Newsflash: Militia ≠ Army
Saturday, October 03, 2009
This just in...
Thomas Jefferson, Father of the Declaration of Independence and Former President of the United States acknowledged there was a difference between the militia and a proper army.
Washington DC, 1801. While giving his Inaugural Address, Thomas Jefferson wiped out all confusion created by gun control advocates surrounding the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment 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.
The language of this one amendment has been the source of countless debates as to what a "well regulated militia" was and whether a militia was made up of common citizens or enlisted persons in a regular army. In his speech, Jefferson referenced the militia and its roll while explaining what the essential principles of government were and where his duty, as the newly elected president, lay. Of the things he listed, he declared,
a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them...
In one sentence, he cleared the fog of what the Second Amendment meant. A well regulated militia was nothing more than a well disciplined militia, or, if you will, a well practiced militia. And what of the militia? Where do these people come from? The army, or national guard, perhaps? No. Jefferson made the distinction perfectly clear when he remarked that the militia, or citizen soldiers, would hold the ground until the regulars, or members of a regular army, could be brought in to relieve them. How could one ever be confused with the other when stated that way?
Notice, also, how closely worded both the Second Amendment and Jefferson's phrasing are. Pay particular attention to how both are structured the same, further evidencing the intent of the Second Amendment. Either could be interchanged without affecting the original intent of the Second Amendment.
"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.
"a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
To say the Second Amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to keep and bear arms or to say that it speaks to a "collective right" is to prove to all your ignorance of the English language.