The Second Amendment, a Second Look
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.
The Militia Act of 1792 was one of the first laws nationally regulating a well regulated Militia, a body already in existence amongst the populace. The President of the United States shall be allowed, “to call forth such number of the militia of the state or states most convenient to the place of danger or scene of action…” Thus a national draft or recruitment of regular people “to repel such invasion.” Most propagandists stop there and argue that the original intent was only to repel invasion but this is wrong. In addition, this Act was “to call forth” an existing assemblage of each “able-bodied man” whom is in an armed force amongst the populace. This includes “and in case of an insurrection in any state, against the government thereof…” furthermore, the second part reads;
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals… The Militia Act of 1792.
The meaning of “militia” ~ Latin; militia, of miles ~ common people soldiery shall be instructed to also uphold the laws of the United States, thus our Police is public to each individual. Being necessary to the security of a Free State, we uphold the laws of the United States individually and it is regulated to individual responsibility. Amongst these regulations in the Militia Act to uphold the laws of this nation were regulations on ammunition, a “good” firearm, “to contain not less than twenty four cartridges” or “twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle.” This also included “a sufficient bayonet and belt… and a knapsack…” I wonder how this would be argued in Court, my knife, belt and knapsack is protected under the Second Amendment. There were not any limits on how much but limits on how little but why, what was the intent of being so heavily armed. The obvious answer is equal or better armament of an opposing force of the time. Thus the notion that the Second Amendment only meant muskets is an absurdity and absolutely false. The intent of regulating the common people soldiery was supposed to be the minimum standards for upholding the law and not restricting it.
As for a well regulated Militia, and the arming of such, I would be remiss if I did not mention what came out of these regulations. The local gunsmiths of the time coalesced in to an armory mandated from these regulations. The most notable of these was the Springfield Armory of Springfield Massachusetts from 1777 until its closing in 1968. These regulations went from muskets to rifles (specifically the famous M1 “Garand rifle” to development of the M14) to machine guns, grenade launchers and much more. However, the most significant achievements from these regulations are technological innovations in the Industrial Revolution. Interchangeable parts, modern business practices, assembly line mass production and more was started and greatly influenced by the Springfield Armory and gun regulation.
Being necessary to the security of a free State, Representatives of the United Colonies Set Forth the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms. The example herein used was the province of Massachusetts-Bay under what can be described as Martial Law and a Standing Army of some 4,000 British Troops was used to enforce these laws. Taxation without representation, the public vote was taken and given to the governor or the king and the right to peacefully assemble and petition was limited to one town meeting a year is declared Intolerable Acts. The most contemptible action was policing of the public to seize arms, prevent the public “to keep and bear Arms.”
Soon after the intelligence of these proceedings arrived on this continent, general Gage, who in the course of the last year had taken possession of the town of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts-Bay, and still occupied it a garrison, on the 19th day of April, sent out from that place a large detachment of his army, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the said province, at the town of Lexington, as appears by the affidavits of a great number of persons, some of whom were officers and soldiers of that detachment, murdered eight of the inhabitants, and wounded many others. From thence the troops proceeded in warlike array to the town of Concord, where they set upon another party of the inhabitants of the same province, killing several and wounding more, until compelled to retreat by the country people suddenly assembled to repel this cruel aggression. Hostilities, thus commenced by the British troops, have been since prosecuted by them without regard to faith or reputation. — The inhabitants of Boston being confined within that town by the general their governor, and having, in order to procure their dismission, entered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants having deposited their arms with their own magistrate, should have liberty to depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly delivered up their arms, but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even savage nations esteemed sacred, the governor ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; detained the greatest part of the inhabitants in the town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind.
By this perfidy wives are separated from their husbands, children from their parents, the aged and the sick from their relations and friends, who wish to attend and comfort them; and those who have been used to live in plenty and even elegance, are reduced to deplorable distress.
Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that His providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operations, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being, with one mind, resolved to die freemen rather than live slaves.
Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the Empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great Britain, and establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.
In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birth-right, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it; for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our forefathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.
With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the Empire from the calamities of civil war.
A well regulated Militia, is not a federal creation “the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.” United States v. Miller, of which is a “body already in existence” D.C v. Heller, that shall not be infringed. “The phrase “security of a free state” meant “security of a free polity,” not security of each of the several States…” D.C v. Heller. The most contemptible action of “free polity” was the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms. This “body already in existence” already performing these duties was to be “called forth” and “assembled” by the federal government for “combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals…” The Militia Act of 1792. “From that pool, Congress has plenary power to organize the units that will make up an effective fighting force. That is what Congress did in the first militia Act, which specified that “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.” Act of May 8, 1792, 1 Stat. 271.” D.C v. Heller.
The Second Amendment to United States Bill of Rights is a national declaration making Common Law a Law of this nation, a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state.
Bill of Rights Pennsylvania 1776
XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Bill of Rights Virginia 1776
Section 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Declaration of Rights North Carolina 1776
Article XVII. That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State; and, as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Bill of Rights Massachusetts 1780
Article XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.
“We therefore believe that the most likely reading of all four of these pre-Second Amendment state constitutional provisions is that they secured an individual right to bear arms for defensive purposes.” D.C v. Heller.