The massacre in Las Vegas has again sparked discussion about the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, only portions of the amendment are cited by partisans. Here is the amendment in its entirety: "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."

Clearly the authors considered having a "well regulated Militia" as the rational for the "right ... to keep and bear arms." The militias (well-regulated) were necessary to secure a free state. Without this need, there is no right.

So my question is, where are these militias? In particular, where are the "well-regulated" militias that are intended to maintain a free state? In their absence, is there still a "right"? When a politician, or anyone else for that matter, claims to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, do they mean that they are a strong supporter of militias? Are they a member of a well-regulated militia? And if so, which one?

Let’s talk about all of the Second Amendment in our discussions and not just the parts we like.

David J. Hauman, Bloomington 



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