side, tossing out the initial qualifying phrase.

[ . . . ]

One might find it odd that the founders just tossed in a meaningless phrase relating to militias—but that’s not the battle I want to revive right here.
Stubborn adherents of the now officially discredited "collective rights" interpretation of the Second Amendment criticize the majority opinion in Heller for "tossing out" the militia clause, as if the need for militias is somehow incompatible with the need to guarantee that the citizenry cannot be disarmed by the government.

In truth, not only are the two needs compatible, they're inextricably linked. Freedom's last line of defense is an effective militia, and for the people to form such a militia, they must have effective fighting arms.
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
— George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on
Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788
I can find much to criticize in Heller, but one thing I will not claim is that the decision "tossed out" the militia clause of the Second Amendment.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know...It didn't toss Militia out, but it did not emphasis it enough, in my opinion.

I take the civic duty of Militia seriously and challenge the belief by many that it is obsolete or archaic.

On the topic of Heller...It is notable how little is discussed with regards to "shall not be infringed" which is a more important and emphatic phrase of the right that many seem to want to toss away.

45superman said...

100% agreed, Anon, and a big part of what I was referring to when I said "I can find much to criticize in Heller . . . "

Harry Schell said...

IIRC, the purpose of the "miltia" is to provide for a citizen-based force adequate to deal with predation by threats greater than an individual can be expected to handle. Because such a threat may arise from government and government is not the first line of defense of free citizens, government must not be able to control the militia or its arming.

Government cannot be the first line of defense of the individual if a people are to be free individuals. Otherwise, by omission or commission, people will be defenseless and subject to predation from any threat as government chooses to allow or fails in its "duty" to protect.

Harry Schell said...

Adding to the above, the militia is neither archaic or obsolete, even if rarely to citizens have to organize themselves into an armed force.

The people who were going to patrol Philadelphia's streets to hinder crime were unarmed and the initiative did not last. No surprise. In Los Angeles, "taggers" shoot people who tell them to stop painting their logos on other people's property.