From Ex-Soldier commenting on Claude Cartaginese’s One Scared Elderly Man is About to Make the Country Safer:
“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.”
Speaking as a veteran (20 years) social studies teacher in a public high school and as a former social studies Teacher of the Year (for my school), AND as a former US Army Officer, let me address this one:
“Well REGULATED MILITIA” A lot of folks seem to think this is referring to some sort of national guard as we understand that organization today. Yet that organization wasn’t even created until right before our involvement in WWI. In the days pertaining to the American Revolution, MILITIA meant ALL the people, bearing their own weapons. This fact is currently reflected in the state constitutions of several states. For example my home state of Florida has the organized militia and the UNORGANIZED militia ready for call up in the Constitution. This was actually used unofficially after Hurricane Andrew when it was a common sight to see citizens patrolling their own neighborhoods with slung AR15s or AK47s to deter looting and often chatting with local police — the cops took no action. WELL REGULATED doesn’t refer to a legal term of art, it is concerned with military logistics: Similar arms and ammunition.
“KEEP AND BEAR” equals OWN AND CARRY.
“ARMS” is a phrase that is quite interesting and it is no accident that it is used by the Founding Fathers. Do you think that the FIRST rifles were flintlock rifles or the sort used in the American Revolution? In face firearms technology had been evolving for over 300 years by that point. It would evolve again during the course of the war as the first rifled barrels started showing up, offering vastly increased range and accuracy. A new kind of soldier appeared with this new wrinkle: SNIPERS. That kind of marksman still makes his presence felt on today’s battlefields. This is why the UZI, the M4, the M60 and SAW and other types of military firearms fall under the 2nd Amendment. If you refer to the writings of the Founding Fathers, even in the Federalist Papers (#46) you will see clearly that if the infantry has it, the PEOPLE must have it too but in greater numbers! Does this include things like artillery or armed aircraft? Probably not under the 2nd Amendment. It seems clear that the weapons probably must be limited to those that can be handled by a single man rather than those requiring a team like a mortar. This why I am certain the 2nd covers my 1911A1 45 pistol today AND my hand PHASER tomorrow.
However, the artillery and other weapons of military might are covered under the Constitutional letters of Marque. Back in those days, this is what allowed the formation of the Privateers to prey upon British shipping. Just how do you think the private military companies (PMCs) like BLACKWATER get to operate helicopter gunships and much heavier weapons like vehicle mounted (electric) mini-guns? It’s all constitutional and I’m certain these so called PMCs all agree to not operate in regions or under employment conditions that are inimical to US interests. A Letter of Marque.
Where do you draw the line? I’m guessing nuclear weapons, nerve agent or biotoxins. But under one guise or another everything else is allowed. Using a letter of Marque, a company like BLACKWATER (or as they’re currently known in the military or merc community: THE KNIGHTS WHO SAY XE! If you remember Monty Python) could operate an aircraft carrier if they could afford one. Including all the aircraft and ordnance of said carrier.
“Ordinary citizens” shall not be debarred the use of any squad level military weapon under the 2nd Amendment. Some folks have mentioned the inherent instability of military explosives. I myself have cooked food using a small square of military C4 plastic explosive. Not unstable. AT ALL. What about so called “napalm?” Easily concocted using TIDE detergent and gasoline. The military uses the M110 fuel thickener, but it amounts to the same thing.
The real purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to keep our own government from gettin’ too big for their britches as seems to be the case, currently. No wonder the liberals are all exercised over the 2nd Amendment. They want to hang onto their power. Armed citizens are definitely a threat to tyranny.