Let's Read It...

Pretty straight forward...

As passed by the Congress:

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.

As ratified by the 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.

So I asked, where is this well regulated militia?
Who is doing the regulating?
Who usually does?

Why does this portion never come in to the discussion?

KatzNYammer KatzNYammer
61-65, M
2 Responses Sep 24, 2011

And in the words of Sheldon: "BAZINGA!"

BSS, you are my hero...

Thank you.

Actually, that portion of the 2nd Amendment is discussed all the time. Many feel that the 2nd Amendment is no longer relevant because we have no need to assemble a militia. We have a standing military, and law enforcement. But there is much more to the 2nd Amendment. Volumes have been written regarding the intent and interpretation of those 27 words. The intent has been describes by the founding fathers that drafted the Amendment. The interpretations have followed ever since, including those from the Supreme Court of the United States. There are two very recent and relevant landmark rulings by the court, District of Columbia v. Heller 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago 2010. Both decisions were to uphold rulings in lower courts that the local gun restrictions in each of these areas were unconstitutional. But the decisions from the Surpreme Court also included interpretations of the 2nd Amendment. Key to your point above, the court ruled that the amendment consists of two independent clauses, one being the bit about the well regulated Militia and the bit about the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. The court ruled that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed supercedes the clause of the well regulated Militia. This was to prevent those from using the clause of a well regulated Militia as a means of invalidating the need to bear arms. The court interpreted that the right to bear arms was valid for the purposes of self defense, as a means of addressing a tyrranical government or to quell opposition from a hostile government.

Well put. I have never seen it as two different rights, one of the individual to bear arms, and to create a militia.