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Old January 2, 2013, 11:34 AM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,267
RH, I take issue with several assertions in your post.
The 2nd amendment is not about hunting.
The 2nd amendment is not about target shooting.
This is mostly true, but it's fairly clear from the writings of the founding fathers that these purposes were intended to be protected too, although they were ancillary to the primary purposes allowing citizens to bear arms for self-defense, defense of the home, and militia service.
The "militia" was not, is not, and can never be a government entity, state or federal. That is called a "standing army".
This is incorrect. The militia in colonial times was under the control and command of the state governments. Some states would sanction private militia companies, but this practice was not universal, and the private companies were expected to follow the states' orders just like the regular state militia was.

The Constitution clearly extends control of the state militias to Congress and command of the militias to the President. The prefatory or militia clause of the 2A was primarily intended to prevent Congress and the President from abusing their powers by ordering the militia to disarm.

IMHO a group of armed people who act like a military force but don't follow the government's orders are properly called a paramilitary rather than a militia. If those people were to initiate violent armed action against the government, the founders would probably have called them rebels or bandits; today, we would call them insurgents or terrorists.
The National Guard is not the "militia" that the 2nd talks about. The NG is merely an extension of the standing army, technically controlled by state governors but able to be activated and federalized (happens all the time).
Also technically incorrect. The state militias evolved into the NG because a militia in the colonial mold would not be adequate for fighting a modern mechanized war (although the Viet Cong certainly gave it a good try, but I digress), and because the original militia conscription system became increasingly unpopular in the 19th century, prompting many states to effectively dismantle it by exempting huge swaths of their populace from service.
The "militia" of the Constitution is defined as "all the people"., specifically those people not in the employ or uniform of the state or federal gov't.
The term "militia" is NOT defined in the Constitution. (FWIW the Constitution famously lacks a "Definitions" section, which has been the source of myriad contentious Congressional and Supreme Court debates for the past 200 years, but I digress again!)

The concept of an "unorganized militia" consisting of all military-age male citizens is a modern statute definition intended to address the unpopularity of the previous universal conscription system while simultaneously giving Congress the power to conduct a military draft under the guise of calling up the militia.
"Well regulated" does not mean regulated by the government, it means practiced, effective, equipped, skilled.
Actually, it means all of the above... but this doesn't really matter anyway, as the SCOTUS Heller majority decision clearly holds that the RKBA is an individual right independent of militia service.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; January 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM. Reason: info added...
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