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Are We All The Militia?
Allen Tesky, right, stands with members of the Lightfoot Militia during a gun rights rally on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The Light Foot Militia was present during the event to advocate the importance of individual firearms ownership. Credit: AP

Are We All The Militia?

The Second Amendment has been hotly contested during Obama's presidency. The analysis is very telling.

By Brent Elrod, JD, for TheBlaze

The Second Amendment stirs more vitriolic debate than any other amendment.

Twenty-seven words constantly battled over:

“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.”

But who is the militia and is there an individual right to own guns?

Democrats support heavy restrictions. Examples of this would be Sens. Charles Schumer , Diane Feinstein and Harry Reid. Everything from magazine restrictions to outright bans of commonly used firearms is pushed. Rep. Bonnie Watson even claimed that “arms” in the Second only applies to muskets.

Are we to believe that all the amendments are this way? That freedom of speech or press only applies to a quill and ink? That the Third or Fourth Amendments only apply to log cabins? That is a very narrow-minded view of one of the greatest documents ever written.

One claim is that weapons of today could not be envisioned then.

Allen Tesky, right, stands with members of the Lightfoot Militia during a gun rights rally on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The Light Foot Militia was present during the event to advocate the importance of individual firearms ownership. Credit: AP Credit: AP

Possibly, but repeating weapons did exist during that time. The Girandoni Air Rifle (1779) and the Puckle Gun (1718) are only two examples of weapons of the day designed to fire multiple rounds without reloading. Large cannons of the day were owned by privateers to protect their ships. A government department regulating these weapons didn’t exist. If you could afford one of these you could purchase one.

The Gatling Gun, considered the first machine gun, was introduced in 1860. Writing about the Gatling Gun in "Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel" Julia Keller noted that, “in the United States, though, it was not only military men but also police officers and wealthy private citizens who desired them. By the 1870’s, mine owners and railroad tycoons discovered that Gatling guns came in handy for keeping discontented workers in line.”

Why were these not banned through more than 100 years of history? Maybe because this document was not constraining the people, it was constraining the government. And what did the framers say about people owning firearms?

“Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.” Patrick Henry, 1775

“Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” James Madison, Federalist 46

“…to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason, Virginia Ratification Convention, 1778

“…if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.” Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 28

“Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped;” Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 29

“the constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, … or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property; and freedom of the press.” Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright June 5, 1824

The Federalist papers are the most detailed records of what the framers thought. In Federalist 46 Madison actually states all men are militia. He stated that an active army could be mustered in America of about 25-30,000 men by which a leader using the military could quash our freedoms. By contrast, he says, “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties.”

The population during this time was approximately 3.9 million including slaves. There were approximately 800,000 white, males, 16 years or older during this period. So Madison was saying that basically all white males over 16 were the militia. Compared to what liberals today consider our militia - the National Guard, which stands at 350,000 (of all races) while the population of white males, age 18-64, is an estimated 64 million. The Supreme Court affirmed the individual right in DC v. Heller 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

Detractors disparage this evidence or change the context but the intent was clear; it is our right to be armed to defend ourselves and our communities. Just like you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded movie theatre, there should be restrictions. And restrictions already exist like the NFA of 1934 and the GCA of 1968. Europe has proven massive restrictions don’t work and that evil finds a way. Mental frailty on the left in this country seeks to deny us this first, fundamental right; they are the people Ben Franklin so aptly spoke of, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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