Congress should fulfill the Second Amendment
To the Editor:
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and yet another mass shooting in America I am trying to make sense of the Second Amendment. It states: “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.” It is difficult to disagree with those words if we study them and determine what they mean.
Still, three words beg for clarity: Militia, regulated and infringed.
By definition a militia is a military force that is raised from the civilian population to supplement a regular army in an emergency. Please don’t tell me that gun owners in America today are a form of militia. I own five firearms. Still, I have no connection to any organization that makes up a legal militia as referred to in the Second Amendment. I do not belong to the U.S. Navy Reserve or the National Guard. Who would call me to duty in an emergency?
How are firearms regulated at all today in the spirit of the Second Amendment? I contend they aren’t “well regulated.” I also contend that the United States Congress must act soon to develop a formal militia rather than continuing to allow individuals to believe they belong to a militia that doesn’t even exist.
How could a militia be well regulated?
• Register all firearms with the newly established militia.
• Ban new sales of assault weapons.
• Disable privately owned assault weapons or store them in a legal armory.
• Levy taxes on firearms (much like vehicles are now).
• Require gun owners to insure each firearm.
• Require all firearms sales to be recorded with the appropriate agency.
• Develop/enforce stringent background checks.
As we begin to fulfill the letter and spirit of the Second Amendment there may be other steps we decide to take. Clearly, this will address the term “infringed.” That definition is: to break off, break, impair, violate.
The Second Amendment is established law. It provides the right to bear arms. It also paves the way to establish a militia. And, it requires the militia to be “well regulated.”
Congress, do your job!
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Regulated in 1787 meant in good working order, well equipped. It did not mean controlled.
In SC, as per the state constitution, all able bodied men are a member of the state militia.
The Federal government has no enumerated power to control, restrict or confiscate firearms and all that power rests with the states or the people.
What you suggests would require a Constitutional Amendment, not Congressional action
Thank you, Mr. Waldrop. Well spoken. Very good point.
Dave Waldrop, have you ever heard the term 'Fudd'? By definition, its a gun-owner who supports traditional hunting guns but favors gun control for other guns such as handguns or tactical rifles. Seems to describe you, doesn't it?