Exploring the Happy Society.
“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.” US const, amend 2.Note that it DOES NOT say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms in a Well-Regulated Militia.” Rather, it recognizes that every citizen of a State IS, de facto, a member of the militia. I am saddened that an academic would resort to misquoting—rewriting--the 2d Amendment to make a partisan political point on a sad day for the Nation. You also omit the qualification that the militia is every citizen of every State or Commonwealth within age limits set by the Legislature. The Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia (all the states sharing part of the border with Kentucky) provide for a state militia (by various names)which are separate from the National Guard. In your own Commonwealth of Kentucky, “The militia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall consist of all able-bodied male residents of the State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such persons as may be exempted by the laws of the State or of the United States.” Kentucky const., Part II, §219. Illinois and Indiana also provide for the militia in their constitutions (Illinois: Art XII, §1, “all able-bodied persons residing in the State except those exempted by law.” Indiana: Art 1, §32. “The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State…” and Art 12, § 1. “all persons over the age of seventeen (17) years, except those persons who may be exempted...”)Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia,Tennessee, and Missouri have established their militias by statute. (Ohio: OC 5923.01 “all citizens of the state who are not permanently handicapped, … who are more than seventeen years, and not more than sixty-seven years, of age." West Virginia: WVC §15-1-1.(a) “The term "military forces of the state" shall mean the organized militia, the state retired list, the honorary militia and the state guard, and all other components of the militia of the state which may hereafter be organized.” Virginia: Virginia Code § 44-1 "The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of this Commonwealth and all other able-bodied persons resident in this Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least sixteen years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than fifty-five years of age. The militia shall be divided into four classes, the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, the naval militia, and the unorganized militia." Tennessee: TCA 58-1-301. “ the governor is authorized to have enrollment made of all persons of this state subject to military duty or draft into the military service, …, at such time as the necessity seems imminent,..." Missouri: MoRevStat Ch 41 41.050. “The militia of the state shall include all able-bodied citizens and all other able-bodied residents,” and Ch 41.070 (3) “The unorganized militia shall consist of all persons liable to serve in the militia but not commissioned or enlisted in the organized militia.”)I recognize that many people mistakenly confuse the National Guard, which can be removed from the control of the governors of the several States by a simple order from the President, and the militia, as generally defined as all citizens of the State of a prescribed age. While the National Guard is a part of the State militia, it is not the sole militia. The second amendment was designed to ensure that the militia would never be a toothless tiger in the event that the States need to defend themselves and the rights of their citizens.
I want the "well-regulated" part.
I like the "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." part. I am partial to complete sentences, rather than dependent clauses which would be incomplete sentences if standing alone. There can be no militia if the people can be disarmed by the government. As a UPenn professor wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer's ten-part series honoring the 200th anniversary of the Bill of Rights (and I am quoting this from memory, but I know the third sentence is spot on): "We have all seen the bumper sticker that says 'If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.' The Framers would have written it differently. They would have said, 'If guns are outlawed, only government will have guns,' and that scared the daylights out of them." Not bad for an Ivy League prof. It sure surprised me.
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